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Capital gains tracks; ULTRA TOUR OF EDINBURGH (UTE)Get on your marks for the new 30mile running race through Edinburgh in October, which takes in all kinds of terrain and sights.


What is it?: The UTE is a new 30 mile (50km) urban ultra running race.

When is it: The UTE takes place in and around Edinburgh this year on Sunday, October 22.

Tell me more: The UTE is the brainchild of Rat Race Adventure Sports, who organise a host of exciting events. Ultra runners will follow a waymarked city tour on a mix of terrain, including tarmac, cobbles and trails via a maze of streets, alleyways, tunnels, riverside paths, canal towpaths, parkland and coast.

The race includes more than 3000ft of ascent and descent and passes many iconic capital attractions, such as the Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Observatory and Edinburgh Zoo.

The ultra journeys from high points such as Arthur's Seat, Blackford Hill and three summits in the Pentland Hills Regional Park, to the coast at Newhaven and Leith.

Rat Race Adventure Sports founder, Jim Mee, said: "The UTE is meant to be a very 'doable' ultra distance run and also with the aim of taking runners on a special guided tour of the city.

"The route will showcase the rich urban heritage of the city centre together with the stunning countryside of the outlying area." Anything else to know?: Unlike other city-based runs, the UTE starts and finishes in the city.Runners will set off at 7.30am from St Giles Cathedral with a Braveheart-style charge down the famous Royal Mile. They will cross the finish line inside the BT Murrayfield Stadium, which is the home of Scottish Rugby.

Participants have 10 hours to complete the event.

Jim said: "Edinburgh is one of the few cities where an event of this nature could take place. It is a major capital city but in scale it is not huge and doesn't feel too urban. It has a lot of historical landmarks, places of interest and tourist attractions.

"It also offers a great mix of urban areas with lots of parks dotted around and a good network of footpaths and cycleways, which means you can get around many parts of the city without being on public roads.

"Another plus point is the undulating terrain, so it's possible to rise above the city at several points and get some fantastic views, as well as challenging runners with hills.

"And, added to all this, the council is very receptive to events and new ideas." The UTE route: From the Royal Mile, the route heads into Holyrood Park and then on to Radical Road, passing the Commonwealth Pool and then to the Innocent Railway Tunnel.

Next up is Craigmillar Castle Park, then Blackford Hill and the Royal Observatory before reaching the Pentland Hills and three hills of Caerketton, Allermuir and Capelaw Hill.

The route travels to the Water of Leith next, then passes Edinburgh Zoo and goes on to Corstorphine Hill before dropping to the coast at Granton and Newhaven.

Runners pass Ocean Terminal and head to Leith then they join the Water of Leith trail again heading into New Town, Stockbridge and Dean Village.

The finish is pitch-side at Murrayfield Stadium.

There will be three pit-stops at approximately nine, 18 and 27 miles. Pit-stops one and three will have water and isotonic drinks with some sweets.

Pit-stop two will have some more substantial food and hot drinks, including flapjack, cakes, sandwiches, tea and coffee. There will be toilets here too.

Post-race there will be a hot meal for finishers, kit bag return, showers and a bar.

Who's it for?: The UYE is an open participatory event and an achievable step up from a marathon into ultra-running territory. However, Edinburgh is not flat so it's important that participants put in the training, especially on hills.

The event is also a great opportunity for spectators and supporters to follow friends and family as they run, while visiting a number of capital attractions too.

Cost: Entry is from PS109 for a solo entry and PS104 for a team of five to the full prices of PS135 and PS130 respectively.

The event has partnered with the charity Children with Cancer UK. Rat Race aim to raise PS1 million for the charity over three years and are already over halfway to their target.

Join me on my adventures in Scotland's great outdoors by checking out my award- winning website at You'll find lots of great information about walking, cycling, running and other outdoor activities, as well as kit reviews.

Advice and ideas Have you tried?


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 28, 2017

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