Written By Harry Sampson
Harry is one of the work placement students here at Ultra X. He is a Sport Science, Coaching and Physical Education student at Loughborough and loves all things sport, recently trail running and triathlon. He is slowly enjoying the outdoors and loves being at our events!
Best ultramarathons for beginners in 2023
An ultramarathon of any distance is a fantastic achievement. However, it can understandably be daunting for a beginner to find their first ultra running race/event that seems both exciting and manageable.
There’s a huge variety of ultramarathon events out there, not only in terms of distance but also elevation, terrain, and temperature.
Ultra X have events ranging from 25km to 220km and all of these have their quirks which make them so special. Understandably a 220km event can seem unachievable but rest assured, many of our competitors have never done anything like it before but soon realise we are capable of so much more than we initially think!
International Events (Beginner Level)
International events can be very motivating to work towards because the idea of travelling to an event in awe-inspiring parts of the world, in a location you may never have experienced before really adds to the experience and can inspire you to prepare as well as you can for what’s ahead and make the absolute most of a first ultra marathon.
Ultra X Azores 110/50
A 2-day multistage Ultramarathon taking place on the Island of São Miguel, nicknamed “the Green Island”. This is a wild and remote archipelago, with mountain trails, green pastures, and breathtaking lagoons. This is the ultimate weekend ultra and a great opportunity to see a part of the world you may never travel to otherwise, and, what’s more, the value for money is second to none.
With a difficulty of 4/6 and Technicality of 4/5 and with the 110km having an elevation of 4,069m of elevation it is no easy feat. However, it is around 20ºC which is a comfortable temperature.
For a beginner, the 50km iteration which takes place on Sunday, provides a gentler introduction whilst still experiencing the beauty of the Azores. The 2-stage 110km is a great starting point for those looking to get into the multi-stage scene!
You can enter Ultra X 50 Azores race on our website today.
Where: Azores, Portugal
When: May 21st 2023
Elevation Gain: 1,561m
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Entry Price: Starting from £80
Taking place in Mora, Sweden this 45km trail races through a beautiful forest and is perfect for those who want to experience Vasaloppet at their own pace. Walk, jog or run, you have eleven hours to finish!
A fast, majority-flat forest road is an excellent option for a beginner looking to conquer the ultramarathon distance without much elevation and on soft ground which isn’t technical.
Blueberry soup and cinnamon buns at checkpoints are a bonus alongside the possibility of prize money with a nice average temperature of 15-22ºC surely make this one appealing!
Where: Mora, Sweden
When: August 19th, 2023
Elevation Gain: 580m
Difficulty Level: Beginners
Entry Price: £67
Innsbruck Alpine K42
The Austrian trail running festival is a large celebration of all things trail running!
There will be over 2,500 runners with a wide variety of race distances taking place. Creating a fantastic atmosphere and race village resulting in an unforgettable weekend experience.
As for the course, more descent than ascent makes this a unique event requiring a different skill set.
Where: Innsbruck, Austria
When: June 3rd, 2023
Difficulty Level: Novice
Entry Price: £64
UK Ultramarathons for 2023 (Beginner Level
The Sidley London Revolution Ultramarathon
This ultimate flat trail 50km in the UK offers an excellent 50km route for those who aren’t looking for hills with just 505m of elevation gain.
Apparently, it has one of the lowest total ascent of any 50km trail Ultramarathon in the UK, starting along the river before heading into woodland before joining the gravelly Thames Path.
Where: Chilterns, London
When: Early October 2023
Elevation Gain: 505m
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Entry Price: Starting at £60
Run to the Sea Bournemouth
Another relatively flat course with just 692m of vert offers a flat, scenic fully signed point-to-point course with generous cut-off times and a variety of terrain, including wonderful forest trails and coastal paths
321 Runners completed this event in 2022 with only 6 DNFs!
When: October 14th, 2023
Elevation Gain: 610m
Entry Price: Starting at £60
Spring Trail Series
A fantastic entry-level beginner ultramarathon with a route that takes you through stunning woodland, greensand hills and lowland heath which are home to a wild range of rare species.
With 3 distance options of 25km, 50km and 75km, there are various challenges to take on.
Although not an ultramarathon the 25km is still a great introduction to distance running on the trails and could be a fantastic opportunity to practice race nutrition and kit before participating in an ultra.
Where: Haslemere, Surrey
When: April 15th, 2023
Distance: 25km, 50km, 75km
Elevation Gain: 878m, 1797m, 2535m
Difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate
Entry Price: Starting at £50, £72, £90
So, what are you waiting for? Take that step and dive into the world of ultrarunning you won’t regret it!
If you are interested in the UK Ultramarathons take a look at our blog here.
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Europe offers some of the most beautiful and hardest ultra marathons. We give our line-up of the best ultra marathons in Europe, spanning Madeira, Greece, Italy, UK and beyond.
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The full race report from the Summer Trail Series by ASICS 2023.