The Route

When Matt conceived the #rtcu, he wanted to take on a unique and audacious run, a genuine first.

The stats

Matt will run 21 ultramarathons over 26 days, starting in Cornwall on the 5th of September and finishing in London on the 1st of October.

Each run is over 45km; the longest stage is 58.8km. Every run crossed at least one county border on England, 43 in all. The Shayler Loop crossed 4 in one day!

The total distance of #rtcu is 1050km — that’s further than Land’s End to John O’Groats as the crow flies (at 970km). 

The vertical gain is 16% higher than submitting Everest, climbing 10,232m compared to 8,848m. 

The routes have been designed by PT Nicky McGill and Grant, founders and organisers of the Secret Run Club. 


Run with matt

Matt would love to have people join in every stage of the RTCU, to navigate together, laugh and chat. Join him for a warm-up and cheer him off, 1k, 5k or more. Matt will release specific times and What Three Words locations for every route so you can join along the way. Register your interest on Matt’s Eventbrite page or take a look at each run below and register individually.

#1: Launceston to Plymouth

5th September /// Distance: 46.4km /// Elevation 1148m
Download the GPX file for this run.

On September 5th, at 7.30am the adventure begins; Cornwall to Devon. I’ve never been to Launceston and it’s been an age since I graduated from the University of Plymouth. I’m running a trail between them and I’m already excited about day one! 

This is going to be an incredible adventure! Why not join me for a few km? There’s a virtual 5km run too – buy tickets here…

#2: Wells to bristol with AUxiliary 

6th september /// Distance: 49.7km /// Elevation 960m
Download the GPX file for this run.

The run starts in Wells, the heart of Somerset, and ends by SS Great Britain in Bristol, designed and built by one of my ancestors.

I’ve lived in the shadow of my forefathers for most of my life; a family of engineers, focused on transportation. Isambard Kingdom Brunel – engineer of said boat – wove beauty, function and form together in his work. I have much to learn from him. Three years ago I took a pair of sneakers to the on Clifton Suspension Bridge to pay homage. Now I take this run.

#3: Poole to Beaulieu with runderwear IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SPORTS IN MIND

7th September /// Distance: 47.8km /// Elevation 237m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Day 3 and some respite from the vertical gain! I’m running with @teamrunderwear – makers of the only pants I run in! 

#4: Guildford to Horsham

9th september /// Distance: 45.5km /// Elevation 446m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Despite being so close to home, I don’t know this area at all so it will be fun to discover new trails. And sleeping at home before the Brighton leg with be welcome rest! 

#5: Brighton to Tunbridge Wells with silicon brighton

10th September /// Distance: 58.78km /// Elevation 762m
Download the GPX file for this run.

This is home for me so I know what to expect; a long day in the office with hills. It’s also World Suicide prevention Day so there will be lots happening at CALM HQ

#6: Bishop's Stortford to Cambridge with roar

11th september /// Distance: 45.8km /// Elevation 268m
Download the GPX file for this run.

This is ROAR’s home run so I am looking forward to being well fuelled and running with the team! 

#7: Newmarket to Thetford

13th september /// Distance: 44.6km /// Elevation 218m
Download the GPX file for this run.

#8: Grantham to LINCOLN

14th september /// Distance: 46.9km /// Elevation 413m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Another day in an unexplored part of England for me, with a punchy climb at the end!

#9: Mansfield to Sheffield 

15th september /// Distance: 50.7km /// Elevation 636m
Download the GPX file for this run.

This starts high and remains ‘undulating’ so this is going to be a long day out there.

#10: Leeds to York 

17th september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 420m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Another area with childhood memories – I grew up in Harrogate. A run that starts in a fun city and and finishes in beautiful York.

#11: Durham to Newcastle 

18th september /// Distance: 48.3km /// Elevation 464m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Really looking forward to this one as I have never been to Newcastle. And I love that the route looks like a question mark. I’m sure by this point, I’ll have plenty!

#12: Haltwhistle to Penrith 

19th september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 979m
Download the GPX file for this run.
I don’t really need to comment on this one; just look at it!

#13: Ormskirk to Runcorn 

21st september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 305m
Download the GPX file for this run.

A day to recover before the merseyside double.

#14: Manchester to Liverpool 

22nd september /// Distance: 48.2km /// Elevation 205m
Download the GPX file for this run.

This one is going to be fun, starting in Manchester (home to my early adult music playlist) and ending in a area I have become very fond of. I’m hoping to get rival football clubs involved.

#15: Ludlow to Hereford 

24th september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 378m
Download the GPX file for this run.

I have measured every road in these counties. Literally. And it’s a beautiful part of the world. This is going to be a lovely day.

#16: Cheltenham to Worcester 

25th september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 252m
Download the GPX file for this run.

I suspect I will spend most of this run in tears. I’d dedicating this one to my best friend forever, Simon Sutton and his family. I know that if Simon was still here, he would have probably driven most of the route in support. He will be by my side every step. 

#17: The Shayler Loop /// Donisthorpe TO Donisthorpe

26th september /// Distance: 43.4km /// Elevation 339m

Download the GPX file for this run.

A run around Shayler’s backyard, crossing four counties in one day! The one will be massive, I hope a lot of the Qigang can join us.

#18: Uppingham to Northampton 

28th september /// Distance: 48.4km /// Elevation 493m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Uncharted country for me so a day to reflect before turning for home.

#19: whipsnade to High Wycombe 

29th september /// Distance: 46.7km /// Elevation 747m
Download the GPX file for this run.

Heading south and towards the big smoke, three days to go.

#20: abingdon to Aldbourne 

30th september /// Distance: 46.7km /// Elevation 564m
Download the GPX file for this run.

The penultimate run. And a kicker at the end; look at those hills!

#21: Windsor to London with love trails 

1st october /// Distance: 48.3km /// Elevation 216m
Download the GPX file for this run.

The Windsor to London Ultra with Love Trails is the last run in this challenge. Even writing those words makes me emotional. This is going to be an amazing day with family and friends and 48kms later, the finish line. 

I know that, together, we will make it to London and in doing so, raise awareness for CALM’s services and lots of money to fund them too. No one should get to the point that I did, feeling so alone that they attempt to take their own life. This run is about making people aware of the resources anyone can turn to and increasing the availability of more potentially live-saving answered calls to CALM. 

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