Tackling Anglesey’s Ultra Marathon

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Across the calendar, Anglesey offers a number of extreme competitions, from ultra marathons to triathlons.

Arguably the hardest of them all is the Ring O’Fire ultra marathon. The 135-mile coastal path event takes place across three days, circumnavigating the isle and combining the beautiful scenery with at times brutal terrain. This event makes for both one of the most visually stunning but physically challenging ultra marathon events in the the British Isles.

Off the back of completing the gruelling three-day Ring O’ Fire ultra marathon, we caught up with Hayley White, the fastest woman in the 2021 competition. Here’s her breakdown of the event.

In September 2021 I competed in the Ring O’ Fire race on the Island of Anglesey. It has become something of a tradition to the Island and is celebrating its 10th year in 2021.

“Day one is approximately 36 miles and you have nine hours to complete the distance. To make sure all runners don’t accidently omit parts of the coastal path, honesty books are placed at strategic places so that you have to rip a page out and present it to a Marshal at the next Checkpoint.  An omitted page will cause a penalty of 3 hrs and for some, this could take them then outside of the cut off time. Day one is from Breakwater Country Park to Amlwch.

Day two starts at 6am. The distance is around 66 miles and has to be completed in 18 hours. If you are successful to meet the checkpoint cut off times, navigate and collect all the honesty pages and to make it back to camp without being withdrawn and or DNF (did not finish) your position, then for the last time, you settle down for the night in Aberffraw.

The third and final day is approximately 34 miles and you have nine and a half hours to complete.  Day three is another early start at 6am from Aberffraw and you finish right back where you started, in Breakwater Country Park.”

Hayeley had this to say on her experience: “I decided to enter Ring O’ Fire because I had never spent any time as a child or in fact, my later years on the Island and so, thought it was a great way to see Anglesey and take part in a race. Whilst I had to concentrate on navigation and keeping a check on my peers in the race, I was taken aback at how beautiful the coastline, villages and peninsular were.

In parts it was breath-taking, and I remember on many occasions over the three days promising myself to come back to the island, especially with my husband and our son Freddie.

 

Hayley at the finish line, with the overall winner Joe Baker.

“Particular favourites of mine were Church Bay, Dullas and Moelfre, pretty cottages at Penmon Point, unforgettable Beaumaris, Newborough Forest and  “Mojitos” at Rhosneigr, who generously handed out Bacon Butties at the beginning of Day three. 

“Silver Bay was absolutely stunning and the hive of activity in the coves and bays before and after (rock climbing, swimming, kayaks and plenty of other people walking taking in the sites) was very evident.

“How have I never spent more time on Anglesey? It has everything and copious amounts more.  Whilst the race weekend was back-to-back blue sky and very hot, for the time of year, I could equally imagine in Winter it being just as idyllic in a different way.

“Anglesey and the Ring O’ Fire will hold a very special place in my heart and mind. I successfully completed the race and was crowned First Female Finisher.”  

To Learn more, click HERE.

Other events on Anglesey

Here are some of the other endurance events that take place on Anglesey enjoyed by many of Silver Bay’s owners each year;

Superfeet Sandman events

For the hardiest of competitors, the Superfeet Sandman Triathlons and Duathlons offer the ultimate physical test along the beautiful beaches of Anglesey and through Newborough Forest, combining sea swimming, cycling and running.

Described as ‘the most beautiful triathlon in the race calendar’, this is certainly not one to miss for those looking for a serious test of endurance. Learn more HERE.

Half and Trial Half Marathons

Runners who like a challenge can check out both the half marathons and trial half marathons held on Anglesey. The 13-mile road race begins on Menai suspension bridge, with stunning views of Snowdonia National Park and the Menai Straits. The trail half marathon is the sister event, and takes competitors off-road through the scenic surrounds of Newborough Forest.

There are also 10K versions of each event available, for those looking to take on a shorter distance. The road race also offers a children’s 1-mile Dragons Dash race for families to enjoy. Find out more HERE. 

Tour De Mon (Cycling)

Those who prefer their exercise on two wheels can check out the Tour De Mon in Holyhead. This unique race offers the unrivalled experience of riding along huge stretches of the Anglesey coastline, with four different race lengths to opt for. 

From the Teulu 3.5 mile race, designed for families, to the Mawr 106 mile race, there’s something for everyone with a bike and an eagerness to experience the beautiful coastline in this unique way. For more information, click HERE.