Guernsey Ultra 36
GU36 (Guernsey Ultra 36) is a marathon that involves a race around Guernsey Island which is 36 miles. 12 miles longer than the London marathon. It is also much more intense and because of this, it has attracted runners from all walks of life and locations.
I was asked by Peter Tiffin, in 2019, to cover the race for the first three hours from the starting line. I couldn't refuse and willingly agreed to cover the event. But I will be honest, I did expect it to be a breeze and I was stunned to find out that these runners are fast. I worked my hardest to keep up with them and ahead of the lead runner which proved to be an eye opener.
I'm looking forward to the next race, but this time I will be way ahead of the lead runner.
The ultramarathon race now known as the GU36 started life as one leg of the (now-defunct) 5 Islands Ultra. This was organised by Digby Ellis-Brecknell of Hare and Tortoise Events, Jersey and was a multi-stage race with a leg on each of the 5 major Channel Islands.
The 5 Islands only ran in 2014 and 2015 with the “Guernsey Ultra”, being the Guernsey leg of the race, being open as a stand-alone race. After the demise of the 5 Islands, Digby continued the Guernsey Ultra for another year before handing over the organiser reins to Peter Tiffin.
Relaunched as the Guernsey Ultra GU36, the 2017 race was a great success with over 70 entrants (previously the entries had been around or less than 20). Film My Run were in attendance at this race and no doubt contributed to the word-of-mouth publicity that has seen the start line increase to 160 places for 2020 (the place limit), with well over 100 on the waiting list hoping to get a place if someone drops out. The 2020 race places sold out in less than 45 minutes which is testament to the popularity and the regard in which the race is now held.
In 2018, Guernsey Ultra also launched the Gun31 – a tough companion race to the GU36. This is a challenging night race that starts at midnight and required the runners to race along the rugged Guernsey cliffs and back to the start in 7.5 hours or less.