The Runs

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% more 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 doesn’t intend to run alone. You’re all welcome to join him — for the warm-up, one, five or more kilometres. Register your interest on Matt’s Eventbrite page or take a look at each run below and register individually. You will receive emails with detailed briefings for each run, a week in advance.

#1: Launceston to Plymouth

5th September /// Distance: 46.4km /// Elevation 1148m

Register for run 1

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 went to 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?


6th september /// Distance: 49.7km /// Elevation 960m

Register for run 2

This one’s going to be looks like a real challenge!

The run starts in Wells, the heart of Somerset, and ends by SS Great Britain, engineered by an ancestor.

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 steam 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 Clifton Suspension Bridge to pay homage. Now I take this run.

#3: Poole to Beaulieu with Runderwear

7th September /// Distance: 47.8km /// Elevation 237m

Register for run 3

Day 3 and some respite from the vertical gain!

#4: Guildford to Horsham

9th september /// Distance: 45.5km /// Elevation 446m

Register for run 4

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

Register for run 5

This is home for me so I know what to expect; a long day in the office with hills.

#6: Bishop’s Stortford to Cambridge with roar porridge

11th september /// Distance: 45.8km /// Elevation 268m

Register for run 6

This is ROAR’s home run so I am looking forward to being well fuelled and supported.

#7: Newmarket to Thetford

13th september /// Distance: 44.6km /// Elevation 218m

Register for run 7

#8: Grantham TO Lincoln 

14th september /// Distance: 46.9km /// Elevation 413m

Register for run 8

A run with a punchy uphill shortly after the start, another unexplored part of the county for me.

#9: Mansfield to Sheffield 

15th september /// Distance: 50.7km /// Elevation 636m

Register for run 9

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

Register for run 10

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

Register for run 11

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

Register for run 12

I don’t really need to comment on this one; just look at it!

#13: Ormskirk to Runcorn 

21st september /// Distance: 45km /// Elevation 305m

Register for run 13

A day to recover before the merseyside double.

#14: Manchester to Liverpool 

22nd september /// Distance: 48.2km /// Elevation 205m

Register for run 14

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

Register for run 15

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

Register for run 16

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

Register for run 17

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

Register for run 18

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

Register for run 19

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

#20: ABINGDON to Aldbourne 

30th september /// Distance: 46.7km /// Elevation 564m

Register for run 20

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

Register for run 21

The Windsor to London Ultra with Love Trails, 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 only hope that I make it and that we raise awareness and money for CALM. No one should get to the point that I did and feel so alone that they take their own life. This run is a celebration of hope and it will not end here.

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