COVID-19 UPDATE: 24th September 2020

Unfortunately, following the loss of a key race venue due to COVID-19, we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Sunrise ultras until December 11th 2021.  For further information, read out full announcement.
 
Thanks for your understanding.  Stay safe and we hope to see you all in 2021.

In 2021 Darkside Running’s two sell-out winter ultra-marathons will return on 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 11-12, 2021

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 (application pending), granted by the TRA, following UKA rules for competition.

Races Will Start in

416Days
22Hours
39Mins
10Secs
Sunrise Ultra Marathon

Sunrise Ultramarathons

About the races

The Norfolk Coast Path runs for 83 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 these events take place 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 07:55, some 16 hours and 13 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.  

Please note that runners own crew will be banned from the course between the hours of 22:00 and 07:00.

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. A further indoor checkpoint is also provided at Sea Palling (no drop bag), along with five additional mobile checkpoints. The mobile checkpoints will be limited to cold water and snacks, so pack accordingly.

For those that don’t fancy the full Sunrise experience, we offer the Half Sunrise. This starts from the “halfway” checkpoint at Cley-next-the-sea at 22:30 and follows the same route to the finish in Great Yarmouth, some 45 miles away. Both events sold out in 2019 and provide an exhilarating pre-Christmas challenge and a great way to end the year.  

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UTMB® and ITRA Qualifier Events

Both races will offer ITRA points (application pending), allowing you to use them as qualifying events for the 2021 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 five water stops and two indoor checkpoints for those racing the Full Sunrise, where runners can access a drop bag (Cley CP only) and warm food and drinks

Bus Transport

Buses are provided if required to transport all racers from the finish in 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 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. As a result, a minimum of £1 from every entry will be donated to a coastal charity.
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 first major checkpoint on the full Sunrise, where runners will be able to access a drop bag, take shelter and get warm food and drink. A second indoor checkpoint is also provided at Sea Palling, which is accessbile by both races (no drop-bag).

Additional mobile checkpoints will be set up along the route but these will be outside and will only provide cold 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 (application pending), granted by the TRA and will also run under UKA rules for competition.

UTMB Qualifying Race 2020
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. 

Half Sunrise entrants must have previously completed a trail marathon and Sunrise entrants must have previously completed an ultra marathon of around fifty miles in the last twelve months.

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 18:00 on the Sunday to complete the course. There is an enforced cut off at the major checkpoint at Cley (38 miles) of 03:00 Sunday and at Sea Palling at 12:00 noon.

For the Half Sunrise you have 15 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 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 mobile checkpoints out on the course. For the indoor checkpoints at Cley and Sea Palling, we 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 two weeks before.  

Should the events sell-out (as they did in 2019) we will operate a waiting list and can transfer a place for a £10 admin fee.

No transfers are possible two weeks before the race.

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

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December 11, 2021

Sunrise (83 miles)

Starting at sunset (15:42) 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 07:55?  Don’t worry if not, as you have until 18:00 Sunday to complete your journey.

Schedule

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 15:42
Race start (sunset)

Sun 03:00
Cut-off at Cley checkpoint

Sun 07:55
Sunrise at finish

Sun 12:00
Cut-off at Sea Palling checkpoint

Sun 18:00
Finish closes

December 11, 2021

Half Sunrise (45 miles)

Starting at 22:30 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 07:55?  Don’t worry if not, as you have fifteen hours or until 13:30 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 22:30
Race Start

Sun 07:55
Sunrise at finish

Sun 13:30
Finish closes

Enter Sunrise
Join us for what will be an incredible winter running adventure

Sunrise

83 miles
£105

  • Start at Sunset 15:42
  • 26h 42m time limit
  • 7 checkpoints
  • Drop bag
  • GPS tracker
  • 4 ITRA & UTMB Points
  • 15% UMRS discount code
  • Bus transport to start (optional)

Half Sunrise

45 miles
£65

  • Start at 22:30
  • 15h time limit
  • 4 checkpoints
  • GPS tracker
  • 3 ITRA & UTMB Points
  • 15% UMRS discount code
  • Bus transport to start (optional)

Other Darkside events you might enjoy

Upcoming Events

Sunset Ultra Marathon

Sunset Ultras and Marathon

12th June 2021

As the sun rises you will race the sunset for 83 miles along the Norfolk Coast Path to the finish on Snettisham Beach.  The shorter 38 mile Half Sunset is also available, as is the Sunset Marathon.

Find out more …

Sunrise Ultra Marathon

Sunrise Ultramarathons

11th December 2021

Starting at sunset, you will race the sunrise through a winters night, following the Norfolk Coast Path for 83 miles to the finish in Great Yarmouth.  The shorter 45 mile Half Sunrise is also available. 

Find out more …

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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