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Scottish island hosts new Ultra Tour of Arran

Written by Fiona

May 07 2018

The Isle of Arran, off Scotland’s west coast, provided the perfect outdoors playground for a new ultra race. The Ultra Tour of Arran, which was organised by the UK’s favourite adventure challenge event organiser Rat Race Adventure Sports, offered 240 adventure fans a two-day fully supported and waymarked race extending to 100km of off-road running.

The event took place to great acclaim in April and now looks set to become an annual fixture. Enter next year’s race on April 13 and 14. The earlier you book your place the cheaper it is.

Read about three different people who took part in the inaugural Ultra Tour of Arran 2018.

Why the Isle of Arran?

Known as Scotland in miniature thanks to the island’s combination of both lowlands and Highlands landscapes, Rat Race knew that the Island of Arran would be the ideal place for their new ultra event.

With high mountains, glens, forests and a stunning coastline, there were plenty of places to explore on foot and the event took full advantage of the variety of scenery.

A fabulous variety of terrain. Pic credit Leo Francis.

Jim Mee, MD of Rat Race Adventure Sports, said: “At Rat Race we do events differently, which makes them all the more appealing. And for The Ultra Tour of Arran, we loved the notion of setting sail to a stunning location, where the myths, legends and island folklore fused with the rugged terrain make runners feel that they are a million miles away, yet it is a mere 55 minutes from the mainland.

“Everyone loves Arran and it’s not just a great place for running but there is also lots more to offer including a whisky distillery, brewery, craft gin, artisan cheese, aromatics, quality local food and drink and that very special west coast hospitality.

“The Island’s attractions provide a magnificent long weekend for the family and friends of competitors, too.”

What is the Ultra Tour of Arran?

  • Two days.
  • Total distance: Around 100km.
  • Total vertical gain: 3254m.
  • Supported.
  • Waymarked.
  • Scheduled pit stops for a quick rest and a refuel.
  • Base camp for the weekend at Brodick, the main town on Arran.

In addition, the event offers a friendly atmosphere, food and drink, great amenities, hospitable staff and Saturday night entertainment. A complimentary shuttle service from the ferry, together with camping, fully serviced glamping and limited paid parking options are also available.

Day one UTA: 45km

Characterised by quiet paths, forest trails, boardwalk sections, tarmac sections through villages and a lot of forest dirt roads.

Day two UTA: 55km

Almost all off-road with some serious mountain sections and rough underfoot.


Athletes raved about the UTA course. Pic credit Leo Francis.

Who is this race for?

The UTA is suited to a range of athletes – and it is considered to be an achievable step up from a marathon into ultra-running territory, for both solos and pairs.

If you are new to ultras, it is important that you have trained for the event.

Read about three different people who took part in the inaugural Ultra Tour of Arran.

Race for charity

Rat Race partnered with Children With Cancer UK, the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer.

Rat Racers have raised more than £1million across all Rat Race events since the campaign began in 2015.

Rat Race pledges to return the entry fee to any runners who take part in the Ultra Tour of Arran 2018 and raise £750 through Virgin Money Giving for Children with Cancer UK before race day.

More information: Ultra Tour of Arran

Also read: Three different people who took part in the inaugural Ultra Tour of Arran.

Sign up for the race in 2019 on April 13 and 14 next year. The earlier you book your place the cheaper it is.

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