Top Ten UK Adventure Races

Report by Dave MacFarlane
Tuesday 6th December 2011

For those of you who are new to the world of multi-sport racing and need some pointers of which events might be good to look at, we have the co-star of the recently premiered - and soon to be released on download - planetFear documentary 'The Epic Tri' and AR semi-legend Bruce Duncan to tell us what he thinks are the top ten adventure races in the UK.


The brief for Bruce was simple, the races must be multi-discipline and therefore true adventure races and they must take place on our very own isles, he must then put the races in order of what he considers to be the best out there.


However... those of you with some involvement in the UK AR scene may notice that in the top slot is a race that Bruce had significant involvement with during 2010, this race only comes around once every two years and Bruce happened to plan and execute this event. Upon being questioned about his distinct bias he replied 'yeah but Dave, it is the best race out there.'


Nothing like a biased decision to get people talking, but here we have it, Bruce's UK Top Ten Adventure Races:



10. Scottish Coast to Coast - A 1 or 2 day multisport race from Nairn to Ballachulish by foot, bike and kayak. A journey of 100miles, past some of the most iconic places in Scotland, Loch Ness, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. A huge personal challenge that you can undertake with 1000 other people.


9. Causeway Coast Adventure Racing - Northern Ireland's premier winter series of races. Taking between 4-6 hours catering for all abilities. A perfect way to kick start your year. These are great starter events, and Causeway coast offer many more races throughout the year.


8. London Rat Race - For those of you who don't want to leave the city. This is the best way to explore London, you'll discover all sorts of gems you never knew existed. An evening run around town involving many bizarre challenges, followed by 8 hours of running, biking and kayaking on the Sunday, with an abseil and other fun thrown into the mix, all in the mega urban environment.


7. Trail Plus Adventure Races - More multisport action. Running, mountain biking and kayaking around a marked course, with some fun obstacles before you finish. A great introduction to adventure sports, and within an hour's drive of major cities, there is no excuse to not get out there!


6. Open 5 Series - A step up from the Tri Adventure races, a bit wilder and at 5 hours more to get your teeth into. Spread around the country there is a good chance one will be pretty near you. Testing your navigation and route choices a bit more, these races will get you competing against some of the best in the country. You know you want to take them on. Really friendly races, great spot prizes, and brilliant courses.


5. Tri Adventure Sprint Series - 2 hours of trail running, mountain biking and navigation. Live in London, and looking for that escape from the streets? This series is perfect for a Sunday morning and within an hour's drive of London in the gorgeous North Downs, it's very accessible, won't dent your budget too much, and may just get you hooked.


4. Gaelforce West - A great race over on the West Coast of Ireland. Multi-sport, run, kayak and bike. Want to try an overseas event? This is brilliant, they speak the same language, it's easy to get to, and you get to take in stunning scenery, brilliant organisation, over 3000 people to compete against, and of course, a great party.


3. adidasTERREX Coast to Coast Race - A 4 day stage race from Whitehaven to Robin Hood's Bay. Running, biking and kayaking across the country. A great event for elite and beginners alike, what better way to see the north of England.


2. Lakeland 2 Day Race - Want to race more than a few hours, but not all in one go? This is perfect then, 5 stages over 2 days, including a night section to get your teeth into. Great navigational challenges, technical mountain bike sections, and stunning trail running all come together with a brilliant social hub for a weekend of outdoor fun.


1. adidasTERREX Expedition Race - This race is held every other year, in 2012 it will be a 5 day race in Stirling 2012. The pinnacle in UK adventure racing. The top teams will all be battling it out over this 400km course, non stop for 5 days. It's not just for the elite though, there are short course options, so you still get to race for 5 days, but maybe not quite as far!

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Qs - 06/12/2011
Great list, about time! If there were eleven spots here Questars could feature. Good courses, competition and organisation. Why don't you come South and give one a shot in 2012 Bruce? There's a race report for the last one in 2011 on Tri-Adventure's blog! George
RL - 07/12/2011
Seem to have missed out the Endurancelife Coast2Coast.
Causeway - 08/12/2011
The other events that CCAR run are true adventure races, 4 person mixed teams need to navigate over 24hr and 36hr routes. The 24hr event is the Raid and the 36hr event is the Beast of Ballyhoura which Bruce took part in and won this year Both events worth checking out and we would be more than happy to see a few teams from the UK coming over to have lash at.
Endurance Lifes Devon Coast to Coast? - 10/12/2011
Did you guys look at the Endurance Life Devon Coast to Coast? The extreme version of this 140mile multisports event is a non-stop 16 to 20hr race across Exmoor and Dartmoor and finishing in a 19 mile trail run along the south west coastal path. Came 3rd last year in a fantastic race.

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