The World’s Most Expensive Race? Scotland’s $11,000 Luxury Ultramarathon Beckons


One of the beauties of the sport of running is that it is more affordable than many sports. The equipment is minimal, and even though race fees have increased, they still remain relatively reasonable, depending on your budget and the race you choose.

A typical local 5k might be roughly $25, whereas marathons range from nearly $100 to closer to $200.

Although longer races tend to cost more, ultramarathons often break the mold and are cheaper events due to stripped-down support and swag, and the need for road closures.

However, there is a new ultramarathon set to debut in 2024 that costs £8,995 or just over $11,000.

That’s several factors of 10 more than a typical marathon or ultramarathon.

So, what is this $11,000 race all about?

The Highland Kings Ultra is a multi-day ultramarathon event that will take place in the breathtaking Scottish Highlands.

A large portion of the cost is attributable to the luxury accommodations, but every participant is also backed by “an unrivaled level of world-class support.”

The Highland Kings Ultra will take place from April 26 to May 2, 2024.

This wilderness ultramarathon is described as a luxury experience and was designed by Ex-Special Forces.

The race covers 120 miles over four days along rugged coastlines and high mountain passes on Scotland’s west coast. The home base for the ultramarathon is the Victorian Dalness Estate in Glen Etive, Scotland.

Runners will face 18,000 feet (5500m) of ascents throughout the ultra-distance trail race, offering sweeping views of the five Munros, Glencoe, and Rannoch Moor.

Some of the features that runners will enjoy in this extravagant ultramarathon event include individual luxury pod accommodations each night after that stage of the race, hot showers, freshly ground coffee provided all day long, medical support, live GPS safety tracking, Wi-Fi access, electrical ports to charge devices, and nutrition prepared by a Michelin-star chef.

The team of expert support staff provides participants with daily physio and massage sessions after running, 24-hour daily butler service, access to a sauna and foot spa after the race, and cardiopulmonary testing at Porsche Human Performance Centre (or an alternative location closer to where the athlete lives) prior to the event.

Additionally, there is an extravagant event dinner and award ceremony upon completion of the ultramarathon, event photography and video documentary provided for participants, luxury transport transfers to and from the airport and throughout the multi-stage ultramarathon race, and a team to take care of all of the logistics for the race including bag transfers.

In other words, if you want a luxury spa experience while participating in a stunning yet rugged and challenging ultramarathon race, the Highland Kings Ultra might be the next event you should put on your bucket list.

But, don’t forget this race comes with a hefty price tag. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Highland Kings Ultra is making waves in the running scene.

Some running purists feel that such a lavish and luxurious race the tracks from the sanctity and simplicity of the sport, turning it into more of an elitist activity that inserts too much glitz and glam into what “should” be a rugged experience that connects you to nature and tests your physical and mental grit by inherently being uncomfortable.

Others think that the Highland Kings Ultra is a natural evolution of the sport that caters to those looking for fitness tourism, along the lines of glamping versus rugged camping.

Either way, the Highland Kings Ultra is likely to be a unique running experience and one that gets most runners gulping at the sheer costs.

What do you think? Would you want to try the Highland Kings Ultra? Would you pay $11,000 to run a race? Let us know!

To learn more about the luxurious and expensive 2024 Highland Kings Ultra running event, you can find more extensive details on the event website here.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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