Welcome to the Type II Fun Run. This is not your typical ultra.
Type II Fun: An activity that was, in all honesty, a negative experience at the time, but on later reflection seems like it was a lot of fun.
The Type II Fun Run is an ultra like no other. Set in the Scottish Highlands, starting from Blair Atholl and finishing in Aviemore in 4-5 May 2019. There will be no set course, no feed stations, no base camp, no massage tent, no mercy. The race will be won by strategy, not chiefly by speed. Only skilled navigators and those with the ability to embrace discomfort will make it. 30 hours, a mix of mandatory and optional checkpoints. Sound horrible? Do you like to sign up for horrible things? Then read on...
Like no other ultra...
Welcome to the Type II Fun Run. This is an ultra race like no other. Taking place in the Scottish Highlands in May 2019.
Runners will race from the start to the finish, but the distances covered and the route taken will vary between each competitor. A combination of mandatory and optional checkpoints will dot the region between (and we use the term "between" loosely) the start and finish, each worth an amount of points relevant to its difficulty. Racers will not win by getting across the finish line first; in fact, the time is nearly irrelevant. All racers have to finish the course before 30 hours is over, but arriving early will offer no advantage in the standings. The race is won by points collected. Solid navigation and strategy are key. Note that we haven't mentioned the distance. That part is your problem.
The Type II Fun Run is entirely self-supported. Runners will need to carry sufficient equipment to survive in the wild and complete the run safely. There will be mandatory as well as suggested kit that runners must carry at all times. No outside assistance is permitted. There are no feed stations, we won't set up your tent for you, we won't point you in the right direction, and we certainly won't pop your blisters for you. Only the experienced are encouraged to apply, and only the intrepid will make it.
First of all, there is no 'course' in a traditional sense. There is a start and a finish, and in between there will be GPS coordinates for checkpoints that runners validate at (collecting a badge, taking a selfie, etc. - details to be clarified by each checkpoint but it won't be complicated). Each checkpoint will be worth a certain value of points relating to its difficulty, and there will probably be around 60 of them. Checkpoints are not mandatory at all, and it is unlikely that many runners will be able to visit all of them. Some of them will be scenic highlights of the region. Some of them will seem very cruel. Some of them will be pubs. This is very much a 'choose your own adventure' style of racing. As a guide, the start and finish are approximately 60km apart, but the checkpoints will cover a vast enough region to allow runners to clock up considerably more distance than that.
Runners who cross the finish line within 30 hours will be awarded 100 points (a deduction of 1 point per minute for lateness), then the total sum of points they collected will be added for their 'score'. This race is not won by time on the clock, but rather your total points. The winner may not necessarily be the fastest runner (although it would be a big help), but the runner with the best strategy. The map of checkpoints will be released much closer to the date, so close, in fact, that you won't get a chance to recce your route.
The start is in Blair Atholl, which is accessible by train and offers a range of accommodation nearby in Pitlochry. The finish line is in Aviemore, which also offers accommodation and frequent trains. The finish line will open two hours before the cutoff, and remain open throughout the finisher's party for any latecomers.
This is designed to be an unsupported challenge - none of the usual luxury experience some ultra runners may be used to. There will be no drop zones, route marshals, course markings, or pacers. Even the spectators will mostly be virtual dot-watchers. We will, however, (and completely out of the good of our hearts, mind) transport one small piece of luggage from the start to the finish line for all runners. You are more than welcome (and expected) to come to the finisher’s party in your muddy, sweaty, disgusting running gear, but just in case you wanted something nice to wear on the train home.
What we will provide:
A map of checkpoints and their point values.
Start line race briefing with clarification of the race rules and kit checks.
A kickass finishers party, complete with beer and prizes.
Our sincerest condolences that you signed up for this.
Still confused? Head to our FAQ.
- Runners must run between the Start and Finish within 30 hours.
- No outside assistance, no caching.
- Runners must carry mandatory kit at all times.
- Run in the spirit of adventure and safety first.
- Leave no trace.
- Sleep system (at least sleeping bag + emergency shelter)
- Capacity for at least 1L water
- Light and batteries
- Rain jacket
- Warm layers (top and bottom)
- Phone and charger
- GPS tracking device (can be rented from race)
- First Aid kit, or at least duct tape
Strongly Suggested Kit:
- Sufficient rations for night/remote running
- Extra lights
- Warm (3 season) sleeping bag
- Gloves, warm hat, spare socks
- Battery pack
- A real First Aid kit, and knowledge of its contents
ADVENTURE FIRST, RACE SECOND.
Although the Type II Fun Run should be taken on in the spirit of adventure, it is still a competition, although the format is slightly different from the ultras you're used to. Note that to be eligible for a prize, you must complete the course within the 30 hours. We just can't hold the prize ceremony waiting for you.
- First place. First place will be awarded to the runner who completes within 30 hours and with the most points collected.
- Tortoise. The last runner to finish within the 30 hour time limit.
- Hare. The first runner to arrive at the finish. Very unlikely to rank well in the overall points standings, but we'll give you a beer or something.
- Mule. Completing the course with the heaviest pack (must weigh at start and finish to be eligible).
- Forrest. For the runner who, like Forrest Gump, just likes runnin'. Highest total mileage ran within the 30 hour time limit.
- The Gnarly Award. A prize given at the race organisers' discretion for the most gnarly race story. Share your journey on social media using the hashtag during the race to be eligible.
- The Dirtbag Award. A prize given at the race organisers’ discretion for the most dirtbag-like activity during the race. (ie wearing your pants on your head to protect you from the sun)
- The Catastrophe Award. We expect many catastrophes to unfold during a race of this nature. Some runners will scratch, but others will persevere. This prize is for the runner who perseveres through what we deem as the most spectacular catastrophe. (ie forgetting your shoes at home)
- QOMs/KOMs. This race will have some hills - some optional, some mandatory. Speedy climbs will be rewarded, even if the winners destroy themselves to the point of ruining the rest of their race strategy.
- Photography competition. This prize is to remind runners that they are, above all, on an adventure through a magnificent and remote landscape. Take a moment to appreciate it now and then. Photos posted on social media with the race hashtag are automatically eligible.
Registration Coming Soon
Many of the finer points of the race will be announced closer to the date, in order to ensure a fair race for all (ie no recce missions). For now we can tell you that the race will take place in the Scottish Highlands on 4-5 May 2019 (May Day long weekend), starting in Blair Atholl and finishing in Aviemore. To register, runners will need to complete an application to ensure that only capable mountain runners take on the course (if you haven't caught the drift yet, we're not going to help you out there).
To be alerted when registration opens, sign up to receive one and only one single email here: