Ultra Dreams: The Cotswold 100 Challenge


While I’ve been trying to decide what I want to do – running wise – in 2014, this particular challenge has caught my eye. I’m not an ultra-runner and am quite attached to my toenails (no pun intended), but I do love a good challenge, nice scenery, adventure, and running for a really long time.

My thoughts so far:

1)      I just love the idea of this – spending each day running through beautiful countrysides towards a campsite where comrades, ice-baths, massages and pasta-feasts await. Awesome!

2)      I’ve never ran that far before in my life, but that’s okay. As always, a big part of the challenge will be the training. It could be a fantastic and relatively gentle introduction to running really long distances, as it’s run over four days and it’s not a race. It’s essentially the equivalent of running a trail marathon each day for four consecutive days.

3)      I’ve hiked the West-Highland Way (which is a similar distance) over seven days a few years ago. That was perfectly doable without any training, which makes me think that reducing this to four days by running most of it will be quite possible with some dedicated training.

4)      I’m pretty sure I’d take this challenge as easy as possible (as far as running 100 miles can ever made easy!). I’d aim to run a half-marathon in the morning, stop somewhere and sit down for a proper lunch, walk while I’m digesting said lunch, then jog the last part, before enjoying the ice, massage and pasta-feast. I’d also be quite likely to stop for such important things as buying ice-cream and admiration of the scenery.

5)      I’d love to team up with someone for this. I think it would be even more fun to run at the side of a partner in crime/madness.

What do you think? Am I missing something obvious, or should I take the plunge and hover over training plans and the sign-up button?

24 thoughts on “Ultra Dreams: The Cotswold 100 Challenge

  1. This sounds fantastic. What a wonderful way to explore the countryside. 2014 is crowded with commitments, but I would seriously consider scheduling this for 2015. Should you decide to go this year, you can offer advise.

  2. TartanJogger says:

    I never thought about equating something like this to the West Highland Way: it’s a good way of framing it.

    • I think it’s about the same length – I’m not sure about elevation, but both are obviously rather hilly, so I think they are probably “roughly” the same challenge. I just love the progressive change of scenery on the WHW – starting in an outskirt town and getting wilder and wilder with each day.

  3. Trails and Ultras says:

    I was all up for doing it then until I realised it clashes with another race I’m trying to do. Dammit! 😦

    • Awwww! I think you should come and run 100m and eat pasta and have ice baths with me instead… (ok, that sounds creepy). What if I say that I’ll buy all the ice-cream along the way? Go on, you know you want to… 😉

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        It does sound cool! Hmm. But I’m pretty commited to the other event. Did you know you can run the Cotswold 100 as a single stage event in the autumn? Perhaps something to consider? 🙂

      • I’ve never ran an ultramarathon before, so I don’t think it would be wise to start with a 100miler… 😉 That’s part of the reason why I think a stage run would be a fantastic start for me.

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        Aw ok 🙂 i’ve always been tempted to do a multi day event…in my mind I think it would be like a running holiday!

      • Yes, I totally agree – I’d love to do a multi-day run. Do you know of any others in the UK? That’s the first one I’ve come across…

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        Yeah there’s a few… The Votwo ones are pretty good. If you check out ultramarathonrunning.com it gives links to loads of races in the UK. It will tell you the total distance and if they are multi day or not and give the link to each site. I’m always browsing to see what’s happening!

      • Oh, awesome – thanks a bunch! The Votwo ones look really good too. I’m seriously starting to think that I should try and tackle one of these next year. I still think that the tents/massages/pasta feasts of the Cotswold Way Challenge sound super tempting! 😉

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        Oh yeah I’d like to do it. The race that clashes is a single stage 100 miler that will give me qualifying points toward the UTMB (my dream event!) but if I can’t do it I may sign up for the Cotswold multi day instead… Running and binge eating every night is a dream trip 🙂

      • Would be awesome to see you there! But I totally understand your fascination with the UTMB – whenever it’s on, I can’t help but follow it very closely.

  4. Your approach sounds like exactly what I’d want to do- run for a few hours, enjoy lunch and a stroll, run for a few hours, pasta party!

    I’d be seriously tempted to join you but I won’t know my rota for August until probably July, so couldn’t guarantee not having to work D:

    If you’re looking for multi-stage events, come do the Jurassic Coast in March! It’s *only* three marathons in a row, so perfect warm-up for the Cotswold Challenge..?

    • Perhaps you can join in after all, even at short notice! I did see the Jurassic Coast Stage Race in March, and won’t say that I’m not tempted – however, I have both a half-marathon and a marathon lined up in March already (Inverness and Rome), so I don’t think it would be wise to try and fit my first Ultra-Stage-Race into the same month… =(

  5. There is running, and then there is…………running!!! This seems like an amazing challenge. Good luck and keep us all posted

    • Thank you, I will! I’m pretty sure I’ll go for it, it sounds like far too much fun to miss! 😉

      • ZAdamsGR says:

        I’m seriously considering this, too, even though I’ve not run a marathon yet. OK, I’ve not run a HALF marathon yet. But I will have done by then 🙂 Maybe I’ll see you there!

      • Oooh that would be fantastic! I’ll gladly run/hike/stumble/stagger/crawl the 100+ miles with you (it will be fun!) 😉

      • ZAdamsGR says:

        Are you on runnersforum? If so, add me as a friend there (same user name) and we can convince each other we’re not completely mad! A couple of my friends might be up for it, too 🙂

      • I’m pretty sure we are all completely mad, though! However, that shouldn’t stop us from doing wicked stuff and having a good laugh in the process. I’m not on runnersforum I’m afraid (they don’t tend to get a lot of participation from Scotland), but you could always e-mail me (june009@yahoo.com) if you like!

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