An ultramarathon is any race that goes longer than the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. It’s a true test of courage, guts, and grit in which only the strongest survive. The phenomenal rise of popularity in ultramarathons has been growing year by year. Made popular by some amazing runners such as David Goggins, Courtney Dauwalter, Scott Jurek and Dean Karnazes.
The most popular ultramarathons are those that are done on mountains and trails. The scenery that these ultramarathons provide is one of the main reasons so many people choose to race them.
Many have said that after training and completing an ultramarathon that they’ve learned so much about themselves and their ability to achieve great things as a human. They’re packed with emotional highs and lows but at the end of them, you’ll truly become a different person.
I personally am yet to do an ultramarathon and the longest distance I’ve done is a trail marathon. However, the ultra races are so awe-inspiring to me and I can’t help but make a post on them to hopefully motivate some of you guys to go out there and find out what they’re all about.
Below is a list of the most popular (Or rather nearly all) ultramarathons done on trails and mountains around the world. These have been done in no particular order of popularity.
Please note I’ve tried to keep the information as most relevant and up-to-date as possible as of August 2020. If anything has since changed and you would like it updated, please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to fix it.
74 Of The World's Most Popular Mountain & Trail Ultra Marathons
Below are some of the most craziest, amazing Ultra Marathons that I’ve managed to find out there in the world today!
1. Bear 100 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://bear100.com/
The BEAR 100 is a point to point course that starts in Logan, UT and finishes at Fish Haven, ID at Bear Lake.
The Bear 100 is a race which is capped at 350 runners (As of 2020) and runs through a Cool, Autumn Loop Through the Pines, Golden Aspen and Red Maples. It’s a race that starts in Logan, UT and finishes at Fish Haven, ID at Bear Lake. The statistics of this ultramarathon are quite daunting at 100 Miles with 22, 518′ of climb, a Max Elevation of 9043’, a Min Elevation 4860’ and a Avg Elevation of 7350′.
You must have completed at least a 50 mile race in under 16 hours in order to enter according to the rules.
2. Western States Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://www.wser.org/
The Western States Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States.
Runners will climb more than 18,000 ft and descend 23,000 before they’re able to reach the finish line located at Placer High School in Auburn.
The Western States is a race you need to qualify for before being able to take part in it and all the details are available on their website.
3. Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run, United States
The Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run is held at Cuyahoga Falls in Northeast Ohio. This race travels through amazing scenery which includes the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Summit Metro Parks. The 2020 Burning River 100 is a Western States qualifier so if you’re looking to get into the Western States this could be a great chance and if not, you’ll get to enjoy the amazing scenery this race provides.
The Burning River also has 50-mile options alongside the popular 100-mile and you don’t need to worry about qualifying.
4. Tarawera Ultramarathon, New Zealand
Event website: https://www.taraweraultra.co.nz/
The Tarawera Ultramarathon is run in Tarawera, New Zealand and is also a Western States qualifier. Runners can complete the 21km, 50km, 102km distances, or the 100 Mile Endurance Run so there’s something available for everyone.
There are seven lakes, forests, waterfalls and the most stunning scenery imaginable. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world and if you’re already doing something that you love, which is running then it’ll be all the more special.
5. Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, France
Event website: https://utmbmontblanc.com/en/UTMB
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is a single-stage mountain ultramarathon first held in 2003. This race belongs to the series of races part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
The breathtaking scenery of this race goes through France, Italy, and Switzerland in the alps. This race has a very strict entry point in which you need to accumulate enough points through the World Tour series in the previous two years before the actual race. Regardless of its strict entry guidelines, it is definitely a beautiful race.
6. Leadville Trail 100, United States
The Leadville Trail 100 is one of those first races that I saw on YouTube and really thought “WOW, this is amazing!”. It’s been dubbed as the “Race Across The Sky” and it started all the way back in 1983. There are elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet.
This race is primarily a mountain race, a mountain that should be respected. The Leadville 100 is also another very popular race which has qualification criteria you must meet. There are charity and lottery spots that you can get if you’re extremely lucky. All the details are on their website.
7. Addo Elephant Trail Run, South Africa
Event website: http://addo.run/
The Addo Elephant Trail Run is considered a “thrill” run through wild South African wilderness. The website states the following “Imagine being surrounded by the animals, sights, and sounds of the African bush as you test yourself against the incredible distance & mental challenges of an ultra trail run.” I don’t know how this sounds like to you guys but I instantly had the thought of lions chasing me while I run. Oh well, I guess it’ll make me go faster!
This race has a 5640 elevation gain and a 31% ratio of people not finishing the race. For this race, you can either opt for the 100-mile endurance run or the shorter 76km and 44km runs which are also available.
8. Alpine Challenge, Australia
This race which is done in the land-down-under, Australia offers some of the countries most scenic runs. The Alpine Challenge Ultra Marathon covers four distances 100 miles (160 km), the 100 km, the 60 km, 42 km, 25 km, 16 km, and 10 km.
9. American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: http://www.ar50mile.com/
The American River 50 Mile run begins in Folsom Point, at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in the Sierra-Nevada Foothills.
Runners complete a 50-mile journey on single track trails and ultimately return to Folsom point.
10. Annapurna 100, Nepal
Event website: https://annapurna100.com/
The Annapurna 100 is one of Asia’s best and one of the most beautiful trail races. The 100-mile race (There’s also a 55k) runs towards the iconic mountain landscape of the sacred “Fishtail” with the backdrop of the Annapurna massif.
There’s a lot to climb during this race, but the views that you’ll experience will be breathtaking and all worth it in the end.
11. Nesters Market Squamish 50, Canada
Event website: http://squamish50.com/
The Nesters Market Squamish has been dubbed by the website as “An unforgettable mountain running experience in The Outdoor Recreation Capital Of Canada”. It’s a race that boasts 11,000 feet of climbing and descent but you’re rewarded with stunning glaciated snow-capped peaks which will be sure to fulfill your adventure needs.
12. Barkley Marathons, United States
Event website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkley_Marathons
The Barkley Marathons is an odd ultramarathon of which only 40 runners are allowed to attend and the slots fill up quickly. It’s located in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee. There were no finishers from the 40 runners at the 2019 Barkley Marathons.
I’ve included the Wikipedia page as the event website because the normal website doesn’t contain as much information.
13. Bighorn Trail Run, United States
Event website: https://bighorntrailrun.com/
The Bighorn Trail Runs contain a 100-mile endurance run which provides adventurers crossing through Little Bighorn and Tongue River areas of the Bighorn National Forest.
Participants only have 34 hours to complete this run which contains 20,500 feet of ascent and 20,750 feet of descent. It’s no small task and has gained respect from many runners.
14. Bogong to Hotham, Australia
Event website: https://bogong2hotham.com.au/
Bogong to Hotham is an ultramarathon which was originally named the “Rooftop Run” and was first held in 1984. It starts at Mountain Creek Campground and those who dare take this course will climb up Mt Bogong, descend T-Spur to Big River then go on the next big climb up Duane’s Spur to reach the Bogong High Plains.
This is the toughest mile for mile races in Australia as dubbed by the website but it offers spectacular views of some of Australia’s greatest landscapes.
Bogong to Hotham consists of a shorter 29k run, a 35k run and the ultramarathon endurance version of 64k.
15. Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run, Canada
Event website: https://kneeknacker.com/race-info-course/
The Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run is a 30-mile race at the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. This is more suited for experienced trail or marathon runners, even though it’s a 30-mile race it contains an 8,000 feet ascension alongside an 8,300 descend.
16. Laugavegur Ultramarathon, Iceland
Event website: https://www.laugavegshlaup.is/en
The Laugavegur Ultramarathon is a 55km (34.1-mile) race designed for experienced runners. Laugavegur is located in the southern highlands of Iceland and connects the nature reserves Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork. The special thing about Laugavegur is that due to its location, its service for only a few weeks every year.
This race is considered the most enjoyable one in Iceland as it takes runners through outstanding natural beauty whilst at the same time being a very challenging course. There are no special requirements to enter the race however they do expect you have covered at least a 30-mile trail marathon in the past.
17. Lean Horse Ultramarathon, United States
Event website: https://leanhorse100.com/
The Lean Horse Ultramarathon runs yearly in Black Hills of South Dakota and it contains a 100-mile, 50-mile, 30-mile, and 20-mile race. This course is considered non-technical so many people can enjoy it from all walks of life. However, you still shouldn’t underestimate it as it contains 7,162 ft of climb in elevation.
The United States has some of the best landscapes visually in regards to Ultra races, The Lean Horse is no exception.
18. Lyke Wake Challenge, United Kingdom
Event website: https://quakers.run/club-running/lyke-wake-challenge/
The Lyke Wake Challenge is a 40-mile race located in Osmotherley, Yorkshire. It’s a challenging distance if you’re looking to take your ultra career to the next step after a 50K. It has a bit of everything including steep climbs, wet rocks, narrow tracks, stream crossings, woodland, open moorland, and bogs.
19. Massanutten Mountain Trails 100, United States
Event website: https://www.vhtrc.org/mmt19/
The Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 is a challenging ultramarathon through rocky technical terrain and 18,500 feet of total ascent, not for the faint of hearted! This race does have a 35-hour cutoff and is located at Massanutten Mountains in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
20. Mourneway Ultra Marathon, United Kingdom
The Mourne Way Ultra Marathon is located in Rostrevor, Northern Island. The main race is an 84K (52-mile) distance however there are alternatives of 42KM/26M 21KM/13M 10KM/6M. The entire location is marked so all participants can enjoy the views without having to physically climb any mountains.
This is a great race to enjoy as there are alternatives to the grueling 52-mile ultramarathon.
21. Miwok 100K Trail Race, United States
Event website: https://miwok100k.com/
The Miwok 100K (62-miles) is an iconic ultramarathon that stuns runners from all parts of the globe with its intense beauty. The course itself has 11,800 feet of gain but is very runnable and offers spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, Mount Tamalpais, and the Point Reyes National Seashore.
If you’re a tourist that loves to do marathons in different cities then this is one of the best in terms of what it offers with views.
22. Mountain Masochist Trail Run, United States
The Mountain Masochist Trail Run is a 50-mile ultramarathon course which takes runners through the Blue Ridge Mountains, that are a part of the Appalachian Mountains range. It is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southernmost portion in Georgia and ends in Pennsylvania.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are known for having a blue color when seen from afar and the entire trail itself offers a stunning view.
23. Muraoka Ultra Marathon, Japan
Event website: https://marathons.ahotu.com/event/muraoka-ultra-marathon
The Muraoka Ultra Marathon is an ultramarathon covering 44K, 66K, 88K and 100K distances located in beautiful Japan.
There is not much else known about this Ultra for English speakers however the information provided on the Marathons link above shows their website in Japanese.
24. North Downs Way 50, United Kingdom
The North Downs 50-miler is a point-to-point run on the North Downs Way National Trail, from Farnham in Surrey to Knockholt Pound on the outskirts of Greater London. This trail ascends in 5,600 feet and contains some national park landscapes.
25. Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs - 50K, 50 & 100 miles, Location United States
Event website: http://www.oilcreek100.org/Home
The 100-miler version of this race has 87.1 miles of trail and a short amount of dirt road (87%), and 13.5 miles (13%) of asphalt.
This race also has a 50K version as well as a 50-mile version. The race is located in Titusville Middle School race HQ, Titusville PA and has a 32-hour time limit.
26. Old Dominion 100 Miler, United States
Event website: http://www.olddominionrun.org/
The Old Dominion is a 100 Mile Endurance Run in Massanutten Mountains, Shenandoah River, Valley Fort Valley, Virginia. This is an intense race that has 14 climbs totaling 14,000 feet of gain. Definitely for the toughest of primates.
Consider having to do four marathons back-to-back. That is the Old Dominion, and it all must be completed within 24 hours.
27. Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://oldpueblo50.com/
The Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run is one of the oldest endurance runs in Arizona which was started by a group of local trail runners. Since it’s inception in 1985 Old Pueblo has taken on many forms and has had different routes, starts, finishes, distances, race directors and its share of ups and downs according to their website.
Old Pueblo has a 100-mile, 75-mile, 50-mile, and 25-mile version as well. This course is a 25-mile loop however so if you do opt for the 100-mile race you’ll likely be seeing the same trail.
28. Oxfam Trailwalker, Hong Kong
Event website: https://www.oxfamtrailwalker.org.hk/
The Oxfam Trailwalker, based in Hong Kong is a charity event fundraiser supporting Oxfam and since its inception, they have already raised over HK$575 million to help those in poverty and emergency relief around Africa and Asia.
For the case of the Oxfam Trailwalker participants work in a team of four to complete the 100km MacLehose Trail within a 48-hour time limit.
What’s fun about this race is that there are so many people involved all offering each other a had through camaraderie and companionship. Those are my funniest races.
29. Pillar Mountain Run, Kodiak, AK, United States
Event website: https://trailrunner.com/event/pillar-mountain-run/
This event is a 9.3-mile LOOP over Pillar Mountain. If you’re looking for an Ultramarathon where you’re going around in circles then this is for you.
30. Bull Run Run 50 Mile, United States
Event website: http://vhtrc.org/brr19/
The Bull Run Run is a 50-mile trail run that goes through Bull Run and the Occoquan River in Northern Virginia, Outside Washington DC. The run has a civil war theme that honors battles that occurred at the location over 150 years ago.
What makes this race extremely interesting is that it has a 13-hour time limit which is a great way to start your first 50-miler. The amazing scenery and history that it provides is, of course, a great plus!
31. Canadian Death Race, Canada
Event website: https://www.canadiandeathrace.com/
The Canadian Death Race is a 125K (77.6-mile) race in the Canadian Rockies and is considered one of the world’s toughest ultramarathons. The course includes OVER 17,000FT of Elevation! This race is considered for well-trained endurance athletes that are able to withstand battle heat, cold, altitude, and their own mental demons.
This is another race that is a qualifier for the Western States as well as UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc).
32. Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: http://www.cascadecrest100.com/
Cascade Crest is considered a challenging 100-mile trail run through the central cascades of Washington State. This course has a 34-hour time limit in which you must complete it. This race does have qualifying requirements which are that you must’ve completed a 50-miler or longer (With at least 6,500 ft of the climb).
33. Chimera 100 Mile, United States
Event website: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=55727
In the greater San Diego area, there belongs, The Cleveland National Forest. These national forest hosts the Chimera 100-mile ultramarathon. Chimera 100 Mile trail race has over 22,000′ of elevation gain and is rated one of the toughest trail 100-mile races in the country. The maximum time you have to complete this race is 35 hours.
34. Clark-Miyamit Falls Trail Ultra, United States
Event website: http://www.cm50ultra.com/
The Clark-Miyamit Falls Trail Ultramarathon is a 50-mile trail which considered one of the toughest in South East Asia. The terrain consists of gravel roads, fire trails, dirt road, river and lahar crossings, single tracks and concrete road.
35. Cradle Mountain Run, Australia
Event website: https://www.cradlemtnrun.asn.au/
Cradle Mountain Run is actually in Tasmania, the small island in the south of Victoria (State of Australia). The altitude on the track is 1000 meters (3280 ft) which by United States standards is not considered high. This is an 80K (50-mile) trail which is limited to only 60 runners.
To do the Cradle Mountain Run you must’ve completed an ultramarathon longer than 80km (50-miles)
36. Elizabeth's Furnace Fat Ass 50K, Location United States
Event website: http://www.vhtrc.org/news/elizabethFurnace50k
Elizabeth’s Furnace 50km is a challenging ultramarathon that has approximately 6,070 feet of elevation gain throughout. This race is held in the mountains during the winter so the weather can be completely unpredictable. This is a very technical trail that doesn’t have any markings so if you’re new or prone to getting lost perhaps avoid this ultra!
37. Evergreen Trail Runs, United States
Event website: http://www.evergreentrailruns.com/races/
The Evergreen Trail Runs isn’t a specific Ultramarathon but actually a series of races that are apart of Evergreen Trail Runs. You can find out more about all of their races on their website link provided above.
38. Fuego y Agua 25k,50k,100K & Survival Run, Nicaragua
Event website: https://fuegoyagua.org/nicaragua
Fuego y Agua is an Ultra Trail located in Nicaragua and has a 25K, 50K and 100K (62-mile) run.
These trail series are rather interesting in the fact that you have the opportunity to run around, up and down 2 volcanoes in a small island on Nicaragua. The terrains here include dirt trails, sandy beaches as well as a paved road. There is over 19685-feet of Elevation gain available on these uniquely challenging ultramarathon trails.
39. Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon, United States
Event website: https://g2gultra.com/g2g-homepage
The Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon (Grand to Grand Ultra) is a ridiculously long ultramarathon weighing in at 275KM (170-miles) over the course of 7 days. You will need to dig deep inside your inner mental strength as well as pull all the stops to keep your muscles going.
The race starts at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The course itself takes you through desert landscapes, sand dunes (If it wasn’t already hard enough!) and it finishes at the Grand Staircase.
40. Grindstone 100 Miler, United States
Event website: https://eco-xsports.com/events/grindstone-100/
The Grindstone 100 is a 100-mile footrace that starts at Camp Shenandoah and is considered an incredible adventure for each and every entrant. The elevation profile is very daunting with tons of descends and ascends. Runners climb a cumulative total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) and descend a total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) before even reaching the finish line.
41. Hardcore Hundred Miles, Philippines
Event website: http://kotmtrailrun.com/hardcore-hundred-miles/
The Hardcore Hundred Miles is the first 100-mile ultramarathon located in the Philippines. If you thought the Grindstone 100-miler was only for running lunatics wait until you hear how much this race has. Total elevation gain is approximately 37,098 feet! Total elevation loss is around 37,112 feet so fairly equal and both equally as daunting.
42. Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://hardrock100.com/hardrock-about.php
Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run is an ultramarathon that consists of 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 66,100 feet.
Yeah, they just keep getting bigger and bigger right? This race must also be completed within the 48-hour time limit. The fastest performance is held by Kilian Jornet at 22:41 (What an absolute machine!) It is held in Southern Colorado’s San Juan Range.
43. Hardmoors Race Series (200 miles, 160m, 110m, 60m, 55m, and 30m), United Kingdom
Event website: https://www.hardmoors110.org.uk/
The Hardmoors Races Series are a series of races in the United Kingdom located in North York Moors and the Cleveland Hills. Other race locations include Robin Hoods Bay, Ravenscar, Cloughton, Runswick Bay, Staithes, Whitby, Scarborough, and Filey.
The Hardmoors 160 is a 160-mile single-stage Ultramarathon with over 7000 meters of ascent (22,900 feet). Competitors will have 50 hours to complete this particular race. You can see all the individual race information on the Hardmoors Race Series website above.
44. Hasetsune Cup 71.5 km, Japan
Event website: http://www.hasetsune.com/en/cup/
The Hasetsune Cup is an endurance run located in Okutama mountainous area around Tokyo. The run distance is 71.5km (44.4-miles) and the race itself must be completed within the 24-hour time limit.
45. HAT Run, United States
Event website: http://hatrun.com/
The 50K Hat Run at Susquehanna State Park, located in Havre de Grace, MD has been around now for over 30 years and is a loop of 3.6 miles followed by two identical loops of 13.7 miles with nearly 4,300 feet of climbing throughout. Mostly single-track trail with a mix of open fields, dirt road and a bit of pavement.
This ultramarathon has 4 stream crossings which can be quite technical and perhaps not for everyone if you don’t like being wet (But come on! You’re on a trail!).
46. Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon, Japan
Event website: https://www.r-wellness.com/takayama/en/
The Hida Takayama ultramarathon is in Takayama City, located in the Gifu Prefecture, the largest area city in Japan.
Japan is naturally a very beautiful place and this race will take you through preserved old towns, beautiful Japanese scenery and views of Mt Norikura (Third tallest volcano in Japan). If you’re one that loves to set off on a journey by doing an ultra race then the Hida Takayama Ultra will definitely be one to add to the bucket list.
47. Swiss Alpine Marathon, Switzerland
The Swiss Alpine Marathon is a high-alpine mountain experience for trail runners located in Grisons, Switzerland. This race has been going since 1986 and provides some amazing scenery that you would come to expect from Switzerland. There are multiple races that you can choose from to suit all age groups and runners from all experience levels. You can find out more on their website above.
48. Ultra-Trail Australia (Prev. The North Face 100, Australia)
Event website: https://www.ultratrailaustralia.com.au/
The North Face 100, or rather it has now been called Ultra-Trail Australia is part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour Series.
Its most prominent race is the UTA100 which is a 100K race. The start and finish are at Scenic World, Katoomba which is part of the Blue Mountains. This is some of the most amazing natural landscapes that you’ll ever see.
49. Thames Path 100km, United Kingdom
Event website: https://www.thamespathchallenge.com/
The Thames Path Challenge is a series of different races that are held at the same event which contain 25K, 50K or 100K. The website says “Walk it, jog it or run it” which means it’s tailored for all groups and skill levels.
The 100K routes from Putney Bridge past Hampton Court to Runnymede of Magna Carta fame at 50km, then on past wonderful historic scenery all the way to Henley according to the website.
50. Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) 415 km, Japan
Event website: http://www.tjar.jp/
The Trans Japan Alps Race is a 415K (257-miles) Ultra Marathon which is held every year since 2002 in the Japanese Alps. It has a total elevation gain of 26,662m (87,473ft). How’s that for a challenge? The course record is 5 days 5 hours 22 min which was done in 2010 by Shougo Mochizuki.
Please note that the official website is in Japanese.
51. TransRockies Run, 6 stages, 125m, United States
Event website: https://www.transrockies-run.com/
The TransRockies Run is a point-to-point adventure that takes athletes across the amazing scenery of Colorado. This is from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek.
52. Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 168 km / 88 km, Japan
Event website: https://www.ultratrailmtfuji.com/en/
The Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji is held in Japan every year with a total distance of 168K (104-miles). The total elevation gain of the course is 9,500m (31167 ft). This is another race that is part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour Series. There is a time limit of 46 hours to complete this course and it’s another one which boasts amazing views of Japan.
53. Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://vermont100.com/
The Vermont 100 Ultramarathon is a 17,000 vertical feet course that must be completed in 30 hours. It is 100-miles long however it also has a 100K available should you wish to do it.
The Vermont 100 features some of the most breathtaking views of the Southern Green Mountains. The really interesting part about this race is that you’ll be doing it alongside horses and their jockeys!
54. West Highland Way Race, United Kingdom
Event website: https://westhighlandwayrace.org/
This is a 300 person race in the United Kingdom. It starts at Milngavie Railway Station (7 miles north of Glasgow). Runners can then run, jog or walk across the West Highland Way route to the Nevis Centre in Fort William. This race has 14,760 ft of vertical ascension.
55. Vietnam Mountain Marathon, Vietnam
Event website: https://vietnamtrailseries.com/mountain-marathon/
The Vietnam Mountain Marathon is dubbed the hardest run in Vietnam. It’s a unique trail which has 100K, 70K and 42K course (Standard marathon distance)
Vietnam is a beautiful country and this race will take you through the inspiring mountain range of Hoang Lien National Park and its remote valleys near Sapa that are usually closed territory to all but the few. (Source: Website).
56. Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run, United States
Event website: https://wasatch100.com/
The Wasatch Front 100 Mile Ultramarathon is held in Utah on the first Friday and Saturday after Labor Day each year.
The run goes from East Mountain Wilderness Park, Utah to Soldier Hollow, Utah and covers some of the most beautiful scenery the Wasatch Mountains have to offer. There is an elevation gain profile of 24,000 feet and a loss of 23,300 feet.
57. Borneo TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon 50K, 100K, Malaysia
Event website: http://www.borneoultra.com/tmbt1/race-info
The Borneo Ultra is Malaysia’s oldest Ultra Trail race which started in 2011. The race offers scenery of Mount Kinabalu which is one of Southeast Asia’s highest peaks at 4,100 meters (13,451 feet). There are multiple race distances available which are the 109K (67 miles), 50K, 30K, 37K night challenge, 12K, and 7.5K so its another one of those Ultra races where everyone can get involved.
58. İznik Ultramarathon, Turkey
Event website: https://marathons.ahotu.com/event/iznik-ultramarathon
The Iznik Ultramarathon is a race held in Turkey which also has a series of races such as the Mountain Marathon which is a little over 50K and there is the Ultra which is 88.5K as well as a few other races available for teams such as Ultra Relays. The race is held at İznik town of Bursa Province in northwestern Turkey.
The total elevation gain for this course is 2,248 meters (7,375 ft).
59. Lycian Way Ultramarathon, Turkey
Event website: https://www.likyayoluultramaratonu.com/EN/
Lycian Way Ultra Marathon is another race that is held in Turkey that has multiple races available. There is a 100K Ultra Trail that goes through Mountains, forests, pathways, beaches, and rivers. Alongside that, it also has a 57K, 37K and 20K race so that more people can get involved. You can score points for UTMB at this race as well, in order of 4, 3, 2 and 1 points going from the longest distance to the shortest.
60. Yatsugatake (Mount Yatsuga) Nobeyama Highland 100 km Ultra Marathon, Japan
Event website: http://www.r-wellness.com/nobeyama/
Nobeyama Highland 100K is an Ultra Marathon held in Japan. There are 3 different races to go on, which is the 100K, 42K and there’s a 72K as well. Please note that the official website is in Japanese.
61. HUFF 50K Trail Run, United States
Event website: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=74661
The HUFF is an ultramarathon that is good for first-timers. It is also one of America’s best-known Ultramarathons. They’re known for their great post-race foods particularly their array of soups. The Huff is a trail marathon.
62. Javelina Jundred, United States
Event website: https://aravaiparunning.com/network/javelinajundred/
The Javelina Jundred is a 100 mile or 100-kilometer race in Fountain Hills, Arizona which is presented by Hoka ONE ONE. The Javelina Jundred is an interest Ultra in the fact that it is a costumed style 100-mile run. The race is held on a ~20-mile rolling single track trail course comprised mostly of the Pemberton Trail in beautiful McDowell Mountain Regional Park near Fountain Hills, Arizona.
63. Kesugi Ridge Traverse, United States
Event website: http://kesugiridgetraverse.com/
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse is located in Denali State Park. It is a 30-mile Ultramarathon and it contains a total elevation gain of 6,800 feet and 6,200 feet of elevation loss.
Even though the race is quite short compared to most Ultramarathons, the website states that it is not for beginners and knowing the course is a must.
64. Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Runs, United States
Event website: https://www.kettlemoraine100.com/trail
The Kettle Moraine 100 is a classic ultra marathon which was started back in 1995. They have a 100-mile signature race alongside a 100k, 50k and 38-mile race.
The course runs entirely on trails (except for road crossings) and will traverse the Ice Age National Scenic Trail for 65 miles. It’s one of the most beautifully stunning races that go through some amazing forests. There is a total altitude gain of 8,800 feet on this race.
65. Kokoda Challenge Race, Papua New Guinea
Event website: https://kokodatrekkingaust.com.au/kokodachallenge/
The Kokoda Challenge race is a 96K race (Just about 60 miles) which is located in Papua New Guinea across the infamous Kokoda Trail. The current race record holder in both directions is Brendan Buka, with the best time of 16:34.05 in 2008 from Owers Corner to Kokoda.
66. Pinhoti 100 Mile Endurance Run Alabama, United States
Event website: http://www.pinhotitrailseries.com/pinhoti-100.html
Pinhoti 100 Trail Race is a 100 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Heflin, Alabama that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. (Source: Website)
This race has over 14,000 ft of climbing and descent of 14,000 well concluding a total elevation change profile of 28,000 ft. The Pinhoti Trail offers some of the most beautiful sights of rocks and creeks over the Cheaha Mountain which is the highest point in Alabama.
67. Rennsteiglauf, Germany
Event website: https://www.rennsteiglauf.de/en/
The Rennsteiglauf is one of Europe’s largest and iconic trail races, which is in the Thuringian Forest. The race has about 15,000 runners that come to it every year so it’s definitely a larger race compared to most Ultramarathons. They do, however, have a normal Marathon as well as a Half-Marathon alongside the Ultramarathon (Or Supermarathon as they like to call it.)
The Ultramarathon is a 73.9K (Just about 46 miles) race which starts at Eisenach market square (210 m above sea level) and ends at Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig (711 m above sea level).
68. Resurrection Pass Ultra Trail Races, United States
Event website: http://www.rpultras.com/
The Resurrection Pass Ultra Trail Races are low-key self-supported runs that are done between Hope and Cooper Landing in Alaska.
This trail was originally used by gold miners to access mining claims along Turnagain Arm. It is now a recreational trail.
69. Rhodes Trail Run, South Africa
Event website: https://www.rhodesrun.za.net/
The Rhodes Trail Run is South Africa’s iconic trail run which is done in the beautiful southern Drakensberg mountains surrounding the Victorian-era village of Rhodes.
The first race itself was done in July 1989 so it is an older race. The race has a limit of approximately 300 runners and is usually done by invitation-only.
70. Rio Del Lago, United States
Event website: http://www.rio100mile.com/
Rio Del Lago is a qualifier for the 2021 Western States 100. The Rio Del Lago is a 100-mile run at Beal’s Point in Sierra Foothills of California. The total elevation profile is 13,500 feet of descent/ascent. The Rio Del Lago has been dubbed “The Jewel Of The Sierra Nevada Foothills”
71. Shin'etsu Five Mountains Trail 110 km, Japan
72. South Downs Way 100, United Kingdom
The South Downs Way 100 is a course that starts outside of Winchester the capital city of Saxon England. It then heads east until the trail itself ends in Eastbourne. This race is well stocked, with 13 aid stations across the whole way. There is an elevation total of 12,700 ft.
73. Sinister 7 100 miles, Canada
Event website: http://www.sinister7.com/
The Sinister 7 100 mile Ultramarathon is a race that contains 6,400m of elevation gain which is just shy of 20,997ft. The Sinister 7 can be done as a solo runner or you can run it with up to seven other people. Each has 30 hours to finish the grueling event.
74. Spine Race, United Kingdom
The Spine Race is one of the world’s toughest endurance races, weighing in at 268-miles from Edale, England to Kirk Yetholm, Scottland. You would go through the Penine Way. Participants have seven days to complete this course. This is the true test of endurance.
Well there you have it, some of the most amazing and dangerous Ultra Marathons done on Trail or Mountains.
Do you know of any others that should be on the list? Feel free to leave a comment below to let me know!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.