Having been a footballer for most of my life, I’ve always run and run a lot! But it wasn’t until the age of 30 that I really started long distance running and very soon after, ultra running. I ran competitively at school over the shorter cross country distances and 800/1500 meters but never saw myself as a runner. I was a footballer who prided himself on being the fittest player, and running was a massive part of that.

It wasn’t until one day that I came across a copy of Dean Karnezes book “The Ultramarathon Man” and decided to browse through it. I read the whole thing, and the rest is history! Being competitive, I’ve had some pretty good results so far from trail marathons all the way up to 100 milers, and still have some bigger races/goals I’d like to take on at some point.

My results to date:

  • South Downs Way 50 mile, 1st place, 2016, 6.35
  • North Downs Way 50 mile, 1st place, 2016, 6.57
  • South Downs Way 100 mile, 1st place, 2016, 15.30
  • North Downs Way 100 mile, 1st place, 2016, 16.45
  • Wendover Woods 50 mile, 2nd place, 2016, 7.43
  • Endurancelife Sussex 36 mile, 1st place, 2017, 5.09
  • Endurancelife Sussex 52k, 1st place, 2022, 4.33
  • North Downs Ridge 50k, 1st place, 2022, 3.43
  • Beachy Head 52k, 1st place, 2022, 4.04 (new course record)
  • Beachy Head 52k, 1st place, 2023, 4.03 (new course record)
  • Jesenicky Mountain Marathon, Saloman Golden Trail Series, Czech Republic, 5th place, 2022, 3.43
  • Run to the Sea 50km, 1st place, 2023, 3.44 (new course record)
Neil Kirby
UK Ultra race finish line

The idea of putting on my own events came around in 2018

After having some great experiences at various races, I had a vision of how my perfect event would be. Living on the South Downs and running there every day, I have a great knowledge and passion for the area. Being biased, there really is nowhere else I’d prefer to run, and making use of my local trails really makes putting these events on enjoyable.

UK Ultra was created to put on well organised, exciting, friendly and value for money events with runners at the heart of everything. Sustainability and inclusivity are also a major part of how things are organised here. Bringing people together to enjoy these amazing trails is the aim, whilst also giving them the opportunity to have a goal, test themselves, meet new people, improve their lives through health and fitness and achieve things they didn’t think were possible.