Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 miler

Saturday 15th May 2021

7.30am start

Elevation: - 1,385 ft.

Well, let's just say 2020 didn't exactly go to plan! 2021 sees the return of the Westcountry Ultra, which would have 

had its fifth edition in 2020 but instead this will be in 2021. There's nearly a year to firm up a plan B should we have to make a few slight changes to the usual format in order to comply with social distancing etc. but hopefully by 10 months' time it will be possible to have an event that is pretty much like those you knew and loved!

Before we go any further let's get one thing straight - The Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler does have some hills. I mean, did you really expect 50 miles of splendid Somerset scenery to be 100% pancake flat? Compared to the Hilly 50 though, this route is basically as flat as they come. 15 miles of canal path to ease you in, very little elevation throughout, just some bumps in the second half. Something that may surprise you though is that running 50 flat miles can leave your legs feeling sorer than 50 hilly miles, because when you're on the flat you're using the same muscles and it's not obvious when to ease off. Although there was only around half an hour between the winning times in the Flat 50 and Hilly 50 in 2019, the flat 50 is the one to run if you want a fast time or to run 50 less challenging miles. The Hilly 50 is a beast!

Ok, so starting off in Taunton you will have around 15 miles of quaint canal path to get yourself moving. The scenery here is pretty varied, and you may spot some interesting wildlife - Kingfishers are frequently spotted along here, Otters have been known and by the time you get to the first aid station you will already feel like you've seen a real slideshow of tranquil scenes. After the canal is the meandering River Parrett - the muddy banks tell you that you're nearing an estuary, but the long grass and rural splendour are a bridge between canal and coast

Once you get to the West Somerset coast you will see the infamous Hinkley Point Power station (sorry, we can never get them to move it despite our best efforts!) and then you have the spectacular limestone formations of Kilve Beach and the surrounding coastline to marvel at. If you look out to sea you may spot the engimatic islands of Steepholm and Flatholm with the Welsh coast lying beyond them. If you look to your left when you get past Kilve you will spot the Quantock Hills, where Samuel Taylor Coleridge composed many of his best known poems

You have an inland diversion through a little bit of pine forest to West Quantoxhead, through that pretty village and on to Lucke's Lane, cutting across to Williton and then back to the coast at Watchet. You will already have glimpsed the gleaming white of Butlin's Minehead from a couple of points if you keep your eyes peeled, and  this is where you are ultimately heading for, but not before the  expanses of Dunster Beach, where your final aid station before Minehead lies

You will turn left just after Butlins and from there it's around a mile to the finish, where plenty of refreshments await you along with a chance to reminisce in comfort with your fellow finishers. If you're not in a rush to go anywhere why not hang around at the finish to see the Hilly 50, or even the 100 unfold?...

There's a coach to the start from the finish for anyone who needs it, which we encourage you to use if you aren't getting picked up, but if you need transport back after the race we've sorted out lift shares the previous few years and this has worked well (May be subject to slight change depending on regulations!) 

 

 

 

 

CUT-OFF TIME: - 14 HOURS (This will require you to average about 4mph the whole way - should be very doable on this course overall)

 


PRICE: - £55


ENTRIES AVAILABLE VIA OUR ONLINE STORE. ENTRIES ONLY REFUNDABLE IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT THAT THE RACE HAS TO BE CANCELLED, BUT IF YOU ARE NO LONGER WISHING TO TAKE PART OR ARE UNABLE TO THEN IF THE RACE IS FULL WE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FIND SOMEONE TO TAKE YOUR PLACE, AND THEIR ENTRY FEE WILL GO TO YOU. IF THE RACE HAS NOT REACHED CAPACITY THEN YOU ARE WELCOME TO TRANSFER YOUR PLACE TO SOMEBODY ELSE AS LONG AS YOU MAKE US FULLY AWARE BEFORE THE DAY. ENTRIES ARE LIMITED TO 100 FOR THE TIME BEING



WHAT DO YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY?: -

 

  • Medal for all finishers

  • 6 well-stocked aid stations, plus food at the finish

  • Trophies for winners

  • Comfortable area to relax in at finish which will have food, drink, comfortable seating and plenty more

  • Medical cover

  • Course markings where needed (it's NEARLY impossible to get lost on canal path!) 

  • A front row seat for the finishes of two other races if you want to stay

  • Assistance with transport arrangements to get back to Taunton if needed (please use coach if you can before race though)

  • Something unique, as this is the Albion Running experience (they say mystically!)

  • A race through some of Somerset's best flat running routes

 

 

 



RACE ROUTE: -


Route maps and route notes will be sent out to every participant before the race but can be requested by anyone looking to enter - please e-mail albionrunning@hotmail.com to ask for these

 

 

 

 

KIT: -

 

There is no mandatory kit list but it is STRONGLY advised that you carry the following items to be on the safe side: -

* Waterproof jacket that you have used in rainy conditions and know will do the job

* Hat and Gloves in case of unseasonably cold weather (possible in Somerset!)

* An additional base layer (this can be lightweight, and it's advisable if it is, as long as it's an additional layer)

* Headtorch with spare batteries in case of late finish

* High viz clothing for dusk

* Whistle

* Compass

* Mobile phone that is fully charged at start
* Some Emergency food/water, plus at least one 500ml water bottle to carry with you

* Foil survival blanket in case of emergencies

* Personal first aid kit with plasters, savlon etc.

 

 

 

 

 

If you need any info regarding TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION please e-mail albionrunning@hotmail.com - the race start is at Canal Road, Taunton, TA1 1PN. Please see CAR PARKING below for the best places to leave your car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By agreeing to take part in this Albion Running Race: 


You declare that you will be 18 years or over on the day of the event
You are fully aware of the actual and potential risks in participation in this event
Although the race is organised with a full risk assessment having been carried out, will have medical support and will be carried out with the safety of the runners in mind at all times, you declare that you willl compete in the race entirely at your own risk
To the extent permitted by law, you accept that the organisers and sponsors of the race, or any of their agents, will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, costs or expenses, which may arise in consequence of your participation of the event
 

 

 

 

 

AID STATION LOCATIONS: -

 

CP1: - BOAT & ANCHOR INN, HUNTWORTH (Meads Crossing, Huntsworth, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 0AQ)

 

This first aid station is located by the side of the canal path and will come after you've covered a bunch of easy, flat early miles

 

 

CP2: - THE ANCHOR, COMBWICH (Riverside, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2RA)

 

Not to be confused with the Boat & Anchor, this is located in the pretty village of Combwich on the River Parrett Trail and will be outside the pub 

 

 

CP3: - STOLFORD (Stolford Car Park, Stolford, Somerset, TA5 1TW)

 

 

 Within sight of Hinkley Point power station, this will be your last stop before you get onto the West Somerset Coast Path proper (that will come when you have gone around the Hinkley Point diversion) – a welcome refuelling stop

 

 

CP4: - KILVE BEACH (Kilve, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 1EG)

 

With Hinkley Point power station behind you, by this stage you will be running past the spectacular limestone formations of the West Somerset coast. Some of the best ones are here at Kilve Beach, where you can pause for a short while as you enjoy the scenery

 

 

CP5: - WINDMILL INN, WEST QUANTOXHEAD (West Quantoxhead, Williton, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 4DS)

 

At this point it may feel a little bit like you're on a pub crawl but this aid station is on the edge of the Quantocks and from nearby you may catch your first glimpse of Minehead, where the flat 50 ends

 

 

CP6: - DUNSTER BEACH CAR PARK (Sea Lane, nr. Minehead, Somerset, TA24 6TH)

 

Now you’re really getting pretty close to the finish! Only a few more miles to go from here, and so take it all in and get some refreshments to get you ready for that final push…. Unless you’re doing the 100 of course, in which case you still have quite a long way to go ; )

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