Written By Sam Heward
Sam is one of the Ultra X Co-Founders. If he’s not actually out running, chances are he’s busy writing about it (or plotting Ultra X strategy!)
Last month, the Ultra X Elite headed up to Scotland to take on the John Muir Way. Our goal? To set a target time for TRIBE Relay Across Scotland by Ultra X teams to try and beat this summer solstice (19–20th June 2020).
To achieve this, we assembled the quickest and baddest members of the Ultra X community. The Elite teams were compiled of past and future competitors, physios, medics, and volunteers. You can find out about how they got on here.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be showing the story on Vimeo LIVE for all those that register here. Get your popcorn ready! For now, have a read of the below, our top tips from the team having been there and done it!
Top tips for TRIBE Relay Across Scotland by Ultra X
Virtual Recce: Electronically recce your legs. Download the GPX file, set maps to satellite and get a feel for the terrain, landmarks and direction of travel. It really does help (and that’s coming from a guy who is known for getting lost on a marked course…)
Stay loose: If you are in an 8 person team, there can be a 12 hour+ gap between each of your runs. As such, keep your legs loose and plan a time/place to eat a meal and get some sleep.
Pack smart: Bring multiple pairs of socks so you have a fresh pair for each leg or at least every two legs (if you’re in an Ultra Team). Hey, why not just bring a full new set for each leg. Scottish weather can be unpredictable and you’ve got a whole car! Did somebody say Dryrobe? A sleeping bag is a good idea whether you sleep or not, just sitting in it in the car is a game changer if it gets cold. Take gels/nutrition for the longer legs and some serious snacks for in between (there is no such thing as too much).
Stay visible: On the night legs it is compulsory to wear reflective gear in addition to your head torch. As good a value as the service station high vis may well be, you will want to consider that you might be running 24 km in this! Go for comfort!
Go all out: One from Ultra Dave, the man who, despite podiuming at Ultra X Jordan in 2018, has never worn a running watch until this trip. His advice is to go all out in your first leg. Is this good advice? We are not sure… guess there is only one way to find out though!
Pit stops: The South Queensferry McDonalds around the halfway point is a must. The service in the early hours is second to none. Along the course you will also pass through Edenmill Farm Shop where there will be a Barbeque awaiting, the award winning Bostock Bakery (Jess would recommend the Almond Latte) and Archerfield Walled Garden, one of our event partners who’s cafe will be open specially for a Saturday morning bacon buttie as you near the finish line.
A word from the captains
Chris Taylor (Head of Operations at Ultra X): “Choose your team wisely. Hold trials if necessary. Test both their physical and mental strength making any commitments. The strength of the wolf is the pack.”
Sam Heward (Co-Founder of Ultra X): “Bring more than you think you will need, go harder than you think you can and don’t underestimate drive times. Oh and have a rival in the other team… motivation is good.”
Can you beat the elite?!
Now here’s the fun part. If the winning Regular and Ultra teams beat the Ultra X Elite course record times above in June, we will donate their entire entry fees to the TRIBE Freedom Foundation AND take all team members for a FREE training weekend in the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains with our partners, Athelysium.
NOTE — The Ultra X Elite teams were mixed crews, with an even number of men and women. To be in with a chance, your team must also be mixed (at least 3 men and women for a Regular team and at least 1 man and woman for an Ultra team).
If more than one team beats the above times (unlikely ?), then the prize will go to the fastest team in each category — i.e. only one Regular and one Ultra team can win. Good luck! (Remember, to be in with a shout you will have to register. Be quick, there are only a few places remaining!)
You may also like…
What exactly is an ultramarathon, what are the different categories, and what does it take to train for one?
Veganism and ultra running have both never been so popular. Which elite ultra runners follow a plant-based diet?
Over the last few years, ultra endurance races have been crowning female champions with increasing frequency. Are women faster than men?