Sunrise and Half Sunrise Ultras
Sat 10th December 2022
£67.00 - £107.00
Firstly these events take place in mid-December. While Norfolk may not seem that remote, when the north winds blow it comes directly from the North Pole, and with the flat and open terrain, conditions could be challenging.
Secondly, the events will be run during the hours of darkness. As the sun sets in the west, you will be set off from the start in Snettisham. How far can you get before the sun rises in the east just over 16 hours later? For the speedier runners amongst you, can you reach the finish 83 miles away by The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth?
Support is provided along the route but is kept to a minimum, to minimise the environmental impact of the race, avoid disturbing locals sleeping in their beds and to add to the running adventure.
Please note that runners own crew will be banned from the course between the hours of 22:00 and 07:00.
A full indoor checkpoint is provided at roughly halfway, in Cley-next-the-sea. Here you will have access to a drop bag and also be provided with warm food and drink. Further indoor checkpoints are also provided at Overstrand and Sea Palling (no drop bag), along with additional mobile checkpoints. The mobile checkpoints may be unmanned and limited to cold water and snacks, so pack accordingly.
For those that don’t fancy the full Sunrise experience, we offer the Half Sunrise. This starts from the “halfway” checkpoint at Cley-next-the-sea at 22:30 and follows the same route to the finish in Great Yarmouth, some 45 miles away. Both events provide an exhilarating pre-Christmas challenge and a great way to end the year.
Starting at sunset outside the Sailing Club at Snettisham, The Sunrise heads north towards Hunstanton. From here it turns eastwards, joining the Norfolk Coast Path, which it follows (with a few diversions for safety and environmental reasons) all the way to the finish 83 miles / 133 kilometres away, at Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth.
The Half Sunrise starts in the pretty village of Cley-next-the-sea and follows the Norfolk Coast Path eastwards, also finishing at Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, covering a total distance of 45 miles / 72 kilometres.
Cley-next-the-sea also marks the first major checkpoint on the full Sunrise, where runners will be able to access a drop bag, take shelter and get warm food and drink. Additional indoor checkpoints are also provided at Overstrand and Sea Palling, which are accessible by both races (no drop-bag).
Additional mobile checkpoints will be set up along the route but these will be outside and may be unmanned, so will only provide cold water and simple snacks. Competitors are therefore expected to be self-sufficient for the majority of the race and pack accordingly for a winter ultra marathon.
Both events will be run under race permit TBC, granted by the TRA and will also run under UKA rules for competition.
what to expect
UTMB® and ITRA Qualifier Events
BOTH RACES ARE UTMB WORLD SERIES QUALIFIER EVENTS, PART OF THE NEW QUALIFICATION SYSTEM LAUNCHED IN 2021.
ALL OUR ATHLETES WILL BE GIVEN A GPS TRACKER TO CARRY DURING THE RACE, FOR SAFETY AND ALSO TO ALLOW YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO FOLLOW YOUR PROGRESS AS YOU RACE THE SUN TO THE FINISH IN GREAT YARMOUTH
REGULAR SUPPORT IS PROVIDED ALONG THE ROUTE, WITH THREE INDOOR CHECKPOINTS FOR THOSE RACING THE FULL SUNRISE, WHERE RUNNERS CAN ACCESS A DROP BAG (CLEY CP ONLY) AND WARM FOOD AND DRINKS. ADDITIONAL MOBILE AND UNMANNED WATER STATIONS WILL BE PROVIDED ALONG THE ROUTE BUT THESE WILL BE MINIMAL, SO PACK ACCORDINGLY.
BUSES ARE PROVIDED IF REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT ALL RACERS FROM THE FINISH IN GREAT YARMOUTH BACK TO THE START AT SNETTISHAM FOR THE FULL SUNRISE OR CLEY-NEXT-THE-SEA FOR THE HALF SUNRISE. THIS IS AN OPTION YOU CAN SELECT AT CHECKOUT.
WE AIM TO MINIMISE THE USE OF PLASTIC AND OTHER NON-RECYCLABLE MATERIALS IN OUR RACES. FOR EXAMPLE, RACE T-SHIRTS WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE AS AN ADDITIONAL PURCHASE. COMPETITORS WILL ALSO BE EXPECTED TO CARRY THEIR OWN REUSABLE CUP.
WE ARE KEEN TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENT THAT OUR RACES PASS THROUGH. AS A RESULT, A MINIMUM OF £1 FROM EVERY ENTRY WILL BE DONATED TO A COASTAL CHARITY
IS THERE A MANDATORY SET KIT LIST?
Yes, as you would expect for an ultra marathon running through the night in the middle of UK winter, for safety reasons there is a mandatory set of kit you are required to carry at all times. This will be checked at registration, with further random checks during and at the finish. Failure to produce items will result in disqualification
WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?
As per UKA rules for races of these distances, you must be a minimum of 20 years old on the date of the event. We also expect that Half Sunrise entrants will have previously completed a trail marathon and the Full Sunrise entrants will have previously completed an ultra marathon of around fifty miles. Norfolk may seem like a calm and pretty place but in mid-winter, this can be quite exposed terrain, so train accordingly and familiarise yourself with running and navigating in the dark.
WHAT ARE THE TIME LIMITS / CUT OFFS?
For the Sunrise you have until sunset on the Sunday to complete the course. There are enforced cut offs at the major checkpoint at Cley (38 miles) at 01:30 Sunday, Overstrand at 05:00 and at Sea Palling at 11:00.
For the Half Sunrise you have 15 hours to complete the 45 mile journey to Great Yarmouth, with the finish line closing at 13:30 on Sunday. There are no cut-offs along the route.
CAN I HAVE MY OWN CREW?
You are welcome to use your own crew, however please consider that this race passes through local communities and avoid disturbing local residents by meeting your crew away from residential areas.
Note that after complaints last year, all crew will be banned from the course between the hours of 22:00 and 07:00. Failure to meet this will result in your disqualification from the event.
Please also note that pacers are not allowed at any time on the course. Again, failure to meet this will result in your disqualification from the event.
You are still required to visit all race checkpoints for safety reasons. Checkpoints are for runners and race officials primarily and we, therefore, reserve the right to ask your crew to leave if space is at a premium. Further guidance on the use of crew and suggested locations will be shared closer to the race.
WHAT FOOD IS AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE?
A full menu will be published closer to the event itself but expect a small selection of cold simple sweet and savoury snacks at the mobile checkpoints out on the course. The indoor checkpoints at Cley, Overstrand and Sea Palling will also provide soup, warm drinks and a vegetarian pasta dish.
DO WE HAVE TO USE THE BUS?
Use of the bus is purely optional. Please select if you would like to take advantage of this when entering. As parking is extremely limited at both Snettisham and Cley, we would encourage entrants to use the bus or look to car share with other entrants. We will not be providing transport back to the start after the finish and entrants are responsible for their own onward travel and safety at the end of the race.
WILL YOU BE PROVIDING A RACE T-SHIRT TO ALL ENTRANTS?
We have taken the decision to not provide a race t-shirt to all our entrants for environmental reasons. Some people love them, others hate them but one thing is for sure, a large number end up in landfill and with the average technical t-shirt having the same amount of plastic in it as five plastic bottles, this is something we are keen to avoid. For those that would like to have a t-shirt, we are looking into the options and will make these available in the coming months for an additional fee. This ensures that those who don’t want them don’t have to pay for them. It also allows us to look into providing a more premium product if possible. We will share more news on this as we have it.
ARE GPS DEVICES ALLOWED AND WILL YOU PROVIDE A GPX FILE OF THE ROUTE?
Yes and yes! As soon as we have finished identifying and securing the checkpoint locations along the route, we will update the GPS track and publish this on the website and through ViewRanger for all to access.
IS THE COURSE MARKED OR IS IT A SELF-NAVIGATING EVENT?
Both Darkside events are self-navigation events along a designated national trail. This means that aside from some markings we may add around the checkpoints, you will be required to navigate yourself using map, compass and the existing signposts and acorn markers positioned along the route. While the signs are fairly well placed, familiarity with navigating in the dark using a map and compass is essential.
SHOES SUITABLE FOR OFF-ROAD RUNNING
EMERGENCY SPARE CLOTHING
SPARE WARM/INSULATED UPPER LAYER
WARM HAT OR BUFF
GLOVES OR MITTS
HEAD TORCH AND SPARE BATTERIES
SPARE HEAD TORCH
WATER BOTTLES OR BLADDER
EMERGENCY SURVIVAL BAG
PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
SPOON OR SPORK
CASH AND BANK CARD
For those taking part in the Full Sunrise, you can have a drop bag taken to the half way checkpoint at Cley. This should be brought to the race start at Snettisham and should be no larger than 20 litres (think a small walking rucksack). This will be taken to the finish for you after you have left Cley.
All drop bags must be collected at the finish and will not be sent on by the race organisers. Any uncollected bags will be sorted and donated to charity, where applicable.
There are no drop bags for the Half Sunrise.
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