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Butcombe Trail Ultra event image

Butcombe Trail Ultra

Butcombe Trail Ultra event image Butcombe Trail Ultra event image Butcombe Trail Ultra event image Butcombe Trail Ultra event image Butcombe Trail Ultra event image

Butcombe Trail Ultra

Winscombe, Avon

Rowberrow Lane, Winscombe, BS25 1, United Kingdom

Sat 29th April 2023

Starting at 08:00

2 races

£62.00 - £68.00

Organiser's Description

50 and 56 mile self-navigation ultramarathons in the Mendip Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The route is mostly off-road and takes in beautiful running country and fantastic views as it criss-crosses the Mendips. It is organised by Bristol’s Town & Country Harriers trail-running club.

Although runners will be well supported during the event, it is not to be taken lightly and only runners who have run a trail marathon (either as a race or in training) since 1 January 2022 should apply. In particular, the BTU56 is an extra 6 miles (10km) longer with 500m additional ascent, but with a cut-off time of only 1 hour more than the BTU50. This additional section takes the winner around 1h30, and the tail runners around 3h. Runners should therefore be confident they could finish the 50-mile race in 13 hours if they wish to enter the 56.

Races

  • Butcombe Trail Ultra 50 Miles

    £62.00

    UK Athletics (UKA) save £2.00

    Association of Running Clubs (ARC) save £2.00

    CLOSED
  • Butcombe Trail Ultra 56 Miles

    £68.00

    UK Athletics (UKA) save £2.00

    Association of Running Clubs (ARC) save £2.00

    CLOSED

Book

  • Butcombe Trail Ultra 50 Miles

    £62.00

    UK Athletics (UKA) save £2.00

    Association of Running Clubs (ARC) save £2.00

    CLOSED
  • Butcombe Trail Ultra 56 Miles

    £68.00

    UK Athletics (UKA) save £2.00

    Association of Running Clubs (ARC) save £2.00

    CLOSED

Course Details

Hilly but worth it - a spectacular day out in the Mendips

What's Included

The Butcombe Trail is a route around six pubs in the Mendip Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). The route is mostly off-road and takes in beautiful running country and fantastic views as it criss-crosses the Mendips. It was devised as a hiking trail in 2007, and was first run as a single-day ultramarathon in 2016, organised by Bristol’s Town & Country Harriers trail-running club.

Both the 50 and 56 mile events are ‘index races’ for the UTMB® and its new World Series, giving you a valid UTMB Index in the ‘100K’ category and eligibility for entry in all of the main races (UTMB, CCC, OCC, TDS).

The organisers, marshals, and checkpoint crews are all runners, many of whom regularly run ultras and know what’s needed to make a great race and help people get to the finish. This is evident in the comments we receive from runners after the race.

The races are organised by volunteer members of the Town & Country Harriers (TACH), a Bristol off-road running club, for the benefit of the Mendip Hills Fund. This is a community fund set up to conserve and enhance the environment, communities and economy of the Mendip Hills. The fund is a partnership between the Mendip Hills AONB and the Somerset Community Foundation. TACH is proud to have donated over £9600 to the Fund from the proceeds of the race over its first five editions.

  • fantastic scenery
  • great quality medal
  • impressive goody bag
  • brilliant, supportive marshals

Parking

Plentiful parking is available in a field opposite the pub. This will be well-signed on race day. Please don’t use the pub car park.

Location

The event starts and finishes at the Swan Inn in Rowberrow (BS25 1QL). The Swan also has accommodation attached to the pub.

FAQs

  • Are there cut off times?

    There is a maximum time of 15 hours to complete the 50 mile race and 16 hours for the 56-miler. The additional 6 mile section is tough, and takes the winner around 1h30 and the tail runners around 3h. Runners should therefore be confident they could finish the 50-mile race in 13 hours if they wish to enter the 56. Please see the image for exact details

  • Can I run with a dog?

    Since the race moved to April, we regret we can no longer accept runners with dogs due to the large number of lambs, calves and other young livestock present in the fields through which the route runs.

runner info

Butcombe Trail Ultra, 56 miles (BTU56)

A single-day race starting at 7:00am. We will be running clockwise from The Swan in Rowberrow (BS25 1QL) on the Northern side of the circuit. The route is 56 miles with around 2500m ascent and earns 4 UTMB points.

Registration:

All competitors must register at The Swan to collect their race number. Registration will open on the morning of the race from 5:30am to 6:30am. Competitors must also attend the race briefing which starts at 6:45am on race morning in the registration area. The race will start at 7:00am.

Butcombe Trail Ultra, 50 miles (BTU50)

A single-day race starting at 8:00am. We will be running clockwise from The Swan in Rowberrow (BS25 1QL) on the Northern side of the circuit. The route is 50 miles with around 2000m ascent and earns 3 UTMB points.

Registration:

All competitors must register at The Swan to collect their race number. Registration will open on the morning of the race from 5:30am to 7:30am (but please avoid the rush of 56-mile runners around 6:15-6:30am). Competitors must also attend the race briefing which starts at 7:45am on race morning in the registration area. The race will start at 8:00am.

Navigation:

The races are self-navigation and competitors must carry paper maps at all times (these are available to download and print on the Routes page). The Butcombe Trail itself is waymarked along much of its length but this can be patchy, and the BTU56 follows a different route for the middle 12 miles. There will be marshals at key points. GPX files of the routes are also available on the Routes page. These are updated regularly so always make sure you have the latest version.

Feel free to get out on the course before race day to check out the route. It’s a beautiful course on public footpaths and there are plenty of lovely Butcombe country pubs on the route. If you visit one of the pubs on a recce, please be sure to mention the race. There are details of all the pubs and suggested recce routes here.

Entry Requirements:

All entrants must have run a marathon since 1 Jan 2021. This doesn’t need to have been in a formal race, it could have been a 26+ mile training run. You will not need to provide proof of this, we trust you to tell the truth.

Entrants must be at least 20 years of age.

Headphones

We do not encourage the use of headphones on the Butcombe Trail Ultra. If you decline to follow this advice, be aware that this is your responsibility. Note that you must be alert to instructions from marshals, the risks of road crossings and the needs of fellow runners at all times. This is for the safety of yourself and others. Both earpieces MUST be removed at all checkpoints and marshalled road crossings, runners risk disqualification if they do not follow this requirement.

Mandatory kit list

Runners will need to carry minimum kit of:

a water bottle or bladder (it is up to 10 miles / 16km between checkpoints);
a cup (optional, but will be needed if you want a checkpoint drink served other than in your water container (e.g. coke or squash)
whistle;
compass;
waterproof map case (or laminated / waterproof maps) if the weather is wet;
waterproof top with hood and taped seams;
waterproof or windproof trousers;
long sleeved warmer top layer;
fully charged mobile phone with volume set to maximum;
gloves;
buff or hat;
emergency food (e.g. gel, energy bar);
headtorch with charged batteries (yes, even if you plan to finish well before dark!);
emergency foil blanket;
sunblock or additional warm clothes if dictated by weather conditions;
paper maps of the course, to be carried at all times – YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN, either download and print the licenced OS extracts from the Routes page, or obtain the relevant OS sheets marked-up with the route.
We recommend that runners wear trail or fell shoes with good grip.

Depending on weather conditions, we may waive one or more items on the day, but you must arrive at registration with everything on the above list.

checkpoints

There will be seven checkpoints on the 50 mile route, eight on the 56. All but one of these are at Butcombe Brewery pubs. You must visit every checkpoint. A variety of sweet food (e.g. cake, biscuits, fruit, sweets, malt loaf), savoury food (e.g. crisps, nuts, sausage rolls), water, squash, and flat cola will be available at these checkpoints. You can also buy good local beer and cider in the pubs!

Please attach your race number to your front so that it can be clearly seen. You must show this number to marshals at each checkpoint – it is your responsibility to ensure that your number has been noted. You must not run with another person’s number.

The variety of food available should mean that if you have a minor food intolerance there will still be items available at each checkpoint to suit. However, due to the nature of race checkpoints, we cannot guarantee that there is no possibility of contamination between items. Therefore if you have a sensitive allergy we would ask you to provide us with sealed, named bags, numbered for each checkpoint; these may contain an appropriate amount of nutrition items, but cannot be used for other equipment. Please email us in advance if you wish to do this as we have to arrange exchange of the bags.

support

There are no provisions for drop bags in either race, although the BTU56 route does return to within 300m of the car park around mid-distance. However, in the spirit of the event, we would encourage runners to be semi self-sufficient and carry everything they intend to carry for the entire race. In any case, the mandatory kit list must be carried at all times (for example, it is not acceptable to pick up your head torch half-way).

The only exception to this is in the case of genuine medical needs for specific food items (see ‘checkpoints’ above).

Runners are welcome to have their friends meet them at checkpoints and it is permitted to exchange items, however, the full kit list must be carried at all times. Supplies must not be received other than at checkpoints, as UTMB / ITRA rules mandate that runners are self-sufficient between the official aid stations.

spectators

Spectators are welcome anywhere on the course that’s a public right of way, but the best places to cheer people on are at the various village pub checkpoints (see times and maps below). The runners will really appreciate the support, so why not come along, grab a pint, and cheer them through? Our friendly marshals at each pub will be happy to talk to you about the race whenever they aren’t busy assisting runners.

Race HQ will be active all day at The Swan, and the marshals / Race Director there will be able to update you on general progress (although we aren’t able to tell you where a specific runner is).

Could supporters coming to The Swan please park in the runners’ car park field, not the pub car park.

If you want to follow a runner more closely by car or bike, head to the routes page and download the full map pack, then catch up with them anywhere the route crosses or follows a road.

Details of the pubs (postcodes, opening times, etc) can be found on the pub pages.

We have calculated the expected times for runners to be coming through each checkpoint (Note: these are unlikely to be as accurate as the times imply!)

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Location

Winscombe, Avon

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