Best Ultra Marathons 2022 | UTMB | Spartathlon | Ultra X

Lewis Mason

Written By Lewis Mason

Lewis is currently studying English and Sport Science at Loughborough University and spending his placement year working with Ultra X. 

Having played representative rugby and cricket Lewis is now looking to test himself on the trails. 

18 February 2022

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Ultra X’s Top Picks
As we move into 2022 not only do we look back and reflect on 2021, but also look forward to what’s going to be taking place in the coming year. This is the exact reason why at Ultra X, we want to make you aware of what we believe are going to be some of the best ultramarathons in 2022. 

We have done our research and picked out a wide variety of ultramarathons from all over the globe. These are definitely the races that will let your imagination run wild and to compete in these events would be a dream come true for any ultramarathon runner. 

Make sure you get your calendars at the ready and think about which of these races you would most want to lock in for your 2022 race calendar. 

Canadian Death Race

Ultra X Jordan

agsdi-location

Wadi Rum

agsdi-calendar-check

1-8th October 2022

agsdi-flag-2

250km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

2,522m

agsdi-image

 Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

 From £895

Ultra X Jordan is a magical race that takes part in Jordan’s vast and stunning Wadi Rum Desert. Spanning 250km across five days, this multi stage ultramarathon takes competitors through endless dunes, giant valleys and towering rock formations. 

The race’s desert climate forces the ultra runners to contend with another challenge other than the distance, as the sun and heat push them to their limits. Despite the race’s difficulty, the beauty of the course is by no means compromised. Given the nickname ‘The Valley of the Moon’, competitors will remain mesmerised by the desert’s landscapes during each stage of the 250km course. 

Since the race’s induction runners have continued to flock to Wadi Rum, as they looked to test the limits of both their body and mind’s. Every year this race has continued to grow in popularity, so there is no reason to believe that the 2022 edition of the event won’t be the biggest and best Ultra X Jordan yet. 

So why not join us in Jordan for the 6th installment of this annual event. Taking place in September 2022 you definitely want to set some time aside in your calendar for this one. 

Grand Union Canal Race

Western States Ultra

agsdi-location

California

agsdi-calendar-check

25-26th June 2022

agsdi-flag-2

 100 mile

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

5,500m

agsdi-image

 Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

$410

Known for being the oldest 100 mile trail race in the world, this annual event takes place in California. Being one of the most renowned races around the world since its inception in 1974, this race would be an extremely tough one to leave off for ultramarathon running.

Beginning at the site of the 1960 winter Olympic game, the ‘Olympic Valley’, this race stretches 100.2 miles all the way to the town of Auburn, a town known for its significance during the Gold rush. 

 With a staggering elevation of more than 18,000 feet and a descent of 23,000 feet it would be reasonable to assume that this course had a generous cutoff…Wrong. Known as one of the hardest races in the world, competitors must complete the course in under 30 hours in order to earn the Western States 100 finishers medal. 

In order to gain a place in this race you must enter a lottery, but only after earning it in one of the Western States qualifying races. Although hard to secure a place at the start line on an always star studded field, if you are able to qualify and apply to this ultramarathon, it’s definitely going to be worth it. 

Hurt 100

Spartathlon

agsdi-location

Athens

agsdi-calendar-check

30th September 2022

agsdi-flag-2

246km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

2,600m

agsdi-image

Road

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

 Brutal

agsdi-dollar

€600

Renowned not only for the incredible historical significance in the world of marathon racing, but also the brutality of the giant 246km continuous course means that this race is one of the most unique races in the world of ultramarathons. Founded in 1984 this race takes place annually during the month of September and follows the path of Pheidippides. 

In 490BC Pheidippides is said to have run from Athens to Sparta in order to ask for support to combat the incoming Persian invasion. It is reported he reached Sparta the next day after leaving Athens, which is the reason race organisers have implemented the staggering cut off of only 36 hours. 

 To support these ultra runners across their 246km (equivalent to 6 consecutive marathons) 36 hour behemoth of a challenge are 75 aid stations. To hinder them, around the 100mile mark runners must pass through the ‘Mountain section’ and climb Sangas with a summit of 1100m.

 All in all, there’s nothing an ultra-marathon runner can’t fall in love with about this extraordinary race. Whether it is the historical context that has potentially established how we see ultra-marathons today or the incomparable nature of this challenge, the Spartathlon can definitely be considered one of the best Ultra Marathons of the 2022 calendar.

Woman Running In Mountains

UTMB (Chamonix)

agsdi-location

Chamonix

agsdi-calendar-check

26th August 2022

agsdi-flag-2

100 mile

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

10,000+m

agsdi-image

 Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Brutal

agsdi-dollar

€280

Although the UTMB race at Chamonix is always a spectacle to behold, this year’s race holds special significance. The 2022 edition of the race is the first to be held since the announcement of the UTMB World Series races. Chamonix is the final of the UTMB World Series, where winners of the 50km, 100km and 100 mile distances will be announced. 

In order to qualify for these races, runners must collect a race stone from one of 30 UTMB events across the globe. These stones are used in order to enter a lottery, or direct access can be earned based on exceptional performance at previous events. 

At Ultra X we’re obviously most interested in the longest, most brutal 100 mile course with a staggering elevation of more than 10,000m. In order to complete this race competitors must complete the course with climbs such as Les Tseppes, Aiguille Verte and numerous others within the 46 hour cut off time. 

This race, with a capacity 2300 runners, is always filled with the biggest names in the ultra-running world, and with the newly announced UTMB world series this race is only going to grow in its notoriety. Although always an enormous spectacle, the 2022 edition is definitely going to be one that can’t be missed. 

Haliburton Forest Trail Race

Hardrock 100

agsdi-location

Colorado

agsdi-calendar-check

December 4th 2022

agsdi-flag-2

100.5 miles

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

3,350m

agsdi-image

Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

$435

This year the Hardrock 100 can once again brag that it hosts a stacked field, attracting some of the biggest and best names from all around the globe. This 100.5 mile track with around 10,000m of elevation, takes place in Southern Colorado’s phenomenal San Juan range. 

Starting and finishing in Silverton, this looped course changes in direction year on year, with the 2022 event taking place in the clockwise direction. This race is nearly completely on trails, as it takes ultra runners across dirt trails, cross country paths and 4 wheel drive roads, avoiding as much running on tarmac as possible. Runners are given a maximum of 48hours to complete the race, which although seemingly generous the rocky, mountainous terrain and level of elevation makes it a challenge for the majority of ultra-runners. 

With an average elevation of nearly 11,000ft, race organisers warn that this race is not only about an athlete’s endurance, but also their mountaineering, wilderness survival and navigation skills. Despite this warning the course is fully marked, however the rugged terrain and external factors like weather and wildlife can make this problematic. 

The Hardrock 100 is also unique as it doesn’t have a traditional finishing. As an alternative, runners mark the end of their race by ‘kissing the ram’s head’. Although maybe not the most covid friendly way to finish a race, this quirky addition, along with the rugged and stunning trails, means this race is going to be one of the best races in the 2022 calendar. 

The Jungle Ultra in Peru

Ultra Trail Australia

agsdi-location

Katoomba

agsdi-calendar-check

12-15 May 2022

agsdi-flag-2

100km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

4,460m

agsdi-image

 Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

$465 (AUD)

Founded in 2008, this 100km course with 4460m of elevation take runners from the heart of the heart of Katoomba and through masses of beautiful and quintessentially Australian forest and bushland. Runners have 28 hours to complete the course, which has now become one of the races of the UTMB World Series, where runners earn 6 stones for completing the race. 

This race takes runners through the world heritage site of the Blue Mountains, renowned for it natural beauty and vast landscapes. Some of the most notable landmarks on the course are the Ironpot Ridge, Leura Forest, Wentworth Falls and Kedumba pass each of which are as equally stunning and beguiling as the last. However, none of these landmarks can match the Fuber steps in difficulty, which UTA claims are the most famous steps in the world of trail running. Found at the 99km mark runners must climb 951 steps to reach the finish line.  

The medals earned by runners are dependent upon the time they take to complete the course. The differing medals are for winners (Gold), under 14hours (Silver), 14-20 hours (Bronze), a medal after 20hrs and a special award for finisher over 70 years old. 

One of the biggest races on the continent, UTA not only draws runners from all over Australia but is also on the list from runners across the whole world. We think this is definitely one of the best races of 2022 which leads us to ask, who wouldn’t want to run this extraordinary race? 

Haliburton Forest Trail Race

Tarawera Ultra Marathon

agsdi-location

Tarawera

agsdi-calendar-check

12 February 2022

agsdi-flag-2

100 mile

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

5,470m

agsdi-image

Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

$885 (NZD)

This is a special mention as sadly the event has had to be cancelled for the second consecutive year. 

The Tarawera Ultra Marathon is widely considered one of the most scenic 100 mile races in the world. Beginning at the Mauri arts and crafts institute in Rotorua, this race not only challenges runners to their limits but exposes them to some of the most stunning views and features of the region. 

With an elevation of 5470m, runners must complete the course within 36 hours in order to earn their pendant which is carved from New Zealand jade stone. Before they reach the finish line at the tranquil Lakefront reserve in Rotorua, runners follow the stunning course, which over half is made up of forest trails filled with towering Redwoods. 

This is yet another stunning race which has become part of the UTMB world series. Whether runners use the race to earn stones towards Chamonix, or are completing the race as a single event, the sheer beauty of the course will be enough for any trail runner. The course meanders along the shores of 8 lakes, through the Tarawera forest and along the Tarawera falls track. 

This race is full of mesmerising beauty and the course manages to encapsulate many features of New Zealand’s breath taking landscapes. Whilst Covid means that it won’t happen this year, this race would easily made it onto the list of our best races for 2022.  

The Jungle Ultra in Peru

Comrades Ultra Marathon

agsdi-location

Durban

agsdi-calendar-check

28th August 2022

agsdi-flag-2

89km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

2,000m

agsdi-image

Road

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

$25

Although last years centennial race was limited to just a 2.2km tribute run with only 34 runners, the 2022 edition of Comrades is definitely going to be massive. Comrades is the largest and oldest ultra marathon in the world, where the 89km course stretching between Durban and Pietermaritzburg has on occasion attracted as many as 23,000 competitors. 

Each year the course changes in direction and the 2022 edition will be the ‘Down Run’. Running in this direction means that although there is an elevation of around 2000m there is in fact a negative net elevation. Race temperatures average between 10-15 degrees Celsius which many would consider optimal running temperatures, meaning that once runners qualify, the 12 hour cut off is relatively achievable. 

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Five Big Hills’, this race is full of history and significant landmarks, such as Botha’s hill where the race’s winner is often decided. Another key point on the course is Arthur’s seat, a specific rock named after the 5 time winner of the race who used to sit there in order to rest on his way around the course.  

Due to the popularity and historical significance of this race, any year attracts masses of attention. However, due to the cancellation of the 2021 event this race is definitely going to be welcomed back by the ultra-running community and will be watched with much anticipation.

Haliburton Forest Trail Race

Ultra Trail Snowdonia

agsdi-location

Snowdonia

agsdi-calendar-check

1-3rd July 2022

agsdi-flag-2

165km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

10,200m

agsdi-image

Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Difficult

agsdi-dollar

£179

Since its induction in 2017, Ultra Trail Snowdonia has become one of the most infamous races across the UK and offers 3 distances, the 50km, the 100km and the 165km. UTS adopts the strapline ‘beautiful beyond belief, savage beyond reason’ which, with over 10,200m of elevation for the 165km course, is definitely the case. 

This race takes ultra runners around the majority of the most glorious and renowned peaks from all across the national park, including the brutal and challenging Crib Goch. Although the race has a seemingly generous cutoff time of 50 hours, the elevation and difficulty of the race makes it too much of a mental and physical challenge for many of the competitors. 

Starting and finishing in Llanberis, this race is yet another opportunity for runners to earn their way to the start line in Chamonix. As one of the most popular UK races in one of its most beautiful national parks, this race is truly ‘beautiful beyond belief, savage beyond reason’.

The Jungle Ultra in Peru

The Ultra X World Champs

agsdi-location

Western Slovenia

agsdi-calendar-check

4-12 June 2022

agsdi-flag-2

250km

agsdi-arrow-up-circle

10,189m

agsdi-image

Trail

agsdi-adjust-circle-horiz

Brutal

agsdi-dollar

£1,300

This year Ultra X will host the first ever multistage ultramarathon World Championships in western Slovenia. Stretching 250km across 5 days and with an elevation of more than 10,000m, this inaugural event isn’t only going to be one of the biggest events in the Ultra X calendar, but across the ultra-marathon world. 

This rarely explored course is nestled between the towering Julian Alps and climaxes at the Adriatic coast, where the King and Queen of the multistage marathon will be crowned. Not only is this course brutal and intended to test some of the best runners across the globe, it also hold unparalleled beauty. Along the way, runners will encounter mesmeric green waters, vine laden landscapes and breath taking mountain views as they follow the stunning rocky trails.  

Ultra runners can only participate in this exclusive event through invitation or previous exceptional performance at any Ultra X multi-stage event. Exceptional performance is classed as finishing in the top 3 runners in your aged and gendered category. Invitations are also extended to the best Ultra marathon runners across the globe, meaning that some of the world’s most renowned runners will be under our famous blue arch in June 2022. 

If you wish to take part in this race alongside the world’s best runners then there’s still plenty of opportunity. Ultra X Scotland, Ultra X Sri Lanka and Ultra X Azores are still allow you to earn qualification

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…

Ultra X