Monday, 18 March 2013

My 2013 Ultramarathon Challenges

My 2013 Ultramarthon Challenges

My personal challenge for 2013 is to complete "6 Ultramarathon races".

This will be a tough year in my running career, where so far I have committed to 6 Ultramarathons. Kick starting the season off with the Howarth Hobble - 32 miles and building up to the "Mother" of all The West Highland Way - 95 miles. I hope to finish the season with the Hardmoors 60 - 60 miles, where I hope to beat last years time of over 16 hours of non stop running.

Training & Strategies

I have been training everyday for over 2 years this includes; Core Strength Building, Yoga, Cycling, Circuits, & Cross Country Running. My weekly training mileage varies between 20 - 50 miles per week, this includes 90% Trail, Hill Reps, Tempo and Intervals.

I also help out by designing and implementing weekly & monthly tough exercise challenges for a highly focused group of athletes, who I am proud to be associated with. We started this year off with the first challenge; "January 31 days of Burpees", then followed by "February 28 days of Squats" & "March Enduro Challenge" which includes; Burpees, Squats, Crunches, Plank & Wall Squats. The group can be found on face book and its called; We Love A Challenge.

My Ultramarathon Challenges & Race  Results


DateUltramarathonLocationMileageTime HH/MMCompleted  PB Minutes

MarchHowarth Hobble West Yorkshire327:53Hrs9th March2
AprilHighland FlingScotland5213:23Hrs 27th April
MayCateran TrailScotland5413:44 Hrs18th May12
JuneWest Highland WayScotland6016:39 Hrs22nd June  DNF at
60 Miles due to an injury

AugustDevil O' HighlandScotland42Withdrew 
SeptemberHardmoors 60East Yorkshire60Withdrew 

October Saltergare ChallengeEast Yorkshire 245:47 Hrs5th October 
Total MileageCompleted

Race No1 - Howarth Hobble 32 Mile Ultramarathon- Garmin Connect Race Statistics & Results

Race No2 - Hoka Highand Fling 54 Mile Ultramarathon - Garmin Connect Race Statistics & Results

Race No3- The Cateran Trail 55 Mile Ultramarathon - Garmin Connect Race Statistics & Results

My watch battery ran out of power at mile 51.

Race No4 - West Highland Way 95 Mile Ultramarathon - Garmin Connect Race Statistics & Results

My watch battery ran out of power at mile 51:45 after 15:39 hours of running

Due to the onset of a serious Achilles tendon injury developing in both legs. I had to make a very tough decision of withdrawing at Check Point No4 at the Bridge of Orchy. This was the 60 mile marker into the 95 mile race. Even though I was mentally focused on finishing the race due to the implemtation of a good hydration and nutrition plan. Both my Achilles tendons just did not want to pay ball and I did not want to anticipate spending any time in hospital and rehyabilition following major surgery.

Check Point No2 -Beinglas Farm (42 miles)

View of Ben Lomond

Veiw of Connic Hill from Check Point No1 - (20mile)

Race No5 - The Saltergate Circuit - 24 mile Cross Country Race.

This race was organised by the Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team.
For information of the challenge and route, then please see the below link.

The route that I took was the (24 mile) - long route, taking in the beauty and splendour of the North Yorkshire moors. We had arrived late that morning and by the time we registered for the race. We had missed the start by nearly 5 minutes. The weather on the day was glorious, with sunny spells and a light wind. There was some route diversions to contend with, this was due to local shoots that were taken place that very morning. Everything on the day went to according to plan except for a very small oversight in my navigation skills, which resulted in overshooting a check point by nearly 500 metres DRATT !!!!. I had finished the race in (5:47) hours, with a (PB) personal best of over (2:08) hours. At the end of the race everyone was served by local volunteers with, Pie Peas & Gravy.
 Due to the fact that I am always keen for a challenge. I meet up with friends from the Hardmoors Ultramarathon family, where I was coaxed in to performing  a series of stress test exercises within a given time limit. Thanks for that guys, as I nearly regurgitated back up my food !!! :)

My certificate

With Hardmoors Family, I'm wearing my Hardmoors 60 mile Ultramarathon "Finishers"  Tee-Shirt 

The ascent to Check Point CP No2

My racing buddy on his attempt of stepping over the river

A beautiful view of the valley below

One of 2 Self Clip Check Points

  One of many lovely tracks to run 

Mountain Rescue Check Point & Landrover

Links To The Race Websites

TEAM - We Love A Challenge

My chosen charity for 2013
"Pawz for Thought"

“Keep on Running & Be Inspired”
Darren Barnes

Follow my running activities on Twitter @enduranceruner

Facebook "We Love A Challenge"


  1. Awe inspiring stuff Darren! What a season to be proud of!

    1. Thank you Chelsea for your kind comment

    2. What a great year Darren and roll onn 2014!

  2. Great stuff!! Found your we love a challenge group on fb. I see its a closed group and am down in london so cant join your challenges in person but am looking for inspiration. dont worry if its just for people you actually train with. Good luck for many more of your adventures