We would like to share some news with the Ultra Running community.
We have decided to postpone the inaugural Pennine268 event planned for June 2017 to August 2018. We are especially disappointed for the racers who had already entered but also for those that had shown support and encouragement, which we have received from so many individuals and organisations.
We want to stage an event that is inclusive and fully engaged with local communities and bodies such as the National Trails and National Parks. We want to meet the highest safety standards for this type of event and satisfy our exacting quality criteria. Our plans include fully staffed check points, baggage transfer, a collection service for those that drop out, state of the art business infrastructure, advanced communication tools, a well organised and motivated support team, the usual rewards for racers and volunteers, a competitive price (£400 for 7 days of racing), and to donate 10% of all revenue to Mountain Rescue and The National Trail. All this good stuff has given us much to consider and manage.
We have always planned to develop this event for the benefit of others, give our time freely and to accept some losses in the first 2-3 years of event development. However, we currently believe we have too few confirmed entrants to be able to hold this race in 2017 as a competitive event to the standards we have set ourselves.
Setting a date for the race has always given us concern. In today’s crowded market where racers are planning a year or more ahead for any big event it means that we probably need to give everyone at least 18 months notice and hence the decision to postpone until August 2018.
We have already refunded the entry fees in full for all the confirmed 2017 entrants.
We will continue to plan for the summer of 2018. There’s interest in developing the format of the race in a couple of directions, including a relay and ultra-fast or FKT support format. We would really appreciate your thoughts and questions in this regard.
Please keep an eye on this page for how event develops. In the meantime, thank you all for your continuing best wishes and support.
We need to catch up ….. and we both fancy a few days on the trails. Nothing for it but to jump on a train to get up North and then head to Kirk Yetholm for a 9am jaunt this Monday.
And now we are wondering about a proper wandering ….. perhaps even a PW Winter FKT? Theres lot’s known about fast northwards journeys but very little out there on a southwards journey.
Javed managed 8 days at the start of the year …… and he’s old and slow so there must be much quicker completions possible or already done ? A planned family gathering in 6 days time means that he’s got to take 2 days off his PB to avoid being in any more ‘trouble’ than is usual for him, and to make it back in time for pulling of crackers.
We suspect that he may not survive all 3 courses and the usual Xmas excitement without falling asleep in his food. Pictures are promised!
If you fancy a distraction from Xmas shopping and Carol singing there will be some dots to watch and hopefully a few updates to read on :Live Tracking:
And if you happen to be out there (Monday 12 to Sat 17) and within stumbling distance then please track us down and say ‘hi’ or better still blow away some cobwebs and join us for a mile or two.
As many of you will know we have been in conversation with Scott and Phil from the Spine over our plans to run a summer race along the Pennine Way in June 2017.
It was quite remarkable that both organisations had advanced separate plans to run such a race unbeknown to each other. When this fact came to everyone’s attention just before the recent Spine Training Workshop in Hebden Bridge, we invited Scott and Phil into discussions to explore the possibilities of combining forces and running a single event.
Both organisations are well advanced with planning and organising their own events and while there was much common ground, especially with respect to how best to serve the Ultra Racing community, we have both finally concluded that the two organisations should continue to run and host their races independently.
Pennine268 has at its heart a completely different ethos, style and appeal to the Winter Spine event. It is deliberately diametrically opposite to the Spine in the calendar so it should appeal to several different audiences.
It is our intention to continue to be transparent, inclusive and expansive in the character and presentation of the Pennine268 Summer Race. We would like to appeal to the elite in the sport; those who need a fast and long challenge of world class character. At the same time we would like to offer those less experienced runners, the really strong walkers and the endurance athletes from other disciplines, a real challenge in a competitive and supportive environment, the chance to make friends, learn and grow, whilst enjoying an inspirational journey along the UK’s most iconic long distance trail.
The 2017 Pennine268 Race
We have always planned to hold Pennine268 annually, and to alternate the direction of the race each year; building on the successful model used at Comrades in South Africa. As a result of our discussions, and in order to emphasize the differences between the Pennine268 race and other similar events, we have chosen to run the race from North to South, Kirk Yetholm to Edale in its inaugural year.
It seems that this has significant benefits in terms of planning and logistics for both the organisation and the racers, and is a direction of travel rarely seen, even amongst seasoned Pennine Way enthusiasts. We hope that you can be involved in the inaugural event as participants, perhaps as part of the race organisation or as enthusiastic arm chair followers of what we believe will be an inspiring event.