Bored of urban marathons? Tired of suburban sportives? You’re not the only one. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most adventurous events you can sign up to in the UK.
Our list isn’t just limited to running and cycling. We’ve included hill walking, climbing and even a canoe race - not to mention the multi-disciplined Scotland Coast 2 Coast. Sounds exciting! Ditch the city for the countryside and be more adventurous with your 2016/2017 scheduling…
TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read)
Ok, heres the list…
- Dunwich Dynamo
- The 24 Hour Challenge
- Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) Cycle Ride
- The Bath Half Marathon
- The London Duathlon
- Scotland Coast 2 Coast
- England Coast 2 Coast
- Climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle
- The Snowdonia Marathon
- The Devizes to Westminster (London) Canoe Race
1. Dunwich Dynamo
The Dunwich Dynamo is an increasingly popular night ride from central London to the Suffolk coast. It’s approximately 200km (120 miles) in length and takes place on the Saturday closest to the full moon in July.
There are no road closures, support vehicles or water stops, but there are thousands of friendly participants to help you along the way. A thousand years ago wool-rich Dunwich rivalled London. But, Coastal erosion means the medieval metropolis is now half a mile offshore.
The timing of this ride and the scenery along the route make this a midsummer activity you must not miss.
2. The 24 Hour Challenge
It’s simple. How much distance can you cover in 24 hours, either running or walking?
This event is a pure and simple test of endurance as you complete lap after lap after lap of the 6.62 mile course around farmland in Kent.
In 2015 Marcel Mckinley completed a total distance of 112.54 miles. 2nd place was Pip Lloyd who covered 66.2 miles. Astounding!
3. Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) Cycle Ride
A ride you’ve probably heard a friend talk about at the pub; this is a classic journey. Distance-wise it’s around 1,400km. The record stands at 41 hours 4 minutes and 22 seconds. However, most cyclists complete it in 10-14 days.
The beauty of this ride is that you can be a pro racer or a novice tourer and still take something from this route. Sit back on your Brooks saddle, enjoying the scenery as it rolls past or work as a team to maximise your cadence and fire through the miles.
4. The Bath Half Marathon
One of England’s most handsome cities hosts a brilliant half marathon in Spring. Perfect training for those with bigger mountains to climb later in the year. Oh, which reminds me, this half is particularly flat. Perfect PB territory.
5. The London Duathlon
Open water swimming isn’t for everyone, especially in the Thames in the middle of London. That’s why The London Duathlon exists. It’s easy, imagine a Triathlon without the swimming; a 10km run, 40km bike and then a final 5km run. Still sounds like too much? Like with a lot of events these days, there are shorter alternatives available.
6. Scotland Coast 2 Coast
Like The London Duathlon, there is no swimming in the multi-disciplined Scotland Coast 2 Coast. Just running/trekking, cycling and… paddling. The course is 169km of unadulterated Scottish scenery, taking in: Lock Ness, the Great Glen, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. This event is open to adventurers of all experience. Race as a soloist or as part of a team. If you ask us, the 5km of kayaking at the end sounds like great fun. However, this is not the flattest event in this list - you’ve been warned.
7. England Coast 2 Coast
While we’re on the topic, why not challenge yourself to the English Coast 2 Coast while you’re at it?
Cycled by approximately 13,000 people every year, this is one of the UK’s most popular bike routes. So popular in fact, we’ve done it ourselves. The challenge we set ourselves and one set by many others, is to complete the route in a weekend. Looking for something more relaxed with the family? There are plenty of beautiful towns and villages to stop at along the way and the route is lined with pubs-galore - trust me.
Starting at Whitehaven the ride takes in the Lake District and usually finishes in Tynemouth. With that in mind, there are some decent hill to climbs along this route.
8. Climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle
Scotland has 283 Munros. A Munro is a Scottish mountain higher than 3000ft (914.4m). Sgurr Dearg is one of the most challenging peaks on the Black Cuillin Ridge. The first 978m of Sgurr Dearg is accessible to the everyday hillwalker, but it’s the final 8m that will require some additional skills. This is the height of the narrow blade of rock known as the Inaccessible Pinnacle, suitable for climbing - with the right equipment.
9. The Snowdonia Marathon
Scheduled for late October, you might not experience the most sympathetic of weather conditions when running the Snowdonia Marathon. However, what it lacks in glam, it sure as hell makes up for in sportsmanship, local support and sensational scenery. Previously topping polls as Britain’s best Marathon, the Snowdonia event is a must for any running enthusiast and adventurer.
10. The Devizes to Westminster (London) Canoe Race
Consider yourself to be quite fit? This might be the event for you. The amount of training required for the Devizes to Westminster canoe race is said to be the closest you can get to Olympic training.
The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948.
Canoeing along the 125 mile route from Wiltshire to central London is not for the faint hearted. The “paddle” requires about 30 hours of hard work to battle the physical and mental fatigue you’ll feel. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. While the final 17 miles are on the tidal section of the Thames. The course record is currently at: 15 hours and 34 minutes.