50- and 56-mile self-navigation ultramarathons in the Mendip Hills
The official Butcombe Trail is a 47-mile route around six pubs in the Mendip Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). The route is mostly off-road and takes in beautiful running country and fantastic views as it criss-crosses the Mendips. It was devised as a hiking trail by local walker and writer Sue Gearing in 2007, in collaboration with Butcombe Brewery, and was first run as a single-day ultramarathon in 2016, organised by Bristol’s Town & Country Harriers trail-running club.
In 2018 the race route was upgraded to 50 miles (with 2000m ascent), and we are pleased to announce that in 2019 we are running both the 50 mile race and a new distance of 56 miles (with 2500m ascent). Both races are qualifying events for the UTMB®, the 50-mile version earning 3 points and the 56-miler 4 points.
The organisers, marshals, and checkpoint crews are all runners, many of whom regularly run ultras and know what’s needed to make a great race and help people get to the finish. This is evident in the comments we receive from runners after the race, and you can read some full race reports and other feedback here.
Although runners will be well supported during the event, it is not to be taken lightly and only runners who have run a marathon (either as a race or in training) since 1 January 2018 should apply. In particular the BTU56 is an extra 6 miles (10km) longer with 500m additional ascent, but with a cut-off time of only 1 hour more than the BTU50.
The races are organised by volunteer members of the Town & Country Harriers (TACH), a Bristol off-road running club, for the benefit of the Mendip Hills Fund. This is a community fund set up to conserve and enhance the environment, communities and economy of the Mendip Hills. The fund is a partnership between the Mendip Hills AONB and the Somerset Community Foundation. TACH is proud to have donated a total of £4055.87 to the Fund from the proceeds of the race in its first three years.
- Click here for more information
- Enter the race
- Click here to see details of the route
- Click here for the 2018 results and race report
- Click here for 2017 results and accounts
- Click here to find out what happened in the 2016 race
- For more details and to ask questions please visit our Facebook page.
* discount applies to runners affiliated to either the Association of Running Clubs (ARC) or UK Athletics (UKA)