Ultra Jurassic Coast challenge to attract 3,000 competitors

Starting in Corfe Castle and heading through Swanage, a 100 km challenge is to return to Purbeck for the keenest of runners.

The Jurassic Coast Ultra Challenge taking place from Saturday 13th to Sunday 14th May 2023 is expected to attract up to 3,000 entrants, as well as raising thousands of pounds for charity.

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Competitors begin the 2022 Jurassic Coast Ultra Challenge at Corfe Castle

Shorter courses to attract all abilities

The organiser, Action Challenge UK is also introducing shorter 10 km and 25 km events to encourage entrants of all ages to walk or jog them, in order to test themselves and raise funds, while appreciating the beauty of the Jurassic Coast.

The event begins at Corfe Castle on Saturday 14th May 2023, with a 25 km ‘quarter’ challenge to Ulwell, through Swanage to Peveril Point, then out along the Dancing Ledge coastline to Worth Matravers before heading to Church Knowle and a finish point back at Corfe.

For those who want to push themselves further, there’s a second stage which takes runners down to Lulworth Cove, then along the Jurassic Coast path before finishing in Weymouth.

And for the brave souls who will complete a full 100 kilometres, the run continues along Chesil Beach, on past the cliffs at West Bay and finishes in Bridport, where there is also a 10 km run for families.

Map of Jurassic Coast route
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Routes to suit all levels and abilities start at 10 km and increase to 100 km for the fittest

Outdoor adventure which tests comfort zones

Business development manager of Action Challenge UK, Jan Smolaga said:

“Few experiences bring a group closer together than an outdoor adventure which tests comfort zones, builds understanding and resilience, and forges respect and friendships.

“We have organised inspirational challenge events and adventures in the UK since 1999 for individuals to join, and for groups, companies and charities.

“We encourage people to challenge themselves, or to link it to a special cause and fundraise for charity – we raised £7 million for charity last year in very difficult circumstances, and our total since we started in a small way is nearly £100 million.

“In 2023, our Ultra Challenge series across the UK will see 25,000 or so adventurers covering over two million kilometres between them, including the very popular event along the Jurassic Coast.

“But it’s not just the super-fit who take part – most will walk at a pace that suits them, many will jog parts, and some will run the whole course Ultra Marathon style, but all will have a special reason to push themselves.”

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Setting their own pace in 2022, competitors head along the cliffs of Kimmeridge Bay

First Ultra Challenge ran from London to Brighton in 2011

The Ultra Challenge events started in 2011 with a run from London to Brighton which 300 people took part in, but it proved to be so popular that there are now 17 events around the country, from the Lake District and Peak District to the Isle of Wight and the South West Coast Path.

International events include two marathons in two days in both the Sahara Desert and Jordan, and a new fire and ice double marathon adventure is planned across Iceland for summer 2024.

Over the years, 15,000 trekkers have gone on adventures to Kilimanjaro’s summit, up to Everest Base Camp, along the Great Wall of China and to all corners of the globe, along with thousands of cyclists on grand tours of the UK, Europe, Asia, and beyond.

According to organisers, the outdoor challenges are becoming almost as popular as the London Marathon for attracting competitors.

Runners pass Durdle Door on last year's Ultra Challenge Jurassic Coast event
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Don’t expect a flat course – but do expect to see some of the most stunning views

Geo tracker will follow runner’s progress

Jan said:

“Whether you are a walker and new to endurance events, or a marathon runner looking to up the distance, whatever your experience level, or age, there is a distance for everyone to tackle at a pace that suits them and more importantly, through the most stunning scenery, which is why the Jurassic Coast Challenge has proved so popular.

“These are high quality events, with marquee rest stops every 10 to 15 km with drinks, snacks and hot food to keep the runners going, all included in the price of entry.

“The routes are fully signed so that no one will get lost, there are distance markers, hazard signs, medical and welfare support teams, a route map in our app – even a geo tracker so that friends and family can track your progress every step of the way!

“We do get people who join our events and make firm friends with others that they meet along the way, and people who get such a sense of achievement out of finishing that they come back to push themselves a little bit further next time.

“And we make sure that our participants don’t forget that finish-line moment, no matter how long it takes them to get there.

“There’s a meal, a glass of fizz, a t-shirt and medals which are different from event to event, and so nice that we know of people who have set up a display cabinet just for their Ultimate Challenge collection!”

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The routes are fully signposted and have medical stations and refreshment stops along the way

Charity partners include Dorset Mind

The cost of the challenge varies from £29 to take part in a 10 km event to £198 for runners wanting to tackle the full 100 km course – but those choosing to raise money for charity can enter for between £15 and £45, if they can commit to raising more than £250 for charity.

Ultra Challenge has a dozen charity partners including Macmillan Cancer Support, the British Heart Foundation and Dementia UK, as well as another 24 regional and local charities for each event, including Dorset Mind.

In total, runners can choose to support one of more than 300 different charities supporting the environment, cancer groups, hospices, animal welfare, children’s charities, military or medical – or invite any other charity, no matter how small, to become part of the Ultra Challenge family.

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Organisers say that medals for completing the run have become collectibles

Further information

  • Find out more about the Jurassic Coast Challenge at the Ultra Challenge website

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