Media release: The Ultra Tour of Arran, a big draw for international adventure tourists

Leo Francis

THIS weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April 2019), 500 adventure runners will descend on the stunning Isle of Arran for The Ultra Tour of Arran, the audacious 100km off-road running challenge, staged by Rat Race Adventure Sports, one of the UK’s favourite adventure challenge event organisers.

Rat Race have reported a 50 per cent rise in numbers from the inaugural event in 2018. Of those, at least 445 are travelling to the west coast island from outside Scotland; from the rest of the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Dubai, Germany, France, USA, Canada and Belgium, to experience this mythical isle that has been described by some as ‘Scotland in miniature’.

The Ultra Tour of Arran, with its event hub in Brodick, is a two-day, fully-supported and waymarked, off-road adventure run, packing a hefty 100km ultra distance route around the island with an overall vertical gain of 10,679 feet.

View the video trailer –

Jim Mee, MD of Rat Race Adventure Sports, said: “We are very pleased to be returning to Arran in 2019. The island has so much to offer our Rat Racers and their supporters over and above the huge variety of running terrain from north to south.

“Being ‘Scotland in miniature’, the island is the perfect outdoor adventure playground for active adventurers from the UK, Europe and the rest of the World keen to experience what Scotland has to offer on a two-day trail run.

“With delights at every turn, the fantastically varied and distinct 50km trail running routes on both days highlight this perfectly; from dense enchanting forests and coastal beaches in the south to the iconic castles, deep glens and dramatic mountains, including Goatfell at 2,867 feet, in the north.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of Events, said: “Arran is the perfect stage for such an exciting and challenging adventure run. With such a varied landscape, taking in glens, beaches, forests and more, we are sure participants, families and friends alike will enjoy a stunning event on one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands.”

For more information on The Ultra Tour of Arran  go to

Rat Race is partnered with Children With Cancer UK, one of the leading national children’s charities dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer, in a pledge to fight the UK’s biggest child killer.

Rat Racers have raised over £1,000,000, across all Rat Race events, since the campaign began in 2015.

If runners take part in the Ultra Tour of Arran 2019 and raise £750 through Virgin Money Giving for Children with Cancer UK before race day, Rat Race will return their entry fee. For details, go to


Media contact:

For images, interviews, further information contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

If you are keen to take part in the Ultra Tour of Arran for a commissioned feature, please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss a funded press trip.

For downloadable images of The Ultra Tour of Arran, go to Please credit Leo Francis / Rat Race Adventure Sports

Notes to editors:

The Ultra Tour of Arran -

Although there is an option to take on the challenge of day one only (45km), all runners have signed up for the full two-day 100km Ultra distance. Day one (between four and eight hours of running) is characterised by quiet paths, forest trails, some boardwalk sections, some tarmac sections through villages and a lot of forest dirt roads. Day two (between six and 12 hours of running) is virtually all off-road with some serious mountain sections (there might even be snow on the hilltops), where the going is decidedly rough underfoot. There will be several scheduled pit stops interspersed on the route each day, for that much needed quick rest and refuel. There are views of both routes –

As with all of their events, to ensure runners, their families and friends have the best weekend possible Rat Race will operate from a central Basecamp, for UTA located in Brodick just one kilometre from the island’s ferry terminal. This hub will have all the quality trappings of a Rat Race event – good food and drink, great amenities, friendly and hospitable staff and Saturday night entertainment. A complimentary shuttle service from the ferry, together with camping, full-serviced glamping; and limited paid parking options will also be available.

Rat Race Adventure Sports (, a successful Scotland-registered company, now based in York, are one of the UK’s best-known adventure challenge event organisers, providing one of the the largest selection of mass participation multi-sport events and challenges, annually; 50 per cent of their annual events programme is now staged in Scotland.

It also offers a branded range of its own sporting apparel and an online clothing and equipment store.

Rat Race Adventure Sports on Facebook

Rat Race Adventure Spots on Twitter

Their event programme has always been focused on Scotland – urban and wilderness playgrounds of the highest quality. They have an exemplary track record in promoting Scotland as a world-class destination for adventure events and multi-sport endurance challenges, exploiting the:

  • Stunning scenery and urban and wilderness playgrounds of the highest quality
  • Hugely evocative and iconic locations
  • Rugged, varied and ever-changing terrain over relatively short distances – perfect for outdoor multisport adventures
  • Adventurers from the UK, Europe and further afield keen to explore the best of what the country has to offer through fully-supported and achievable adventure events
  • Huge potential of shareable, user generated video and photography, inspiring target audiences to plan their own independent Scottish adventures

Rat Race Adventure Sports has a global outlook, operating across the world, yet Scotland remains a really strong focus strategically going forward with new events being added annually

Rat Race Adventure Sports’ 2019 Scottish event programme

In 2019, Rat Race Urban Adventure Sports, who were forged on the streets of Edinburgh in 2004 with the staging of their first event, The Edinburgh Rat Race, will again showcase Scotland as a world-class adventure destination with achievable multi-sport and endurance challenges on foot, bike and kayak.

These epic journeys and unbeatable adventures, full of camaraderie, fun and good humour, utilise the rugged and varied terrain of the country’s stunning landscapes and historic, iconic and evocative landmarks; urban and wilderness playgrounds of the highest quality.  The Scottish events programme includes:

16 March – The Mighty Deerstalker, Innerleithen –

13 – 14 April – Ultra Tour of Arran –

14 – 15 September – Coast to Coast –

Rat Race’s original adventure race returns to the wild hills of Scotland. Join 1,000 #RatRacers as they run, bike and kayak over 105 miles following the Great Glen from east to west, through one of the most famous mountain landscapes in the world. Awe-inspiring views and a stunningly epic course await you in the Scottish Highlands.

20 October – Ultra Tour of Edinburgh –

The third edition of the 34.2 mile ultra distance tour of the Scottish capital; a tough, fully-waymarked, mixed terrain route of tarmac and off-road trail running, with 3,000 feet of ascent and descent. From the Braveheart charge down the Royal Mile to the finish at The Commonwealth Pool; with the occasional sojourn totally off road to enjoy the hill top views of the Pentland Hills to the coastal waters and harbours of Newhaven and Leith in the east.


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see

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