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Ultra athletes compete gruelling 100-mile race

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 25, 2012

One of the 175 runners in the non-stop Ultra Trail South West passes St Michael's Mount in West Cornwall on his way to the finish at Watergate Bay

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Exhausted athletes crossed the finishing line in Cornwall after a punishing 100-mile off-road run around the coastline.

Billed as the UK's toughest race, 175 runners from around the world took part in the first non-stop Ultra Trail South West.

Similar events take place in other parts of the world including at Mont Blanc, France.

Beginning on Friday, the event finished yesterday at Watergate Bay, near Newquay. It attracted competitors from Italy, the United States and Hong Kong.

The route followed the South West Coastal Path from Porthleven to Watergate Bay.

Runners battled more than 6,500 metres of vertical ascent, the equivalent of climbing 1,000 metres beyond Everest base camp.

They took between 20 and 34 hours to complete the course.

Will Ashworth, chief executive of Watergate Bay Hotel and The Extreme Academy, who hosted the finishing line celebrations, said: "Running almost four marathons back-to-back without stopping has to be one of the most challenging physical feats of endurance.

"It's the first time Cornwall has held an event like this which attracts ultra runners from all over the world."

Rob Burnham, who runs The Shop on the beach at Watergate took part.

He said: "I had been wanting to do an Ultra Trail for a while and have been training for the past few years, so this came at the perfect time, especially as it finishes on my front door."

Malcolm Bell, head of tourism at VisitCornwall, said: "The most iconic image of Cornwall is our spectacular coastline and one of the most precious assets we have is the coastal path. So, to hold such an amazing sporting event here in Cornwall which effectively showcases the coast path to an international audience is tremendous news."

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  • Alix_98  |  August 14 2012, 10:22PM

    Hello, I'm doing to be doing a 100 mile walk in 11 months and I can't find a off road route! I was just wondering wether anybody knew the directions that was used for this rout, it would really be appreciated if someone could get back to me ASAP, my e-mail is cherrymadmess5678@hotmail.co.uk Many thanks, Alix