ARE YOU READY FOR THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME? LANDS END TO JOHN O'GROATS BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT.
This is the holy grail of UK adventures and tackling this epic journey is a major physical and logistical undertaking. The entire distance is still fairly seldom attempted on foot in one sitting – and rightly therefore constitutes an enormous lifetime achievement for any runner or walker. We’ve put together a fully supported, truly stunning 1000 mile, 70, 000 ft elevation adventure that spans the entire length of this great nation on a bespoke route designed to take in the most beautiful trails in the UK along the way.
SIGN UP NOW FOR ONLY*
*price per month, depending on departure day when you sign up in March, click here for more info on pricing
2 JUNE – 8 JULY / 2023
31 MAY - 6 JULY / 2024
30 MAY - 5 JULY / 2025
28 MAY - 3 JULY / 2027
1000+ MILES (1609 KM) ON FOOT
CORNWALL - JOHN O'GROATS, UK
37 DAYS /
DIFFICULTY RATING: CAN I DO THIS?
This pinnacle running challenge requires commitment. You should be an experienced multi-day endurance runner.
RUN MAJOR SECTIONS OF BRITAIN’S MOST FAMOUS LONG-DISTANCE PATHS INCLUDING THE SOUTH WEST COAST PATH, WYE VALLEY WALK, OFFA’S DYKE, CLYDE WALKWAY, THE ENTIRETY OF THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY AND THE GREAT GLEN WAY.
LARGELY OFF-ROAD ROUTE, AVOIDING MAIN ROADS AND DESIGNED BY RUNNERS FOR RUNNERS. SEE SOME OF BRITAIN’S MOST FAMOUS LANDMARKS EN ROUTE AND EXPERIENCE THE FULL BREADTH OF BRITISH HOSPITALITY.
CROSS 3 COUNTRIES, WITNESS THE EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPE ACROSS 1000 MILES (AND HEAR COUNTLESS LOCAL ACCENTS ALONG THE WAY!)
36 nights accommodation (hotel, B&B, hostel)
All meals included as standard, at hotels and in camp, cooked up by our expert catering crew
Transfers from Penzance to the start and from John O Groats to Inverness.
Flexible transfer policy up to 12 weeks before your departure.
GUIDES AND SUPPORT
Professional support vehicles, safety staff, medical and welfare PLUS rest day massage and physio support.
Professional local and UK safety staff, medics, drivers, route safety staff and Rat Race experts on hand throughout. Audited and accredited to BS8848 expedition safety standard.
All winter equipment provided, skis, snowshoes and fatbikes.
High quality and unique medal, rat rag, premium t-shirt for all participants PLUS free entry into Rat Race The Wall
RAISE £10000 AND GET UP TO £5000 REFUNDED
SET UP YOUR JUST GIVING PAGE HERE OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR CHARITY PARTNERSHIP HERE
Our route has been put together with painstaking precision, encompassing a real ‘runners line,’ largely avoiding busy roads and packing in huge chunks of off-road terrain. It is a swashbuckling tour-de-force through 4000 years of British History and landmarks, taking you on a journey through the very soul of this storied Isle.
We have also managed to weave together several of the UK’s most famous and enjoyable long-distance paths, including major sections on the South West Coast Path, Wye Valley Way, Offa’s Dyke, Clyde Walkway, the Great Glen Way and all 95 glorious miles of the West Highland Way. The entire distance is still fairly seldom attempted on foot in one sitting – and rightly therefore constitutes an enormous lifetime achievement for any runner or walker.
You will need everything you have in the tank and more to get the job done here, both physically and mentally. There are no short-cuts: It is 1000 miles on foot, over 5 weeks and across hill, mountain, moor and valley. There will be no winners: It is all about completion. This is and always has been the Rat Race way. As such, we will be with you from the minute you sign-up to get you to the start line and beyond. Our package not only features the best event support in the business, but that support commences from the day you sign up as we look to include major training support to ensure you stand the very best possible chance of getting the job done.
Ultimately this will be a journey into yourself as much as across Britain; The Holy Grail of your running goals.
PRE-EVENT: ADMIN DAY
FRIDAY 2ND JUNE 2023
Meet at Penzance for kit check and briefing.
DAY 1 - 7: LANDS END TO BRISTOL
The first week of running sees us taking in a huge chunk of the epic South West Cast path on a route that takes us through Padstow, St Ives, Bude and Bideford, plus a decent stint in Exmoor National Park. This is a big week running with a huge amount of elevation. The perfect warm up for the rest of your journey through the British Isles. We conclude our week in Bristol for our first rest day where you can have friends/family meet you.
REST DAY IN BRISTOL
DAY 9 - 14: BRISTOL TO PRESTON
The second week sees us briefly cross the border into Wales as we make our way up the country via Offas Dyke to Monmouth, Haye on Wye and Bishops Castle. Towards the end of the week we head out of the wilderness and into Preston for a well earned rest day.
REST DAY IN PRESTON
DAY 16 - 21: PRESTON TO ABINGTON
The third week takes in a little more road running as we pass through Lancaster, Burnside and Bampton Castle en route towards Carlisle. This week we cross the border into Scotland, and no doubt will celebrate with a wee dram before our rest day in Abington.
REST DAY IN ABINGTON
DAY 23 - 28: ABINGTON - FORT AUGUSTUS
The fourth week sees us scale Scotland via some of the most beautiful and famous terrain the UK has to offer. We make our way north through Glasgow and on the West Highland Way to Fort William, then towards Fort Augustus on the Great Glen Way.
REST DAY IN FORT AUGUSTUS
DAY 30 - 35: FORT AUGUSTUS - JOHN O'GROATS
The final week is an incredible few days of running taking in the entire West Highland Way via Contin and Bonar Bridge. Expect huge vistas, lochs, bogs and legendary Scottish hospitality as we make our way to the highlands and your journeys end at the iconic John O’Groats.
NB: Detailed work has been done on this route prior to launch. However all distances and elevations are approximate and will remain subject to change at the discretion of the organisers or subject to local factors concerning route choice and suitability. Once you have signed up to Run Britannia you will be able to join our Facebook group and meet other participants, you will also then receive detailed route information including planned daily mileage.
Depending on where we are in the country, we will use varying styles of accommodation – and we believe the variety of which will in fact be one of the real draws of our event. In all cases it will be good quality, clean and comfortable. You will need a decent night’s kip after each of our daily stages so we won’t be taking chances on the accommodation. In general, we will choose hotels, B and B or bunkhouse-style digs and often these will be in really great locations. Your accommodation is fully inclusive throughout the challenge.
Significant others and supporters: Owing to the fairly full-on logistical nature of this undertaking and the challenges on rooming, we regret we cannot provide supporters’ accommodation packages. We do however welcome supporters to make their own arrangements and we can provide the details of our accommodation providers much nearer the time if supporters wish to book beds in the same or proximate accommodation facilities.
Where possible, hotel and B and B accommodation is typically always offered on a double (if you are attending as a couple) or twin room basis. If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participant of the same sex in a twin room. In bunkhouse and other configurations, you should sometimes expect to share with more than 1 other – for example in small communal rooms of 4 participants. This will always be on a same sex basis. Owing to the varying nature of accommodation styles, we regret that there are no single supplements available on the trip as we simply cannot guarantee single room occupancy in all locations.
You will always get a hearty feed before the off. Each day our crew will prepare breakfast, or it will be provided in the accommodation we are using, in line with their standard offerings. As soon as you hit the trail, we will be standing by with our all-day Pit Stop service to keep you fuelled up throughout. See below for more info on Pit Stop provision.
We will always provide you with good, hearty and nutritious evening meals. This may be in a local pub or restaurant or it may be at our accommodation. In all cases, Rat Race will provide a minimum of a hearty main course. Where we eat at a restaurant, you will settle your own drinks bills and alcoholic drinks will always be excluded.
Rat Race is well known for its Pit Stops. Some organisers call these Checkpoints, but we think Pit Stop is more apt: It’s about you coming in, fuelling up and accessing our pit lane team to ensure you can go back out firing on all cylinders. Our support at these locations is legendary and in many respects will be the backbone of how we help you achieve this monumental challenge.
During the challenge you will have access to our Pit Stops multiple times throughout the day. These will have a minimum of the following food and drink available:
Pit stops will typically have a minimum of the following available:
Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Sports Food Bars – oat-type bars for maximum energy.
Hot drinks – we will ensure we have piping hot water supplies and even fresh coffee on offer at selected Pit Stops
Salty snacks – such as chips and peanuts.
Savoury treats – We will feature some fresh local foods and other goodies at selected pit stops, around lunchtime.
A fruit option – such as oranges, bananas, melon and watermelon.
Sweets – including local speciality sweet treats.
Cake – there is always cake
Watch out for our regional specialities too! Whether it’s a Cornish Pasty, a Scotch Pie, local fruit, a Cumberland sausage or some Wookey Hole cheddar – we will never be far from a taste of Britain on your plate.
Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have – if you use gels and other such products – you should plan to bring these with you. If you have any special dietary requirements, then please also plan for this and pack your kit accordingly. Rat Race aim to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional, catering to as broad a mix of needs and diets as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and availability of this will depend on demand. If peanuts are served these will be in individual portioned bags to reduce the chance of contamination but Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving.
Please make sure you sanitise your hands prior to eating any food. Please, please, please take care with your trash and help us in our aim of leaving these incredible islands tidier than we find them. This is even more critical in this environment, with any lost trash instantly becoming a choking hazard for the marine life we are here to admire.
The date-range is set and the route is tried and tested. However, our challenges unfold in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Sometimes we do have to change plans on account of weather or other unforeseen factors. If we do have to do so, you will be informed and usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end! That having been said, our route is likely to remain largely intact, regardless of any on-the-ground changes.
Click ‘Buy Event Voucher’ and go through the sign-up process, you’ll then be issued with an event voucher which will automatically reserve you a place in the event you have chosen.
Rat Race require you to be over 18 on the day of Registration for this adventure. If you wish to participate as a family group or with a responsible adult and you are 16+, we will consider applications on an individual basis. Please contact us if this is the case.
Getting to the start line is important and we are there to help you as best we can. However, if you feel on reflection that it is just not your time yet, we do have a transfer system that you can use to transfer out, receive Rat Race credit and come back again next year or do something else. Credit is typically valid for 12 months and there is a fee to be paid for transferring out in this way. We want to be really clear that this option is there for you if you need it, but it does have a deadline. View our full terms and conditions here.
The latest kit list will be sent to you before the event within the Essential Event Information Document.
Of course. If you run for Children with Cancer UK and raise the target amount for this event per person, we will refund your entry fee up to the amount of £2500. You are of course more than welcome to fundraise for any cause close to your heart.
Yes, you can. We welcome support on almost all of our events and if you do decide you want to come and work with us, we will make sure we look after you. Click here to find out more about volunteering for Rat Race.
We’ve put together a fantastic new instalment plan that allows you to choose how many months you want to spread the cost of this brilliant adventure over. You can pay it off all in one go or spread it over as many months as you like, totally interest free. There is no credit check required to use this facility. When you sign up to the instalment plan Rat Race will then set up a reoccurring payment and your card will be debited on the same date each month. If there is an error with your payment you will receive reminders from Stripe, our payment provider, and also the Rat Race customer service team. After 3 attempts to contact you if the outstanding balance remains unpaid we will assume you wish to cancel your entry and will withdraw you from the event and you will not be eligible to enter our transfer process and no monies will be refunded.
Add Refund Protect to your booking during purchase and receive a full refund of your entry fee if you are unable to attend the event due to a qualifying unforeseen circumstance. PLEASE NOTE this protection is with our 3rd party partner Refund Protect and NOT Rat Race. In the event you make a refund application this is administered by the Refund Protect customer service team, Rat Race are not privy to the application and cannot intervene on your behalf to influence the outcome determined by their team.
To check the full list of qualifying unforeseen circumstances that are protected please click here to view Refund Protect terms and conditions.
To add Refund Protect (administered by a 3rd party) to your Rat Race booking simply select this option when presented during the entry process. Refund Protect cannot be added retrospectively. Rat Race will then send you name and booking details to Refund Protect in order to protect your transaction with them. If you opt to pay in instalments and transfer your entry before the entry cost is full paid you will be liable to ensure the cost of Refund Protect has been fully covered. This total amount will be deducted from any Rat Race credit due through the transfer process or you will be invoiced by Rat Race for the outstanding amount as Rat Race have paid this on your behalf to Refund Protect at point of entry.
Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, you will be kept in the loop closer to the event when we will send out our Essential Event Information approximately 12 weeks ahead of the event, detailing the full itinerary, what you need to bring and other important information relating to the specific event you have signed up for. We will also host webinars which you will be invited to (again, closer to the event), where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and go through your kit. There will be a final email one month ahead of the event, just to check you’ve completed all the important forms and are ready for the event ahead.
If you have chosen to pay in instalments, we will also get in touch with you if any of your payments have been missed.
The short answer is no. The price for this event is for everything outlined on the website and it is very difficult for us to split this out. Our accommodation is based on group rates and is on a shared basis. All of our event logistics, support and organisation has been designed to have all the participants in the same locations to allow transfers, briefings etc to run smoothly and to let you bond with your fellow #ratracers! You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation if you wish but this will not result in a reduction in the event fee from us, you will also then be responsible for ensuring you are at our meeting points at the arranged time and we will not be able to transport you to and from your own accommodation, you will need to be able to do this independently.
Yes. We have designed this challenge so that you may travel at your own pace on the foot stages. See below for our notes on route-finding and guidance. Everyone will start together at the beginning of each day and then it’s down to you on selecting your own pace. There will also be some very generous cut-offs, just to ensure we do have a ‘finish’ to the day for you and for our crew. BUT, in the true Rat Race tradition these will be very generous and we will always look to help you to achieve your goals in finishing each daily stage, versus having to pull out. We will give you the maximum possible time window each day for stage completion and we have deliberately scheduled the event in June/ July to guarantee maximum available daylight with which to complete the journey each day.
We want you to concentrate on the views and the hard work of putting one foot in front of the other. So we don’t want you to be staring at maps or navigational aids any more than you have to. The route will not be way-marked as such with big bright arrows. What we will do instead is to give you a navigational aid with the route pre-loaded onto it. You will press go and follow that line.
If you have your own GPS watch or device, you may choose to use this instead/ as well and we will provide the route files in advance so you can download the routes onto these devices.
You will follow this ‘line’ when on the foot-based route and this will be your main go-to resource for the duration of the challenge.
We will augment this system with our staff and vehicles at certain junctions where we feel there may be a risk of going the wrong way. And each day, we will start the day with a daily briefing that describes the route and what you can expect from the stage at various points during the day.
You will also have phone contact with our support team and a satellite texting device, so you can always get in touch with us if you need to – whether that is to check your routing or to tell us about a problem.
Don’t worry – you won’t get lost. But if you do – support is never far away.
We will use a mixture of run guides, stewards, pit stops and support vehicles to support you at intervals by our mobile ‘pit stop’ team. We will also have our medical team with you all the way, monitoring your progress and providing care and advice for you where needed. Our medical team will feature a physio, too, to ensure you have the very best advice on the route in respect of any musculoskeletal issues.
Across the challenge, we will have multiple vehicles at our disposal, plus multiple staff members, snacks and drinks to distribute. So, if it does get too much, if you overheat, get too cold, if you need sustenance, motivational support or otherwise, we will be able to assist. You are in the very best of hands. Our route is well thought out, our plan is heavily developed and our experience in staging this type of challenge is unrivalled.
Each day will have a different mileage and elevation profile, so it will not be a ‘one-size-fits’all. But whatever limit we do put on daily stages will be very generous and we want to state unequivocally that we do not want you to fail. We want you to complete the stages. The Rat Race ethos is to provide extraordinary challenges for ordinary people. You do not need super-technical skills or to be a seasoned endurance athlete. You will of course need a very good base fitness and serious conditioning for this one simply owing to the mileage and the pure attrition that 35 days on the bounce will give you. There is no question that you need to have done the training for this one. We will help you with that. As with all of our challenges, this is still definitely designed to be ‘doable.’ It is not designed as a sufferfest. You do have it in you. And Run Britannia is a journey that is utterly World-class in every way. We will ensure we support you the very best way we possible can. So suffice to say – unless you really are off the pace – we will try not to cut you off.
Sorry we cannot accommodate dogs on the route, or in the accommodation.