Shires and Spires is a 35 mile circular Ultra Marathon starting and finishing at Naseby Village Hall just outside of Northampton in a wonderful central location. The route is a mix of footpaths, country trails, and roads. The event is run in a clockwise direction on even years and anti-clockwise on odd years.
UTMB index race
The event is a registered UTMB index race (part of the new UTMB Index system) in the 50K distance category.
The route is 20.2 miles of cross country trails (59%); and 14.3 miles of roads (41%). Elevation is +2052ft (+625m) and -2052 ft (-625m)
The course follows a waymarked route but requires some navigation. We provide a map book and various resources to keep you on track. The course is covered by OS Maps 223
CHECKPOINTS AND AID STATIONS
There are 5 check points, each will have water, and a selection of supplementary snacks. A drink will be available for all athletes at the finish. Details of the locations for the Anti Clockwise route can be found here. and Clockwise can be found here.
Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Male and Female Competitors. All finishers will receive a medal and T-shirt. There is a special Team Trophy for the fastest team of four (one of which must be female)
registration AND START TIME
Registration in the village hall is open from 10am until 12 noon on Saturday 14th May to avoid the queues and then from 7 am on race day where you will collect your race number and map book. You will need to confirm your mobile phone number and be subjected to random kit checks. The race will start at 8.30am
Due to the strenuous physical demands of running 35 miles in one day Shires and Spires is restricted to competitors over 18 years of age only.
As the event is a loop then most competitors will have their kit in their cars. For everyone else we will store your bag at the finish, so you have warm, dry clothes waiting for you . Your bag should be no larger than a UK airport carry-on bag size (56 x 45 x 25 cm).
TRANSPORT AND ACCOMMODATION
For anyone wanting to stay overnight locally either before or after the event there is Airbnb or Northampton offers a wealth of hotels to suit all budgets
Arrival by car – If you are planning to drive then there is ample free parking at the village hall complex. Please allow adequate time to park and register.
Stay on track during the Shires and Spires Ultra. The Geo Tracks GPS Tracker is lightweight and easily fits in a small pocket in your rucksack. Let family and friends track your progress in real-time and use the Geo Tracks app combined with the tracker as an accurate tool for navigation during the event. The GPS Tracking units upload their position every 10 seconds to the live view tracking map and are accurate to 5 metres. Batteries last for 70 hours . Pre-order your GPS tracker and collect at the event registration and drop off at the finish. To find out more and book your tracker please visit the Geo Tracks website.
The male anti-clockwise course record was set in 2021 – Andrew Siggers 4:08:41 and the clockwise course record was set in 2022 – David Green 4:06:41 and the female anti-clockwise record was set in 2021 – Amy Sarkies 4:54:18 and the clockwise record in 2022 – Rachel Piper 5:15:49
The cut off time for the race is 9 hours. We have progressive cut off times from Checkpoint 3 onwards, details can be found on the Checkpoint information sheet.
Trail shoes are advised. There are sections of trail which can become very muddy in wet conditions. It is essential to carry the items below. There will be random kit checks prior to the race . Runners must carry the following mandatory equipment at all times.
- Fully Charged Mobile Phone including the numbers for the Race Director and Assistant Race Director (shown on your map book given at registration)
- Map Book (provided)
- Water Bottles/Bladder capable of carrying a minimum of 1 litre.
- Survival Blanket: 1.4m x 2m minimum
- Waterproof Jacket
- Long sleeved base layer or fleece top
When you have finished why not recycle your old trainers –