Next Race: 04/10/2020
What's the Warwickshire Bear Ultra?
This is the inaugural running of the Warwickshire Bear Ultra. A 40 mile/64 km ultramarathon starting and finishing in Rugby, Warwickshire at 8AM on Sunday 4th October 2020. We have hosted many events (we'll be close to 30 by the time the bell goes on this event) but this is out first set distance ultra event, we cannot wait! It promises to be an awesome event and 1 we hope will be a solid fixture on the ultra calendar for years to come.
How far is the race?
40 miles. The total elevation is 466m (or 1550ft). This route is very flat. The first half is "downhill" and the return therefore uphill, but given the overall low elevation change you may not notice this much!
No entries on the day
There is an entry limit. Once the event gets down to the last places we'll endeavour to make people aware through social media and emails. Once the event is full you will be able to join the waiting list through this site.
You will need to pay to park on the day. Competitors are strongly advised to park at Rugby Train station (a 400m walk to HQ) where the charge is only £2 for the whole day. If you're staying overnight you can park for only £9 for the whole weekend (correct at time of writing). There is absolutely no parking at HQ and street parking on the residential streets is prohibited too. We can't annoy the neighbours on the first event and any complaints regarding parking regarding you or your crew is likely to result in a DQ!
For those who don't/can't drive the start is 400m from Rugby Train station, a rareity for an ultra! Unfortunalty, trains on a Sunday morning seem to not exist but there is a Premier Inn just round the corner meaning you could sleep 300m from the start line instead! We'll happily store a small overnight bag at the bag drop too if that's a concern.
Course map/ course description
The route is on the tab above. If you are a local to the area, the route is about 80% of the route 41 cycle route from Rugby to Leamington Spa and then back to Rugby. For those not local expect a very beautiful scenic route across the Warwickshire countryside with excellent markings. The route is 60% trail 40% asphalt. Simply the route is an out and back course but in reality it's a perfect way to complete an ultra with minimal admin of faff. No calculating finish times to get a coach or lifts to the start to park your car.
The route starts in Rugby and goes along the Great Central Way, a local nature reserve. This 2 mile stretch will allow the field to spread out as the route takes you along the cycle path towards Draycote Water, there will be a water stop at the end of Nothampton Lane at mile 4. You run along one side of the reservoir going over the lumps and bumps while looking out over the boats on the water. After a quick country road section you're back on to the old railway line and a gravel cycle track to Birdingbury, aid station 2 and about 10 miles. Running out of Birdingbury along another country road you'll join the Grand Union Canal at Stockton Locks. Going down past the 8 locks that make up this part of the canal you'll stay on this wide picturesque canal all the way to Leamington Spa, with a stop at the Two Boats Inn for aid station 3 at mile 15. Crossing the road on to Newbold Comyn you'll wind your way through the country park to the Newbold Arms for the 4th checkpoint and turnaround point. You head back the way you came visiting the same checkpoints back to St Andrews Benn Primary School and your well deserved medal!
Has the event been run before?
No! You are a modern day trendsetter. You'll be able to say you were there at the first one at our 40th edition (hopefully!). This isn't our first event though, you're in safe hands we know what we're doing. Read our reviews on Racecheck of our various events and note the awards we've won for them too. It's a new event for us but we're prepared and it'll be great!
Is there a GPX file?
Yes on the route tab above.
Where is it?
The HQ is at St Andrews Benn Primary School (CV21 3NX). This is both the start and finish line (no faffing with cars or coaches!) but there is absolutely no parking here. You can park at Ruby Train Station though, there's ample parking, it's 400m away and it's only £2 for the day. The aid station locations are noted in our FAQ for this event.
Can I have 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 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?
No, not really. Pacers are generally only involved in ultras over 50miles 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 few hundred meters 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 half a mile 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 of support and pacing. No pacing but run with your mate for a couple of minutes.
Are there cut offs?
Yes. We're keeping it simple. We are working off a 4 mile an hour pace (15min/miles) and an overall race cut off of 10 hours. There will be a very hard cut off at 5 hours at the turn around point in Leamington Spa. This might rule some people out. We apologies. We host many events that are truly inclusive in terms of pace, speed and distance. However, we have lots of moving parts with an event like this and so a cut off will be in place and enforced. We know the enforcement doesn't always happen, it will here to be clear. Each checkpoint will have opening and closing windows. We'll release these details as we create the athlete pack with all the FAQ's but they will be based around our estimation of the quikest person being over 4hours and the cut off being 10 hours. If you think you'll run 40 miles in under 4 hours...wow.... and let us know!!
Can I walk it?
If you're quick! Whether you run, hike walk or crawl as long as you are on 2 feet and meet the cut offs then that is fine with us!
Permission for this event has been obtained from everyone. We have permission from Rugby Borough Council, Severn Trent Water, Canal and River Trust, Warwick District Council and of course from all the checkpoint locations. Everyone who needs to be aware of this event is!
TRA licence number
If your question hasn't been answered or if you are still unsure of anything please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we'll do our best to help.