Shires and Spires Ultra Marathon | Multiterrain Marathon, Multiterrain Three Quarter Marathon, Multiterrain Half Marathon & 10k
Shires and Spires is a 35 mile circular Ultra Marathon with a mixture of trails and roads. It starts and finishes at Naseby Village Hall which is a great central location close to the A14, M1 and M6 motorways. The route takes in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside and country houses, Holdenby, Althorp (home of the Spencer family and final resting place of Princess Diana), and Cottesbrooke. At 35 miles it is ideal for first time Ultra Runners or those looking for a shorter challenge. The event is run in a clockwise direction on even years and anti-clockwise on odd years, both give you a different perspective on this scenic route. Which is harder? That’s for you to decide! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2024 THE RACE WILL BE FULLY TRACKED AND INTERACTIVE ALLOWING YOU TO USE THE DEVICE TO NAVIGATE AND YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN FOLLOW YOU FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR ARMCHAIRS! The event comprises 10K, half marathon, three quarter marathon, marathon and ultra marathon, so quite literally something for everyone, so brings some friends!
We are proud to be an Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc index race.
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.
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
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.
Registration in the village hall is open from 2pm until 4pm on Saturday 11th 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).
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.
The Geo Tracks GPS Tracker is lightweight and easily fits in a small pocket in your rucksack. Your family and friends can track your progress in real-time and you can use the Geo Tracks app combined with the tracker as an accurate tool for navigation during the event. The Event can be followed using the web link https://events.geotracks.co.uk/live/xxxx or via the app which can be purchased prior to the event for Apple or for Android. When opening the web link please click on start times and this will display a list of bib numbers (they are sorted alphabetically by surname). The GPS Tracking units upload your position every 10 seconds to the live view tracking map and are accurate to 5 metres. Batteries last for 70 hours . Don’t forget to drop it off at the finish! To find out more please visit the Geo Tracks website.
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.
Need help with your training why not try the Runna App (link on the side bar)- email for your discount code