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

238Days
21Hours
32Mins
10Secs

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.

Eco-friendly

We aim to minimise the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in our races. For example, race t-shirts will be made from cotton and medals are locally sourced materials. 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

FAQ

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.

Can we use our own crew?

You are welcome to use your own crew, however please consider that this race passes through local communities and avoid disturbing local residents by meeting your crew away from residential areas.

You are still required to visit all race checkpoints for safety reasons. Checkpoints are for runners and race officials primarily and we therefore reserve the right to ask crew to leave if space is at a premium. Further guidance on the use of crew and suggested locations will be shared closer to the race.

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.

Schedule

Sat 13:00 TBC
Buses Depart Great Yarmouth to Start

 

Sat 14:00 – 15:30
Race Registration at Start (Snettisham)

Sat 15:15
Race Briefing

Sat 15:41
Race Start

Sun 03:00
Cut-off at half way checkpoint

Sun 07:58
Sunrise at finish

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.

Schedule

Sat 19:00 TBC
Buses Depart Great Yarmouth to Start

Sat 20:00 – 21:45
Race Registration at Start (Cley)

Sat 21:45
Race Briefing

Sat 22:00
Race Start

Sun 07:58
Sunrise at finish

Sun 10:00
Finish closes

Register
Join us for what will be an incredible winter running adventure

Sunrise

83 miles
£95
  • 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)
Register

Half Sunrise

45 miles
£55
  • Start at 22:00
  • 12h time limit
  • 2 checkpoints
  • GPS tracker
  • 3 ITRA & UTMB Points
  • 15% UMRS discount code
  • Bus transport to start (optional)
Register
Latest updates and information from Darkside Running

Latest News

UTMB Logo

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...
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...
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...

Latest on Instagram

  • We can't wait to get our hands on the new #sportsnutrition bars that #sunriseultra race sponsor @mountainfuel_uk is launching next week. We’ve always been fans of #realfood when #racing or training. Based upon feedback so far these sound like they'll really hit the spot. Our race director @gilesthurston will definitely be using these during @dragonsbackrace next month and we’ll be sure to share his thoughts 😋 #feelgoodfuel
  • Entries are _OPEN_ on @SiEntries for the inaugural Sunrise and Half Sunrise #ultramarathon, taking place overnight this December on the @norfolktrailsuk #norfolkcoastpath. Enter using link in our profile. Why not come and join our winter #runningadventure 😁
  • One of our Race Directors is currently down on the #southcoast #running the @votwoevents Jurassic Coast Challenge along the beautiful #swcoastalpath. 
He's about to start his second #trailrunning #marathon of the weekend. Good luck @gilesthurston 👏💪🏃👊
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#trailrun #trailrunner #ultrarunner #ultrarunning #ultramarathon #ukrunchat #runchat #getoutside #runtoexplore #neverstopexploring #instarunner #runthroughuk #runningadventures
  • Our new website is now live, where you will find full details about our brand new #SunriseUltra #ultramarathon #running events

Both events will #run through the night this December (14-15th) along the #norfolkcoastpath, with @itra_trail and @utmbmontblanc points on offer for those that complete the course.

Check it out over at https://www.darkside.run (link in bio) and let us know what you think 😁
  • After months of planning and testing, we are proud to introduce two new winter #ultramarathons events, into the UK endurance racing calendar.  Please say hello to the #SunriseUltra #marathon #running events!

Both races will follow the brilliant @Norfolk trailsuk #NorfolkCoastPath, passing 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 (14-15th) and while Norfolk may not seem that remote, when the north winds blows 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 16:19 hours later?  For the speedier #runners amongst you, can you reach the finish 83 miles away by The Britannia Pier in #GreatYarmouth?

For those that don’t fancy the full #SunriseUltra experience, we will be offering the #HalfSunriseUltra.  This starts from the half way checkpoint at Cley-next-the-sea at 10pm 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. 
Our new website will launch in the coming days and entries open in early April 2019
  • Time to introduce our second sponsor of the #sunriseultra #ultramarathon events. Please welcome 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 given support to a number of UK ultra events and we were extremely proud when they agreed to add our events to the list.

All entrants to our events, will receive a single use 15% discount code, which they can use against any purchase from the store. Something we are hoping all our athletes will find extremely useful.

In addition to this Keith has also agreed to provide a number of spot prizes, which we will award on race day.

To find out more about the products they have to offer, be sure to checkout their website over at www.ultramarathonrunningstore.com

Thanks to Keith and the team at UMRS for their support!
  • We're so pleased to be able to welcome @mountainfuel_uk as a sponsor of our inaugural #sunriseultra #ultramarathon #running events later this year.

Rupert and the whole Mountain Fuel team have been extremely supportive of our own racing over the years.  Just like us, they are a young British company with a love of outdoor #adventure and as a result they were an obvious choice for us to reach out to when we set out to create our own events.

Mountain Fuel will kindly be providing us with prize packs to give our category winners for both races. For more information on their excellent products, please take a look at their website www.mountainfuel.co.uk.
  • Exciting news at #darksiderunning HQ this morning, when we received confirmation that our upcoming Full and Half Sunrise #ultramarathon events - yes those are their names! - have been approved as 2020 @utmbmontblanc and @itra_trail qualifier events
  • We're getting closer to launching our new website, with full details of the two #ultramarathon #running events we are launching this year. As part of that process we've been working with our designer, developing the #darksiderunning brand. We are so excited with the results, that we wanted to share some of it with you. Let us know what you think 😁
  • Following up our introduction to @ultramarkt last week, we thought you’d like to meet the other half of the dynamic duo behind #DarksideRunning. Over to you @gilesthurston!

Hi everybody, my name is Giles Thurston and like Mark, I have a fixation with running long distances.  The hillier the better!  I am married to Lea, a fellow #ultrarunner and we live with our two boys just outside Cambridge in the UK. 
Like many I came to running later in life. I have always had a real love of the mountains and spent many years climbing and mountaineering across the UK and around the world, climbing in places such as The Alps, Iceland, Bolivia, New Zealand and Nepal.

Ultra running blends the sense of exploration and journey which I loved in mountaineering, with the one sport I truly enjoyed in triathlon, namely running.  The sense of community and camaraderie is also something that really stood it apart from some of the other sports I had taken part in over the years. Putting aside the fact that I had never run further than a half marathon before, I was soon signed up for my first forty-mile event and the rest, as they say, was history.

Fast forward five years and I have run numerous #ultramarathons, across a range of distances, including Lakeland 100 (twice) and The Spine Challenger. Despite a troublesome 2017/18 with injury, things are now back on track and I am looking forward to my next challenge, which is The @dragonsbackrace in May 2019.

As well as #running, I love to #photograph and write about my #runningadventures and have been lucky enough to have my work published in a number of online and print publications.  You can read more about this over at www.ultrarun.in. 
Just like Mark, I was keen to put the experience I had gathered to good use and try to bring something a little different to the increasingly crowded race calendar.  And so, Darkside Running was born! 
Exploration and adventure are two words that epitomise both my training and racing and hopefully you'll see that in what we have planned. 
We both look forward to welcoming you onto the start line of our events and sharing the Darkside Running journey together with you.
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

hello@darkside.run

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