23 Jun

Go High, Go Long This Weekend

Marathon du Mont-Blanc

The harder, higher and further the better seems to be the motto for this weekend's events in the south, although nothing could top the Marathon du Mont-Blanc for its combination of attitude and altitude.

Marathon du Mont-Blanc is a complete weekend of mountain running with the Mont Blanc 80K trail ultra and its astonishing vertical gain of 5,960 metres plus the 'fun run' known as the Mont Blanc Vertical KM on Friday (23 June). Survivors can then choose to add the Mont Blanc Cross 23K on Saturday and/or Trail Marathon on Sunday for the full Monty! 
 
Back home and nearer to sea level the Race to the King Ultra-marathon on Saturday and Sunday is a double marathon to honour the ancient Kings on the South Downs Way between Slindon Estate, Arundel and Winchester Cathedral. 
 
Meanwhile, T60 Challenge goes even further as it is a 60-mile overnight challenge starting at Bowyer Arms, Radley near Oxford at 8:00pm and finishing at the Stone Marker that denotes the source of River Thames just outside Cirencester. Amazingly, the course record is exactly 10 hours, set by Ollie Stoten in 2015. The women's record of 10:27 was set by Karen Hathaway in the same year.
 
HARP 24 on Saturday and Sunday could see the greatest distance covered as it is a continuous 24-hour relay on a four mile multi-terrain lap through Essex countryside from Westcliff Rugby Club, Southend, raising funds for HARP – Southend's Homeless Charity. As teams may comprise up to eight runners there should be plenty of 100-mile plus results.
 
If all that mileage is a little off-putting on a warm weekend perhaps the Midnight Marathon at Dartford will appeal. This mere sprint at 26.2 miles starts at 8:00pm on Saturday and everyone who finishes before midnight will receive a bespoke medal and technical T-shirt with the 'I beat the Midnight Marathon' slogan. At least it should be cooler after dark…
 
Everyone at runABC wishes all endurance athletes a safe and enjoyable race this weekend.
 
Results and details will be available at runABC race listings page.