All in all the Flat 50 is….Flat! The first 15 miles follows the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal. The next 11 or so after that along the River Parrett Trail there’s a bit of long grass, a bit of uneven ground but it’s still flat. Then you have a bit of a diversion around Hinkley Point power station before you follow the coast to the finish, with an inland diversion after Kilve beach to West Quantoxhead, joining the sea again at Watchet.
This event is a very important event. This will be the very 1st race Ultra Freedom Adventures will support as a team. We are taking on up to 20 clients and helping them prepare for the race. I have approval from the race organiser that the cut-off time of 14 hrs will not be enforced. This is due to the 100 mile runners will still be coming in. However it is still vital that our clients prepare correctly.
The event itself:
The Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 has become pretty popular but every year we’ve had the same comment from a few that it’s not as flat as they expected. Well… there are flat sections in the hilly 50 and nobody ever comments on those??? ; )
Ok, so the Flat 50 isn’t 100% flat, but for the first 15 miles along the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal it’s absolutely flat as a pancake, for the next 11 or so after that along the River Parrett Trail there’s a bit of long grass, a bit of uneven ground but it’s still flat. Then you have a bit of a diversion around Hinkley Point power station (we still haven’t been able to get them to move it for the day sadly) before you follow the coast to the finish, with another inland diversion after Kilve beach to West Quantoxhead, joining the sea again at Watchet. The second half of this race does have SOME hills, but not very many really, and they would have their lunch money stolen by even the less imposing ones on the hilly 50 route. That’s the truth – now you are fully prepared : )
With that out of the way, now let’s tell you about the route. The quaint old Taunton to Bridgwater canal path gets more lovely as it gets out of Taunton and would be a pretty spot to sit on a spring evening, but you’ll have no time for that. This is a good place to bank some early miles but don’t run too fast because then your legs will be trashed for the second half. This is exactly what happened to the early race leader last year – he was running so fast he even dropped his debit card on the canal path (luckily a volunteer found it and he was reunited with it), then he dropped shortly after the canal path ended
If you pace more sensibly you will be able to enjoy the meandering River Parrett, then take in the spectacular limestone formations of the West Somerset Coast at Lilstock and Kilve, the pretty pine forests on the edge of the Quantock hills as you divert from the main path, then you will glimpse the shimmering white of Butlins in the distance; it will get ever closer as you progress along the coast. There’s a bit of sand to negotiate at Dunster Beach, then some rocks afterwards, but the islands of Steepholm and Flatholm will be visible, as will Wales on a clear day, and hopefully all will be bathed in Spring sunshine
This is a lovely spring race to unleash all that hard winter training on, and at the finish you get to sit down and relax in comfortable surroundings before making your way on. If you’re not in a rush you can wait and cheer in the finishers of the other races as they start to arrive (you will have a long time to wait for the 100 milers but are welcome to stay if you are able to!)
*Please refer to the race calendar for details or contact us via the web page.