Top 10 reasons why The Wall is the perfect first ultramarathon
If you've been eyeing up those events that go beyond 26.2 miles, wondering if you can take that step into this crazy world of ultrarunning - we're here to tell you that you absolutely can! And we have the perfect first event for you: The Wall.
Here's our top 10 reasons why The Wall makes the perfect first ultra for those looking to go the distance.
1. It is fully waymarked - when it's your first time tackling 100mk+ you don't want to spend the whole time checking your watch to make sure you didn't miss a turn! At The Wall we waymark the entire 70 miles with our bright orange arrows and all you have to do is keep following them.
2. It is fully supported- this means you can do it without a crew or without any supporters joining you on the day. We'll take your bags at the start and move them to the finish for you, we also transport a drop bag for you to our Hexham Pit Stop for any mid-event essentials you might need (a change of clothes and a toothbrush and toothpaste are popular items!) and then we'll take that to the finish for you too. We also have a free local shuttle service at the end running on a loop which will take you to city centre hotels or to Newcastle train station. During the event we also have an in person sweeper at the back and we have a fully sweeper vehicle logistic which will pick you up if you have to retire.
3. The legendary Pit Stops- if there's one thing we do exceptionally well it's snacks. Many #ratracers refer to this adventure as a walking picnic! Our Pit Stops are stocked full of real food to help fuel you along those 70 miles. We make a real effort to cater to all dietary requirements and we'll always have a wide range of vegan/veggie options alongside dairy free/gluten free snacks which are kept separate.
"The pit stops were amazingly well stocked and full of atmosphere. " Jennifer The Wall 2022
"Excellent route with wonderful pit stops (food and people)!" Jon The Wall 2022
4. You can walk the whole thing - stressing about how fast you're going, pushing yourself too hard to hit a cut off is not what we're about. We want to see you get to the finish and The Wall is designed to be completed at a 3mph pace allowing for time at Pit Stops and checkpoints. Our cut offs are generous and we will support you in every way we can on the day to keep you trekking! You can view the cut offs on The Wall event page under 'The Route'.
5. Our volunteers are the best - on the day the people at the Pit Stops and at the finishline are our amazing volunteers who donate their time to come and help cheer you on. They are friendly, encouraging and they can make a real difference to your day and lift your spirits, lots of them are fellow #ratracers who have been where you are or have experience on ultramarathons and the empathy and help they can offer is so valuable. You can volunteer at our other events too to earn credit to put towards your next adventure!
6. We employ Paramedics not first aid volunteers - we hope you won't need them but if you do we only use paid professional event medics to ensure you are in the very best hands. We also run a massage service at the finish for those who want to kickstart their recovery!
7. We don't care how fast you are - we recognise that some people want to push themselves and see how fast they can complete this epic adventure, we also understand that to some people that comparison is the thief of joy and being 'slower' than you thought you would be can be disheartening if you are in a race. That's why we do not bill The Wall (or any of our events!) as races, we're all about finish lines not finish times and we celebrate everyone's incredible achievement equally.
8. The #ratracer camaraderie - we know everyone says it but our customers really are a friendly bunch! When you're out there at 2am in the morning the bond you'll make with the #ratracer next to you is like no other! Our events are well known for being welcoming, inclusive environments and there is no reason to be daunted about coming along alone.
"Everyone at the events are super friendly. I ended up running and chatting with a bunch of people on the Ultra Tour of Arran that I'd just met. Now I've got at least 6 or 7 people that I'm looking out for at The Wall this year. I know loads of companies make claims about the friendliness of their communities but with Rat Race it really is the case."
9. The best finishline feeling ever - the Millennium Bridge on the River Tyne will be the most beautiful thing you've every clapped eyes on after 70 long miles, crossing this finishline is a feeling like no other and the run down the Quayside to get to it is always an emotional moment.
10. 90% completion rate- all of the above means this event gives you an absolutely stellar shot at making it to the end. Almost all of those who cross the start line will finish, it might not be pretty and it might not be fast but the unwavering support of everyone around you will see you achieve something amazing.
What did our 2022 #ratracers think?
"I’d really recommend The Wall, especially as a first ultra of this sort of distance. "
"An incredible day. A wonderful route, through spectacular country. Whatever discomfort felt is temporary, whilst the achievement is forever."
"My first Ultra. The run was brutal, but the support was great and everybody smiled. I really like my medal with a low carbon footprint."
""An Epic Event! Well catered, varied terrain, well supported!"
"A fabulous event super well organised impossible to get lost. The section over the wall is stunning Top feed stations and the best support crew. Definitely recommend it the sense of achievement at the end is unreal."
"Epic. Just beautiful route, amazing volunteers and so worth the pain!! This was a dream come true to see so much of Hadrian's Wall!! I found out just how tough I really am and enjoyed every minute!"
"Great event, first time I had ran over 20miles so hadn’t much to go off at the start line but learnt a lot throughout. The food options were amazing and the staff were superb."
"A superb very testing event both physically and mentally. Great scenery and route but even for an ultra a brutal but ultimately rewarding experience."
"Excellent route with wonderful pit stops (food and people)!"
"A fantastic experience, from friendly ratrace staff and volunteers to the easy to follow way signs. I will definitely do another ratrace event."
"Once there the race was exceptionally well organised. The pit stops were amazingly well stocked and full of atmosphere. The volunteers were superb, thank you. It was an incredible feeling running over the bridge to the finish line. I have never been happier during a race. Thank you."
Stats for The Wall
Distance: 70 miles
Terrain: Road with some trail
Adventure established: 2012
Completion rate: 90%
Completion pace: 3mph
Number of Pit Stops: 5
Time to complete: 26 hours
Number of participants: 800
Average age of participants: 45