Darkside Running is proud to introduce two new winter ultra marathons to the UK endurance racing calendar.  Starting at sunset and running through the night, our races follow the Norfolk Coast Path, passing through the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

December 14-15, 2019

Sunrise: 83 miles from Snettisham, Norfolk

Half Sunrise: 45 miles from Cley-next-the-sea, Norfolk

Both races finish at The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and will be run under race permit 2642, granted by the TRA, following UKA rules for competition.

Races Will Start in


Sunrise Ultramarathons

About the races

The Norfolk Coast Path runs for 84 miles from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea, travelling through the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  A stunning journey in its own right but we have added a couple of twists.

Firstly this event will be run in mid-December.  While Norfolk may not seem that remote when the north winds blow it comes directly from the North Pole, and with the flat and open terrain, conditions could be challenging.  

Secondly, the events will be run during the hours of darkness.  As the sun sets in the west, you will be set off from the start in Snettisham.  How far can you get before the sun rises in the east at 07:58, some 16 hours and 19 minutes later?   For the speedier runners amongst you, can you reach the finish 83 miles away by The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth?

Support is provided along the route but is kept to a minimum, to minimise the environmental impact of the race, avoid disturbing locals sleeping in their beds and to add to the running adventure.  A full indoor checkpoint is provided at roughly halfway, in Cley-next-the-sea.  Here you will have access to a drop bag and also be provided with warm food and drink.   Additional mobile checkpoints will be provided along the route but these will be limited to water and some snacks, so pack accordingly.

For those that don’t fancy the full Sunrise experience, we will be offering the Half Sunrise.  This starts from the halfway checkpoint at Cley-next-the-sea at 22:00 and follows the same route to the finish in Great Yarmouth some 45 miles away. Both should be an exhilarating pre-Christmas challenge and a great way to end the year.  

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UTMB® and ITRA Qualifier Events

Both races have been awarded ITRA points, allowing you to use them as qualifying events for the 2020 UTMB® races.

GPS Tracking

All our athletes will be given a GPS tracker to carry during the race, for safety and also to allow your friends and family to follow your progress as you race the sun to the finish in Great Yarmouth

Regular Support

Regular support is provided along the route, with water stops and a half way checkpoint for those racing the Full Sunrise, where runners can access a drop bag and warm food and drinks

Bus Transport

Buses are provided if required to transport all racers from the finish at Great Yarmouth back to the start at Snettisham for the Full Sunrise or Cley-next-the-sea for the Half Sunrise. This is an option you can select at checkout.


We aim to minimise the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in our races. For example, race t-shirts will only be available as an additional purchase. Competitors will also be expected to carry their own reusable cup.

Giving Back

We are keen to support the local communities and environment that our races pass through. £1 from every entry will be donated to a coastal charity, along with 25% of all race profits.
Beautiful route following one of the newest UK national trails

The Route

Starting at sunset outside the Sailing Club at Snettisham, The Sunrise heads north towards Hunstanton. From here it turns eastwards, joining the Norfolk Coast Path, which it follows (with a few diversions for safety and environmental reasons) all the way to the finish 83 miles / 133 kilometres away, at Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth.

The Half Sunrise starts in the pretty village of Cley-next-the-sea and follows the Norfolk Coast Path eastwards, also finishing at Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, covering a total distance of 45 miles / 72 kilometres.

Cley-next-the-sea also marks the only major checkpoint on the full Sunrise, where runners will be able to access a drop bag, take shelter and get warm food and drink. Additional checkpoints will be set up along the route (exact locations to be confirmed) but these will be outside and will only provide water and simple snacks.

Competitors are therefore expected to be self-sufficient for the majority of the race and pack accordingly for a winter ultra marathon.

Both events will be run under race permit 2642, granted by the TRA and will also run under UKA rules for competition.

UTMB Qualifying Race
Trail Runner Association
Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a mandatory set kit list?

Yes, as you would expect for an ultra marathon running through the night in the middle of UK winter, for safety reasons there is a mandatory set of kit you are required to carry at all times. This will be checked at registration, with further random checks during and at the finish. Failure to produce items will result in disqualification. 

Full details on mandatory kit, can be found over on our Race Kit page.

Are there any entry requirements?

As per UKA rules for races of these distances, you must be a minimum of 20 years old on the date of the event.  We also expect that Half Sunrise entrants will have previously completed a trail marathon and Sunrise entrants will have previously completed an ultra marathon of around fifty miles.

Norfolk may seem like a calm and pretty place but in mid-winter, this can be quite exposed terrain, so train accordingly and familiarise yourself with running and navigating in the dark.

Read our full terms and conditions for further details on our entry requirements

What are the time limits / cut offs?

For the Sunrise you have until sunset at the finish to complete your journey, which is at 15:38 on Sunday 15th, or 23h 57m since the start. There is an enforced cut off at the major checkpoint at Cley (38 miles) of 03:00 Sunday, leaving you just 12h 38m to finish the final 45 miles.

For the Half Sunrise you have 12 hours to complete the 45 mile journey to Great Yarmouth, with the finish line closing at 10am on Sunday. There are no cut-offs along the route.

Is the course marked or is it a self-navigation event?

Both Darkside events are self-navigation events along a designated national trail.  

This means that aside from some markings we may add around the checkpoints, you will be required to navigate yourself using map, compass and the existing signposts and acorn markers positioned along the route.

While the signs are fairly well placed, familiarity with navigating in the dark using a map and compass is essential.

What food is available on the course?

A full menu will be published closer to the event itself but expect a small selection of cold simple sweet and savoury snacks at the checkpoints out on the course. For the full Sunrise, the halfway checkpoint at Cley will also provide soup, warm drinks and a vegetarian pasta dish.

What if I change my mind?

Details of our refund policy can be found in our terms and conditions but in short we are able to offer some sort of refund up to eight weeks before the race and transfer to another runner up to a week before.

Read our full terms and conditions for further details on our refund and transfer policy

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December 14, 2019

Sunrise (83 miles)

Starting at sunset (15:41) outside the Sailing Club in Snettisham, the route first runs north along the shore of The Wash to Hunstanton, before picking up The Norfolk Coastal Path eastwards towards the finish at The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, some 83 miles away.   Can you beat the sun and arrive before dawn at 07:58?  Don’t worry if not, as you have until sunset Sunday (15:38) to complete your journey.


Sat 12:30 TBC
Buses depart Great Yarmouth to start

Sat 14:00 – 15:15
Race registration at start (Snettisham)

Sat 15:00
Race briefing

Sat 15:41
Race start (sunset)

Sun 03:00
Cut-off at Cley checkpoint

Sun 07:58
Sunrise at finish

Sun 10:00
Cut-off at Sea Palling checkpoint

Sun 15:38
Finish closes (sunset)

December 14, 2019

Half Sunrise (45 miles)

Starting at 22:00 in Cley-next-the-sea, you follow the same course as the Full Sunset eastwards towards the finish at The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth, some 45 miles away.   Could you also beat the sun and arrive before dawn at 07:58?  Don’t worry if not, as you have twelve hours or until 10:00 Sunday to complete your journey.


Sat 19:00 TBC
Buses Depart Great Yarmouth to Start

Sat 20:00 – 21:30
Race Registration at Start (Cley)

Sat 21:30
Race Briefing

Sat 22:00
Race Start

Sun 07:58
Sunrise at finish

Sun 10:00
Finish closes

Join us for what will be an incredible winter running adventure


83 miles
  • Start at Sunset 15:41
  • 23h 57m time limit
  • 5 checkpoints
  • Drop bag
  • GPS tracker
  • 4 ITRA & UTMB Points
  • 15% UMRS discount code
  • Bus transport to start (optional)

Half Sunrise

45 miles
  • Start at 22:00
  • 12h time limit
  • 2 checkpoints
  • GPS tracker
  • 3 ITRA & UTMB Points
  • 15% UMRS discount code
  • Bus transport to start (optional)
Latest updates and information from Darkside Running

Latest News


We are ITRA and UTMB® Qualifier Events!

We were so excited this morning to receive confirmation that both the Full and Half Sunrise events have been awarded ITRA points and are now official UTMB® qualification races for 2019. This means that successful completion of either of our events will be considered as a qualifying race by any organisations using ITRA points for...
Read More
Ultramarathon Running Store

Welcoming The Ultramarathon Running Store, our second sponsor

Hot on the heels of our first sponsor announcement, we are pleased to be able to announce our second sponsor to both our Full and Half Sunrise events. Welcome to The Ultramarathon Running Store! Well respected and established in the UK ultra running scene, Keith and the team at The Ultramarathon Running Store have long...
Read More
Mountain Fuel

Welcoming Mountain Fuel, our first sponsor

We are so pleased to announce that Mountain Fuel has agreed to be a sponsor for our inaugural Full and Half Sunrise ultra marathons.  Rupert and the whole Mountain Fuel team have been extremely supportive of both Mark and I during our own racing.  Just like us, they are a young British company with a...
Read More

Latest on Instagram

  • Race numbers, hoodies and t-shirts all arrived at Darkside HQ today. Not long now till we hand these out and send you off along the @norfolktrailsuk #norfolkcoastpath, on the #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon 😁
#excited #bringiton
  • Not wanting to worry people but according to our calendar, it's just one week to race day 😁 This time next week we’ll be setting up for the inaugural #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon, getting ready to set you off along the @norfolktrailsuk #norfolkcoastpath on a #winter #runningadventure
#excited #bringiton
  • Trophies have arrived, to be awarded to the first and second placed male and female in both the Full and Half #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon. It's getting real now folks! #excited
  • #Repost: Last week @ultramarkt and I arrived in Yarmouth, after our overnight #runningadventure along the @norfolktrailsuk #norfolkcpastpath, testing the route for @darksiderunning #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon.  A beautiful crisp misty morning today. Fingers crossed our competitors get something similar in a couple of weeks time!
  • Finishing touches are being made to the #handmade bespoke finishers mementoes, that will be awaiting all #runners at the finish line of the #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon in Yarmouth.  We think they're stunning and a great alternative to the usual #race medals.
  • Today is your last chance to order places on the bus or t-shirts and hoodies, before the #SunriseUltra Full and Half #ultramarathon next month. You can place your order by editing your entry over at @sientries. Any issues, get in touch!
  • What a night! Self supported #run from #Hunstanton Pier to #greatyarmouth, putting all our test runs for #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon together, revising our route choice and risk management plan as we went. Chose the perfect night for it and learnt so much. Biblical weather with brutal head winds, strengthening throughout and blowing us around by the end. Rain and wind for 15 hours sucked the life out of us. The huge packs to carry all our kit didn't help as well, as we had to porter all the food and water we needed for the second half. So much more to say but need to eat, drink, sleep and digest it all first!
  • Reminder to all #runners that race hoodies and t-shirts are now available to order through @sientries. You have until 24th November to order, so you can receive them at #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon in December. Any questions, let us know.
  • Lot of packages arriving at #racehq ahead of Decembers #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon along the #norfolkcoastpath. Heads up to all competitors that an email will be hitting your inbox tomorrow, explaining how you can order your race t-shirts or hoodies.
  • Morning all! We had a really productive night out on the @norfolktrailsuk #norfolkcoastalpath last night, route checking and testing out checkpoint locations for the #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon. An awesome route at night, totally different experience than during the day. Some positive tweaks applied, which we’ll be sharing in this months competitors newsletter in the next few day’s. So excited to get you all out on the course and experience this superb #runningadventure
The Team
Meet the people behind Darkside Running
Giles Thurston
Race Director
Mark Turner
Race Director

Get in touch

Like, follow or send us a message

Darkside Running Ltd. 18 The Beach, Snettisham, Norfolk, PE31 7RB


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