It is here! The inaug­ur­al Ultra X Sri Lanka kicks off in a little over two weeks! This will be more than a race, but an exper­i­ence, an escape and a chal­lenge dif­fer­ent from any oth­er. The 250 km multistage race across 5 days will be begin­ning at 0800 (GMT +530) on Monday the 15th April and you can receive daily updates by sub­scrib­ing below:

Here we take a look at some of the ath­letes to watch in this year’s race:


Anna-Mar­ie Wat­son is no stranger to the multi-day scene, hav­ing won the Half MDS Fuer­teven­tura and in 2015 fin­ish­ing 2nd at the Mara­thon Des Sables Morocco. She’s also got a top ten UTMB fin­ish under her belt and a huge array of big wins on her CV includ­ing first lady in vari­ous Ultra Trail World Tour events. Her most recent achieve­ment was an unbe­liev­able 1st place in the inaug­ur­al UTMB Oman, where she fin­ished more than 40 minutes ahead of her closest rival. In 2018 she fin­ished 7th on the Ultra Trail World Tour Ladies Rank­ings.

Hav­ing had 4 months off from any big races she comes into Ultra X Sri Lanka fresh and focused. Undoubt­ably a ser­i­ous con­tender for first female, she will also chal­lenge for the over­all win. Hav­ing served tours over­seas with the Brit­ish army on mul­tiple occa­sions she is no stranger to push­ing her­self. Can any­one stop her?

Lucja Leonard has some ser­i­ous ultrar­unning ped­i­gree. In July 2016 she ran 500 kilo­metres in 5 days across the Neth­er­lands to raise money for the Pink Rib­bon Found­a­tion. Known for her scru­pu­lous event pre­par­a­tion she can­not be writ­ten off for a ser­i­ous per­form­ance in the jungle. Hav­ing raced in Oman and Hawaii in the last few months she is well set up for a strong and con­sist­ent race and will be dif­fi­cult to stop.



Salameh Al Aqrah is the undefeated reign­ing cham­pi­on and course record hold­er at Ultra X Jordan (pre­vi­ously the Wadi Rum Ultra). The former win­ner of the Mara­thon Des Sables is the undis­puted desert king so the only ques­tion will be wheth­er he can rep­lic­ate his form in the Sri Lankan jungle.


Sam Weir from the Gold Coast, Aus­tralia, is one of his country’s top ultrar­unners. The CLIF Bar athlete’s achieve­ments include win­ning the 450 kilo­metre Anzac Ultra and being the first per­son to cross Pap­ua New Guinea on foot. In 2015 he com­pleted the infam­ous Bad­wa­ter Ultra — known by some as the world’s toughest footrace and des­pite this being his first multi-stage race he has made it clear that he’s going for the win.


Mar­cus Smith recently ran 30 mara­thons in 30 days as part of Dubai’s 30*30 fit­ness chal­lenge des­pite only one year ago fight­ing for his life fol­low­ing a hor­rif­ic cyc­ling crash. An entre­pren­eur, motiv­a­tion­al speak­er, extreme ath­lete and ultra coach, he has been coach­ing many of the Dubai con­tin­gent for this race and will stand on the start line with a wealth of ultra exper­i­ence and a clear strategy. His motto is “No Weak­ness” and this man does not do things by half meas­ures, he will be push­ing all the way until cross­ing the fin­ish line.

Thomas Joly De Lot­bin­iere will be the com­plete unknown in Sri Lanka. This will be his first multi-day ultra. That said, he has some ser­i­ous endur­ance cre­den­tials includ­ing an Iron­man P.B. of 9 hours 16 and the course record at Rat Race’s The Wall ultramara­thon in the UK. He’s got a Half Mara­thon PB of 78 mins and crossed the fin­ish line at Manchester Mara­thon in 2:52 — this boy is fast! As an army officer we expect his approach to be metic­u­lous. Can he chal­lenge the great Salameh and announce him­self onto the world stage in Sri Lanka in a sim­il­ar way to Tom Evans back in 2016?

Max Will­cocks is sup­posedly com­ing to Sri Lanka to film but any­one who has been track­ing his train­ing of late might be sur­prised to hear that! No stranger to run­ning for long peri­ods of time, Max holds the a World Record for cov­er­ing 93 miles in 12 hours on a tread­mill. He comes into April hot off a half mara­thon PB so write him off at your per­il!

Left to right: Mar­cus, Thomas and Max.

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The 2020 edi­tion is con­firmed for the 21–29th March and we are expect­ing even more big names! Regis­tra­tions will open shortly after this years race. Sub­scribe below to find out as soon as regis­tra­tions go live.

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