It's a Crushing Race, and It Costs $20K to Run It

120 miles, 10K feet of ascent, but Michelin-star cooking
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2021 2:50 PM CDT
They'll Pay $20K for the Chance to Run 120 Miles
Stock photo of a trail in Scotland.   (Getty Images)

"Race like a warrior but recover like a king." It's an appropriate motto for what's being billed as the most luxurious ultramarathon on the planet. Yes, participants in the Highland Kings Ultra will have to hoof it through 120 miles of Scotland, but they'll pay about $21,000 for the privilege. Unlike other ultramarathons, where runners sometimes run through the night or catch a few hours of sleep in sleeping bags along the trail, these runners will finish each stage at a predetermined location where they'll experience "luxury overnight stays, camping in the wilderness," per the race website. Food will be made by a Michelin chef during the race, which ends with a gala dinner featuring famed British adventurer and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, "and the only man alive ever to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface," reports City AM.

The race is no cakewalk: In addition to the mileage, there's 10,000 feet of elevation change, reports Runner's World. That high entry fee will go in part to helping the 40 participants ready themselves for the challenge. Race director Rebecca Silva tells the BBC that in the seven months leading up to the April 2022 race, runners will undergo "sweat-composition testing at their local university laboratory so we know how to fuel their bodies. They will have Zoom calls with physios and psychologists," as well as personalized coaching from a former Trail World Championships gold medalist and an endurance athlete who was previously a British Army operative. The BBC reports it is only aware of one pricier race, the World Marathon Challenge, but that includes accommodations on and flights to seven continents. (More ultrarunning stories.)

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