The kit we carry during our races is the subject of a lot of debate and discussions and while a lot of it is personal choice, as you would expect with a winter ultra marathon, there are certain items that we insist you carry throughout the event, for your own safety.
These items will be checked at race registration, with random checks for items during the event and at the finish as well. Failure to produce items when requested at the start will mean that you are unable to start your event. Failure to produce items during the event when asked by a race official, will result in a time penalty or worse even disqualification. Mandatory items are there for your safety, so we ask you to be sensible and not try to cheat the system for the sake of a few grams.
Of course, the term mandatory items should not be read as minimum items, and we encourage you to add to the list and pack according to your own needs and the weather conditions on then day. Our events are taking place in mid December on an exposed section of coastline and with global warming, we should expect anything.
One of our Race Directors is an experienced alpine and winter mountaineer but has also run a winter ultra in Norfolk during a blizzard and described it as some of the most challenging conditions he has experienced, so heed the warning!
We are fortunate to have The Ultramarathon Running Store as one of our race sponsors, who have agreed to offer all entrants to both our Full and Half Sunrise events a one off discount of 15% on any items in their store.
Please read all of the following information carefully, to ensure there are no surprises ahead of race day. If you have any questions at all about kit then please feel free to reach out to us or Keith and the team directly.
Finally as a race team, we will continue to monitor conditions leading up to the event and may suggest or recommend additional items, including adding the mandatory kit list below, if we feel this is necessary.
Both courses cover a wide range of terrain types but are mainly off-road, with mud and sand to be expected in many areas. As such, you should be wearing shoes appropriate for this kind of terrain. Road shoes are unlikely to be sufficient and as such, we strongly recommend that all competitors wear trail shoes for both events.
While not an extensive list, you will need a backpack that you can both fit all the mandatory items in and easily access while running. As with footwear, this is a personal choice but it should be a pack you are familiar with and have tested out before the race.
This includes both a waterproof jacket and trousers, with taped seams and an adequate hood to protect you from the elements. Wind proof only garments are not acceptable and we will be checking the seams at kit check, so again check if you are unsure.
This is a full set of top and bottoms (full length and long-sleeved) that is stored in a waterproof dry bag, carried throughout the event and remain unworn at the finish.
These items are only for use in an emergency and you should carry additional warm layers that you may need to put on as you run. Some parts of the course are remote, and it may take a while for emergency services to get to you. Should you end up in this unfortunate situation, you’ll appreciate having these.
Unlike the previous item, this can be worn during the race but should be unworn from the start. Again be sensible and consider that you will feel the cold more as the race progresses, so maybe pack more than one so you can layer up? At a minimum this should be a mid weight fleece (thicker than a base layer).
Either is acceptable, although we would recommend carrying both. Note that all competitors will be provided with a Darkside Running buff at race registration, which can be used for this item.
Either is acceptable, although again, we would recommend carrying both. Also, consider multiple gloves and potentially windproof and/or waterproof options if you suffer from cold hands.
The head torch must be suitable for running at night across uneven terrain, with spare batteries to see you to the finish. Expect to be running in the dark for at least 15 hours and check you have sufficient batteries to cope with this.
Accidents do happen, so we ask that you carry a spare head torch as well. The Petzl eLite is a great compact option for this.
While the majority of the route is on trail, there are some small stretches on roads or country lanes. As such we ask that each competitor wears a small red flashing light on the back of their pack and have this operational during the hours of darkness. Alternatives like those integrated into head torches are acceptable.
The requirement is that it must be bright, red, flashing and visible from behind at all times
Following on from the previous item, we also ask all competitors to ensure there are reflective areas on their outer garments or pack as well. This is standard on most items but if yours don’t have them, you can pick up cheap arm bands or similar aimed at cyclists. The aim is to make you as visible as possible to other road users.
You should have a fully charged mobile phone with you at all times, which is switched on so we can contact you if required. You should also have both race directors mobile numbers stored within this, details of which will be provided prior to the race. If you are planning to use the phone for music or as a GPS tracking device, then we would recommend you also carry a means to charge the phone, such as a small USB charging pack.
Remember the cold and wet can seriously impact the performance of electronic devices, so consider carrying it close to your body and in a waterproof case.
This is a self navigated race and although the route is way-marked, some markers can be a long way apart, so it is essential that you have a map which provides you with the means of navigating the entire course. While guidance will be given during the race briefing and some signage may be added to the course, especially around checkpoints, a detailed route description will not be provided and you are expected to have familiarised yourself with the route.
Note that print out of the route from Google Maps or similar is totally unacceptable, as it does not provide the level of detail we believe you will need to safely navigate the course or relocate yourself, should you become lost.
To add to the running adventure, checkpoints will be spaced roughly every 12 – 16 miles along the course. You are expected to carry sufficient fluid and food to sustain you between these. A minimum of a 500ml is required but you may want to consider carrying more, depending upon your speed and personal needs.
As with water (see above) pack sufficient food to ensure you have enough between checkpoints. Remember the body burns calories to generate heat, so you may need to carry more than you think.
Note a bag and not a blanket.
You are expected to carry a basic first aid kit, containing at a minimum plasters, paracetamol, any personal medication (in original packaging), self-adhesive bandage, personal blister kit.
No cups will be provided at the checkpoints or out on the course, so you are expected to carry one that is suitable for both hot and cold drinks.
In order to further reduce our use of plastic, we are asking all competitors to carry a spoon, spork or equivalent to use at our indoor checkpoints
As outlined in our terms and conditions, should you need to withdraw from the event, you are responsible for making your own way to the finish at Great Yarmouth. We will try and assist as best we can but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer transport. As such, we are asking all competitors to carry as a minimum £20 cash and a valid bank card, so you have funds to pay for a taxi or bus should this be needed.
This will be attached to your pack at race registration and must be left in place and carried throughout the race.
Check the weather and pack according to your own personal needs. Better to have too much than too little!
You are allowed to use a GPS device during the race and detailed GPX downloads of each route will be made available prior to the event. Electronics do fail in cold and wet conditions, so you should also have a paper based map available to ensure you can still navigate should the worst happen.
The course may be linear but a compass can help you orientate yourself, especially in poor visibility. Make sure you know how to use it!
Useful for attracting attention and there may already be one attached to your pack.
For those taking part in the Full Sunrise, you can have a drop bag taken to the half way checkpoint at Cley. This should be brought to the race start at Snettisham and should be no larger than 20 litres (think a small walking rucksack). This will be taken to the finish for you after you have left Cley.
All drop bags must be collected at the finish and will not be sent on by the race organisers. Any uncollected bags will be sorted and donated to charity, where applicable.
There are no drop bags for the Half Sunrise.
These cookies, while not essential to the running of the website, may improve your browsing experience.