Relay Across Scot­land Tips From The Ultra X Elites

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!)

3 April 2020

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Read­ing Time: 4 minutes

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.”

Ultra X Vehicle in John Muir Way Relay Across Scotland with Tribe

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!)

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