Iconic Trail Races at Home and Abroad

For offroad experiences of a lifetime, use our guide to the most iconic trail races in the UK and Europe

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Autumn Races

Beachy Head Marathon

Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex
  42K/26.2 miles
Ascent: 1,066m total ascent
Price: £32
Find out more: beachyheadmarathon.org.uk

One of the UK’s most popular offroad marathons is now in its 32nd year. The course, which starts and finishes in Eastbourne, takes you through the scenic South Downs via three punishing hills, before rewarding you with panoramic sea views from the iconic Seven Sisters.

Kielder Marathon

Location: Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
Date: October
Distance: 42K/26.2 miles
Ascent: 368m total ascent
Price: £35
Find out more: kieldermarathon.com

Living up to its billing as ‘Britian’s most beautiful marathon’, the course takes you around the shoreline of Kielder Water. It’s a mix of road and trail so a good option if you’re primarily a road runner, and there’s a 10K version if you don’t feel ready for the full 26.2-miler.

La Course des Templiers

Location: Millau, France
Date: October
Distance: 71K/44.4 miles (other options: 9K-106K)
Ascent: 3,250m total ascent
Price: €65 (£51)
Find out more: festivaldestempliers.blogspot.com

The Festival des Templiers weekend offers nine different distance options, of which the undisputed star is La Course de Templiers. Inspired by the Knights Templar, the 71K route follows ‘secret’ paths, passing through hidden tunnels and ruined castles. But if that sounds like too much hard work, the other course options – starting at just 9K – are all excellent, too.

Original Mountain Marathon (OMM)

Location: varies each year,
Date: October
Distance: 35-80K/22-50 miles
Ascent: variable total ascent
Price: £110 (team of two)
Find out more: theomm.com

Though the course changes every year, the OMM is always a classic, testing navigation, mountain fitness and self-reliance. Armed with a map, compass, tent and enough food for 36 hours, you and your partner – and 3,000 others – run across fells, mountains and valleys before camping overnight to do it all again the following day.

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Discuss this article

"A swaggering mudslinger that can lay claim to the title ‘The toughest race in the South East’. Challenging hills, exhilarating trails, scenic views, excellent marshalling and a decent swag bag make it a favourite on the RW forum. The 2013 race marks the 30th anniversary, so get your entry in sharpish." is this Beachy Head.... not the UTMB... I guess?
Posted: 23/11/2012 at 22:46

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