Saturday 2nd September 2023
9:30 am start (50 miler)
11:30 am start (30 miler)
Elevation: - 5,516 ft. for 50 Miler/
4,161 ft. for 30 Miler
In 2022 the Mendip Marauder was on the original route, which takes in the whole of the Mendip Way for the 50 miler and the whole of the West Mendip Way for the 30 miler, for the first time since 2018! For one reason or another this race was different from usual in the intervening years, but it was wonderful to have it back as it should be, and that is how it will remain in 2023.
Wayne Van Rensburg's 30 mile course record stayed safe for another year. Philip Cohen took the win in 5:01:32 but Nick Sanders and Mark Brown were just half a minute behind him. David Warren took 4th after leading for much of the race and taking a wrong turn near the end - another day it would have been his victory for sure and there will definitely be more great results for this guy!
1st female was Emma Jarrett in 5:44:02 - Emma seemed very surprised about this! Anna Patrickson was 2nd with Kirsty Drewett and Louisa Roberts sharing 4th place.
Honourable mention for Richard Hosken, who took 13th despite being late for registration and being too polite to interrupt Dave's race briefing to ask for his number!
In the 50 miler we finally saw Clare Prosser's awesome course record of 7:58:53 broken! It had stood since 2016. On last year's altered route James Eastham showed that it was not unbeatable by running just over 8 hours, but we still knew it would take something special to beat it. What it took was two fast guys racing each other - Ham & Lyme 50k course record holder Chris Southern and prolific podium finisher Neil Cox ran into Wells (20 miles in) pretty much together and it remained this way for much of the race. One of them would have to take the win, and perhaps the fact the race was in a 'northern' direction meant Chris faded first (Ham & Lyme is southern!) Also, it was Neil's birthday - maybe this gave him extra motivation! Either way, Neil's time of 7:46:30 may not be beaten for some time either. Chris wasn't far behind, finishing 2nd in 8:05:21 with Francois Low taking a high spot in 3rd an hour later (would have been less of a gap but for a wrong turn or two as well.)
Gisela Payne was 1st female - she was in that position at Wells and ran strong throughout to take 5th overall. Almighty Conqueror of the Westcountry Ultra 100 Jan Voorspoels took 9th place but he would have just been getting warmed up 50 miles in!
Words from Radio 2 Sports Presenter Vassos Alexander (7th in 50 miler, 2017)
"I suspect you may already know this if you live in Somerset, but Somerset is gorgeous. The glorious Ebbor and Cheddar Gorges, the punchy climb up to Crook's Peak, the views over the Somerset Levels to the circular Cheddar Reservoir, the tiny city of Wells with its bustling market and magnificent cathedral... The Mendip Marauder is a happy, low-key, scenic race through some surprisingly spectacular scenery
To be honest I chanced on the race. Six weeks out from attempting the Spartathlon, I wanted to see how my ankle stood up to running 50 hilly miles (having comprehensively trashed it in Snowdonia). It all worked out great!
The Mendip Way is endlessly surprising and rarely predictable - the South Downs Way’s more rural cousin. It leads you between high-rise corn fields, through stinging nettles, down muddy tracks, over grassy hills, and spits you out onto a lovely, sandy beach. I loved it
I would absolutely do the race again and highly recommend it"
The Mendip Way has to be one of the South-West's best kept secrets. Like the Cotswolds' slightly more streetwise, alternative cousin, the Mendip Way features the spectacular Ebbor and Cheddar Gorges, the brutal climb up Wavering Down through King's Wood, incredible views over the Somerset Levels and to the circular Cheddar Reservoir, and then England's smallest city, Wells, with its magnificent cathedral. Thanks to the ongoing work of the Mendip Hills Fund, this area has become better signposted but we do provide additional marking to help you stay on the right track
Starting at the Market Town of Frome (for the whole of the Mendip Way) or from Wells (for the West Mendip Way only) you will run through a real smorgasbord of Somerset scenery. If you like hills then you will find plenty to enjoy here, but either way you will be amply rewarded for climbing the hills with views to breathe life into tired legs and then a downhill cruise to help get your strength back. Some particularly scenic parts of the course are Cranmore Tower (the highest point on the whole route), the amazing panoramic views from Wavering Down, the quarries and forests of Black Rock Nature Reserve, Ebbor Gorge and the lush pine forests of Rowberrow, but this route is absolutely jam packed with stunning locations. There are many wonderfully scenic short runs but all in a sequence one after the other to create a kind of montage of trail running wonderment. Once you've run in the Mendip Hills you'll only have one question - "When can I come back?"
You will finish at the huge sandy expanses of the beach at Uphill, just outside Weston-Super-Mare; there will be a coach to take you from there to the race start in the morning. Here you can relax on the sand and enthuse about the Mendip Way with your fellow finishers until you're ready to move on
With over 5,000 ft. of ascent for the 50 miler, and over 4,000 for the 30 miler, this is certainly not a flat route and will provide a challenge, but with rolling hillside, pretty woodland, quarries, atmospheric villages and a whole lot more you will often be too busy enjoying the views to think too hard about how tired you are. This is quite a similar race to Ham & Lyme; if you enjoy one you are likely to enjoy the other
Cut-off times - 14 hours for 50 miler, 8 hours for 30 miler
50 miler - £60
30 miler - £35
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 BUT WILL APPLY TO ENTIRE FIELD RATHER THAN INDIVIDUAL DISTANCES
A COACH IS AVAILABLE FROM THE FINISH TO THE START ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDS IT
RACE NUMBERS ARE PICKED UP FROM REGISTRATION ON THE DAY
THERE ARE FIVE WELL-STOCKED AID STATIONS FOR THE 50 MILER, THREE FOR THE 30 MILER
FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED AS THE EVENT GETS CLOSER BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org