Big Bear Events : Warwickshire Bear Ultra - FAQ

Warwickshire Bear Ultra - FAQ

We’ve made a separate FAQ’s for this event as it’s a little different to our normal events so there may be contradictions or conflicting information to our FAQ's for our other events. If you’re after the FAQ’s for any of our other events go here.

When is it?

All the race day info is on the race page here.

What’s the course like?

Relatively flat and achievable. Around 40% of the route is on asphalt/tarmac and the rest is either on cycle pathways or canal paths. There are no crazy climbs or extreme parts to the course. It is still 40 miles though however you look at it! We’ve described it in more detail on the event page.

What does my entry get me?

A great day out! We’ll support you along the way to help get you to an ultramarathon, be it your first or 50th. The route will be signposted with the intention being you won’t have to look at a map once. As it follows a national cycle route we always have some back up signage! We’ll have aid stations along the way, full medical support, bag drop at HQ and all finishers will get a spectacular medal and a Big Bear Beer, Cider or Apple Juice.

Do I need to have run a certain distance before completing this?

Not officially. You need to be in a fit and healthy state that you expect to be able to finish within the cut-off before starting. Please don’t start knowing you’re going to have to pull out half way along it puts unnecessary stresses on our medical team. Enter the event and get your training in. By all means come and recce the route (that doesn’t mean just sitting in the pubs along the route!)

Can I enter on the day?

No. Entries will close around a week before the event if they haven’t sold out before then, check the event page for a specific date.

Is there mandatory kit?

Yes. The mandatory kit isn’t to help you with your running. It is to keep you alive if you get hurt, lost or injured. Depending on the conditions leading up to the event some of these items may not be necessary but you should be prepared to have to carry them for every step. We may check packs at random along the route and at the finish to ensure mandatory kit is carried.

The minimum kit to be carried-

  • 1 litre of water in a bladder/bottles
  • Fully charged mobile phone with; the RD’s phone number (for emergencies only) and These Three Words downloaded (ask if you aren't sure)
  • Survival blanket (1.4m minimum)
  • Waterproof jacket – with taped seams
  • Money (at least £10)
  • Whistle
  • A cup to drink from – the event is cupless

Do we have sole access to the route?

No, not at all. There will be shared access across the whole route. There are road crossings and sections going through nature reserves and along canals. Every step of the route has been granted permission for use by the land owners but that doesn’t give you any more rights over its use than anyone else. So be courteous and kind to those you meet even if they are in your way. If we get complaints we won’t get those permissions again. When crossing the road do so safely. There will be no marshals to stop traffic or help you across. If they see you crossing unsafely you may get a DQ.

How is the event timed?

Given the nature of the event we’ll be manually using computer software for timing. There will be no live tracking during the event. You can hire trackers yourself if you want friends and family to keep an eye on you but we wont be supplying these.

Where do I park?

Rugby Train Station. There are 3 car parks at the train station. There are spaces for hundreds of commuters, but as it’s a Sunday there will be very few people there and you’ll only have to pay £2 to park! Do no street park around the HQ. There is very limited parking and on a Sunday morning there will be very few spaces. There is no parking at all at the school. Drop off’s should be made on Abbey Street.

Where are the aid stations?

These potentially could change at any point but at present there will be the following aid stations.

Distance (miles)




Opening times


St Andrews Benn Primary School

Abbey Street, Rugby, CV21 3SG

No parking on site. Do not park on local residential roads. Parking at Rugby Train Station

Registration opens at 0700, Race start at 0800.


Northampton Lane

Northampton Lane, Dunchurch CV22

Liquid only. No crew access



Birdingbury Club

Main St, Birdingbury, Rugby CV23 8EL

Park/drive sensibly as runners coming along roads.



Two Boats Inn

Southam Rd, Long Itchington, Southam, CV47 9QZ

Good sized car park and nice spot on the canal.



Newbold Comyn Arms

Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa CV32 4EU

Large car park and pub, close to Leamington Spa. Hard cut off at this point.



Two Boats Inn

Southam Rd, Long Itchington, Southam, CV47 9QZ

Good sized car park and spot on the canal.



Birdingbury Club

Main St, Birdingbury, Rugby CV23 8EL

Park/drive sensibly as runners coming along roads you travel along



Northampton Lane

Northampton Lane, Dunchurch CV22

Full aid station on return leg. No crew.still.



St Andrews Benn Primary School

Abbey Street, Rugby, CV21 3SG

Medal and a rest!



What’s at the aid station?

Lots of things! We’ll have savoury and sweet produce at each aid station for the duration of the event. It is our intention that the food and drink on offer to the first runner is on offer to the last as well. Obviously if some Jaffa Cake hoover comes through before you and downs 4 packs that is out of our hands but we’ll make sure there are enough biscuits, sweets and picnic food (sausage rolls, picnic sausages etc) for everyone. Note the Northampton Lane stop at 3.8 miles will only have liquids. We will have water, electrolyte and coke at all aid stations too. When you enter the event we’ll ask if there is anything you’d like to have at the aid stations, we’ll do our best to get it, maybe not at every stop but we’ll see what we can do. The only thing we wont have are gels, there is to much variation, they cost a fortune and we don’t want wrappers on the route. If you like them, you can of course bring your own!

Where is the finish?

The same as the start! St Andrews Benn Primary School will be both the start and finish point. This means there is no faff with trying to get back to your car or your bag or with coaches - nothing at all.

What facilities are there at the start and along the way?

Each aid station (excluding Northampton Lane) has proper, indoor, toilets! No squatting behind a bush or using portaloos here. The route will be sign posted with the intention you shouldn’t need a map. Of course it would be wise to have a phone with the .gpx of the route so if you do get lost you can get back on track but this will hopefully not be necessary. The aid stations are described above. We’ll have hot drinks at the start and finish and you can always get a beer from one of the pubs!

Can I have a crew?

Of course, it's an ultra and crews are important. That said you need to understand they are your responsibility. If your crew misbehave, cause parking issues, are rude to our team or others involved in the race then you will be DQ'd. We know you're a highly trained athlete and the must have your Jam Tarts at exactly the time you said but they need to act responsibly. We will send out crew instructions before the event. Once we create them we'll have them available on this site too. There won't be anything crazy in there but there will be an aid station or 2 they are not to come to due to parking issues. All common sense stuff really. Luckily for them the aid stations are all pubs - so they could have a great day!

Can I have a pacer?

Short answer is no. Pacers are generally only involved in longer ultras or when you're running through the night. If you've got a friend or loved one who runs or walks with you for a minute or 2 as they pass you a jaffa cake, no big deal. Want to run across the finish with your 3 year old you've made drive around Warwickshire all Sunday? Not a problem (we aren't Ironman!). Want to run back up the Great Central Way and help your mate get to the finish inside the cut off after you've completed your run? Hero. We would hope everyone is sensible enough to understand the difference between running with your mate for a bit and pacing. No pacing but run with your mate for a couple of minutes.

Can I run with my dog?

Nope. No dogs are allowed in TRA (UKA) permitted events. It voids our insurance so it’s a blanket ban. If your crew have a dog with them we ask you to make sure it is under control at all times and keeps away from the aid stations. Not all runners like dogs (and not all dogs like runners!!) so please respect this.

What if I need to stop?

Rubbish! Hopefully it’s just a bad day at the office rather than a serious injury. If it’s life threatening and you need an ambulance, call 999, then the RD. If you can’t walk then call the RD number on your bib and we will get on to our medical support to assist. If you’re able to walk get yourself to the nearest aid station, be that the next one or the one you’ve just visited. Call the RD if you are unsure if it will still be open though as you don’t want to walk back and there be no-one there!

Once you get yourself to the aid station we’ll have a list of taxi numbers to get you back to the school to pick up your bag (that’s what the cash in the mandatory kit is for!). You may be lucky and one of our volunteers or someone else’s crew may be able to give you a lift back to the school but this is not an expectation we place on our volunteers. If you have to stop at the half way point at Newbold Comyn Arms you could get the train back to Rugby from Leamington Spa (via Coventry).

If you have to stop you MUST inform the RD or the aid station volunteers. Please do not just go home with your crew as we will have to search for you as we will assume you are missing. This is unacceptable behaviour; however bad your day has been.

How easy is it to navigate?

Very - hopefully! We’ll have signage along the whole route, we’ll do our best to make it as clear and obvious as possible. However it's all on public rights of way so these things can be "played with". The route is a national cycle route (mostly) and so if our signs are tampered with the permeant cycle route signs will still be there to guide you.

What medical provision will there be?

We will have Events Medical Services with us providing dedicated medical support. There will be a roaming medical vehicle, 2 stationary first aid posts at the Birdingbury Club and at the halfway and finish and a tail bike. We take your safety very seriously. If something really bad does happen one of the most important factors is the next person on the trail. That is why having your bib with all your medical details, and the RD number on, is vital and mandatory.

What’s the transfer/withdrawal policy?

A little less generous than our standard withdrawal policy unfortunately. As soon as you enter we incur costs. Genuine ones. So, if you need to withdraw 6 months or more before the event you can have 100% of your entry as a race voucher(s) or you can have a 50% cash refund. If you need to withdraw 1-6 months from the event you can have 100% of your entry fee as a race voucher(s) but there is no cash refund. There are no withdrawals in the last month before this event. You can transfer your entry to another runner up to a week before the event, there is no charge for this.

This is a lot more generous than many other race organisers. Hopefully you see it as fair. Not many people will enter a 40 mile event within 1 months of the event so the likelihood of us being able to pass you place on to someone else is slim, hence the 1 month cut off. If you’ve got a mate who will take your place, no problem by us. However, we start putting together start lists, medical info etc a week out from the event so we can’t change the data here.

If any of this is an issue or you need to withdraw contact the race director

Will the winner get a crown?

No. They’ll get a handshake and a pat on the back! In all seriousness we will probably have some plaques for the winners but everyone who runs will get an awesome medal and bottle of Big Bear Beer, Cider or Apple Juice. We are keen to celebrate the successes of everyone who crosses the line, regardless of their finish time.

My question obviously isn’t frequently asked… it’s not here!?

If you still have questions email the race director at