Where Your First Payment Goes...

If you are signed up to one of our races, on the reserve list, or even just thinking about joining us. You may have noticed that we request a payment of £725 to secure your place. Here is a little bit of information on where your first payment goes.

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Deposit and Update

Signing up to our races requires a non-refundable deposit (£725 for most races, £300 for the Highland Ultra). In this article, we explain why; and show how the money is spent.

  • We work in highly protected areas, and our commitment to these environments spans many years, never just a single race.
  • We protect local communities and their environment. We have multi-year projects and know that our support matters to the communities in our race locations. 
  • We take risk seriously, and only work with the best partners for medical cover, tracking and in-race technical support; they require commitment from us.
  • We limit our field size; even on races where demand for places is very high; this helps create the unique community feel we value in our races and protect the environments we race in.

Deposits provide a stable base from which we can both plan our races and honour our commitments to partners, environments and communities.


Our race locations are unique, beautiful and remote, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s a hard-won privilege to race in these areas; they are heavily protected. It’s a year-round job to maintain relationships and work on legacy projects that benefit the indigenous populations living where we run. Our commitment to them is long-term; it should not directly relate to the size of that year’s race or stop if/when something like Covid-19 prevents the race from happening at all. Arguably our support is most important this year.


Working in remote and challenging areas is risky, managing those risks requires talent and experience. Our teams are highly skilled, well-equipped and well-prepared for the environment they’re in so that they can make sure that each and every one of our runners stay safe.

Exile Medics, a group of highly qualified professionals from within the NHS, provide our medical cover.

Our tracking system was developed from a British Military system by Extrac our partner’s who are unparalleled experts in this field. Not only are participants tracked by our race team, but we also have a technical team monitoring remotely from HQ. Deposits help us ensure we develop the people and systems required to stay best in class.


We work alongside the communities local to our races to ensure the beautiful areas we visit are in a better position after we leave. You help us fund local social enterprises. We want to make sure these places are around forever. We strictly limit the number of runners we take to these places to minimise our impact. This allows the race team and runners on BTU events to bond like family, and also allows us to stick to our aim of leaving no mark.

Our determination to leave no mark inspires creative solutions like finding natural, safe water sources for a race to avoid bringing single-use plastics into an area. Creating our own reusable race signage to cover our epic courses instead of using plastic tape. These aren’t cheaper ways of conducting our events, and they take time and resources. Still, they are better ways, and they show our commitment to doing what we do in the most sustainable way that we can. 

In this way, your deposit helps to provide better lives for people in remote places all over the planet. Like the village of Santa Rosa de Huacaria in Peru who have benefited from electric lighting and other important infrastructure improvements, and the wildlife rangers of Kenya who’s welfare has been improved through training, the procurement of essential equipment and through the implementation of life insurance schemes to protect their families.


Our HQ may be in the UK, but there is a race team in each race’s host country. We make a point of employing locally rather than bringing entire logistical teams out with us. We gain from their local knowledge, and contribute to the local economies; it reduces our flights and helps our carbon commitments. Our local partners work year-round acquiring and maintaining equipment, and managing the complex permitting and stakeholder relationships necessary for us to put events on. From meeting village elders to the CEO’s of charities, conservation managers, and private landowners, it is a long and demanding job. Our Peruvian team will regularly make the 6hr journey across the Andes to visit the remote area where the event takes place. In Namibia, the team head off into the Namib to recce our route and plan changes based on each year’s ground conditions.

Race Essential equipment needs to be repaired and maintained before each race too. Safety vehicles, tents, ropes, boats, snowmobiles and even helicopters are required across our races, and all have to be kept in good order. Each local team has one race a year on their calendar, but it is a year-round task to keep those events running. Your deposit is what allows our teams to do this vital preparation.

Delivering events within our values requires the goodwill and commitment of many disparate people in all corners of the globe. It takes time, equipment and machinery; but, most of all, it relies on people; who we make a commitment to. Deposits provide the stability we need to know we can keep our promises; whatever happens, this year has been a stark lesson in preparing for the unexpected.

About the Author

Will Roberts

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