Sunday 19 June 2022

#067 Your trail to the PB270 - Part 1

A couple have months have passed since the inaugural edition of the Ranger Ultras' PB270km Pennine Bridleway Trail Challenge when a pioneering group of trail runners stepped forward to the start line on a sunny April morning. From an organisers perspective, the race delivered everything we had hoped and planned for. Whether finishers or not, the athletes praised how fresh and special this event felt.  Comments which were echoed by volunteers on the Ranger Ultras Safety Team (RUSTies).

I love running in Ranger Ultras events, the team and the routes are great. - Ray Poynter (2nd place)

We're delighted to say that the build up to the 2023 edition is well under way. 

In this blog mini-series, we'll talk about our vision for the PB270, which may not be what you'd expect from a trail running events company. As well as hints, tips and topics to help you arrive at the start line yourself - prepared and ready to enjoy the adventure.

Trophies worth taking home

Why the PB270?
We've already gained a lot of experience of the Pennine Bridleway organising trail running races which use several sections of this national trail. So, a couple of years ago, considering ideas for what our next original race concept would be, a multi-day on the Pennine Bridleway was the next logical step.

A Race Of Many Firsts - Run Ultra - Katie Allen (Editor)

The PB270 concept.
First and foremost, as with all our race routes, the Pennine Bridleway trail has a inspiring mix of picturesque scenery, a real sense of journey, varied terrain and some decent runnable sections which are at times challenging. 

Also in common with our other trail races, the PB270 offers reasonably generous cut-offs so the event is accessible to folks with walk-jog strategies. Yet to cross the finish line still retains the feeling of an achievement which is earned.

As it's a national trail, the route is well marked with fixed finger posts, so navigation is straight forward. We don't add additional waymarking so participants still have to think about the route and engage with the environment. We work closely with National Trails people in planning the event. Ranger Ultras' were the first trail running event company to be awarded the 'Proudly Supporting National Trails' badge. 

All our PB270 checkpoints offer tasty meals which are wholesome and home cooked with fresh ingredients. The checkpoints themselves are a combination of short-stay, longer-stay, bunkroom and floor sleeping. All have a kitchen, showers and toilet facilities. 

Creamy pasta with vegetables & cheese

'The food and drink in the checkpoints was great and well thought through'. - Bobby Cullen (winner)

'Best checkpoint food I've ever had' - Katie Allen (safety team & Run Ultra Editor)

African rice & beans

Then at the finish, PB270 completers are rewarded with lovely, spacious, hostel accommodation, which we exclusively hire. And a themed meal, deserving of your success.

Wholesome & fresh ingredients

But if a participant doesn't make it all the way to Kirkby Stephen, there is no less appreciation of their efforts. 

'a superb coordinated event and a big shout out to the amazing crew of volunteers and all they do for us both on the course and at the checkpoints' - Dave Wright (dnf at CP2)

So while we're not big on overhead gantries and lots of razzmatazz, participants on the PB270 and other Ranger Ultras trail running events can see that their entry fee has been invested in offering great value. A spirit which gave rise to our tag line:

low-key, great-value, big-enjoyment, trail-running

Lets not forget, the Pennine Bridleway is so much more than a horse and bike trail. It offers superb and varied, runnable surfaces. Amazing big-sky scenery, expansive moorland and picturesque riverine valleys. There are lots of real local history gems to spark curiosity and 'wow' moments. The trail truly has something for everyone and enjoyment for all trail runners.

'This is new race is certainly going to be a classic one that’ll soon be on many racers year planner'. - Al Pepper (safety team) 

The PB270 for 2023
The success of the inaugural 2022 PB270 has guided our thoughts on how we'd like the event to develop.

We really like the idea of keeping the event a manageable size and certainly not growing it into a mass participation horror show. A maximum of 40 participants means we can offer many excellent benefits...

  • Unobtrusive numbers which is respectful to local communities
  • Minimal impact upon the National Trail and ecology
  • Participants are not lost in a sea of other runners
  • The team has time to give each runner a level of service which is supportive but not too intrusive or detracting from the adventure.
  • We can confidently continue offering generous cut-offs to suit walk-jog strategies.
  • Quality home cooked food which is nutritious and appetising for hungry runners.
  • Sufficient participants to ensure a sense of competition among the front runners, journeying comradeship in mid-pack and mutual support among the rear markers.
  • The reassurance of a bed, hot meal, refreshments, shower and rest at the finish, in comfortable surroundings.
  • A price point which offers quality and great value. Yet is fair and reasonable to trail runners wallets in these economically challenging times.
  • And not least, our usual warm welcome, thorough planning and organisation for all runners and the race safety team volunteers.
Quality finish comfort

'It was a great experience for me to watch a hugely experienced and professional event team in action and to be a member of such a close-knit team'. - Katie Allen (safety team & Run Ultra Editor)

Bunkroom beds at the finish

Your trail to the PB270
We have a super selection of trail running races which are both excellent preparation for the PB270 as well as great day's in their own right. More details for each are on Ranger Ultras race pages:   

Here they are in upcoming date order

High Peak 100km 
(using 25km Pennine Bridleway section between Middleton Top and Chelmorton)

Pen Y Ghent 50km
(using 7km Pennine Bridleway section)

Yorkshire 3 Peaks Ultra 70/100km
(using 7km Pennine Bridleway section

Peak District South & North 43/50/93km
(Stage 1 using 10km Pennine Bridleway section Parsley Hay to Chelmorton)
Also has accommodation options at the Peak Centre Race HQ)

PB18km & PB55km Pennine Bridleway Trail Races
(using Pennine Bridleway south of Hayfield)

Take me to my PB270 entry...

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