About me


I started seriously running in at the end of 1996 to train for the 1997 London marathon......but unfortunately I didn't get my entry accepted.


I ran the Paris marathon instead, and then I got the running bug and went on to complete more marathons including several London marathons in the following years. I’ve now ran over 150 marathons.


I then decided that I needed a bigger challenge, so I entered the 2000 Marathon Des Sables (MDS), and I started running ultras to train for this, and successfully completed the race in 32 hours, finishing in the top 100.


More ultra races followed, including the Jordan Desert Cup, Comrades, and the classic London to Brighton.


In 2001 I ran my first Grand Union Canal Race, a 145 mile non-stop ultra from Birmingham to London, which I  have gone on to finish four times now, with my best time being 34 hours and 44 mins.

After this I wanted to see if an amateur runner like me could finish some of the hardest ultras in the world and I set out to enter as many as I could.

One of the hardest races is the Spartathlon, a 153 mile non-stop run from Athens to Sparta, and I have managed to finish this race five consecutive times to date. My best time for this race is 34:23.


The Yukon Arctic Ultra was another challenge, running 320 miles non-stop, in temperatures as low as -40C. I finished in 6th place overall.


I love desert running, and I once ran 333km (over 200 miles) non-stop across the desert Niger, Africa to complete the Trans 333, finishing in second place.


One of my proudest achievements was when I completed the Death Valley 300 (Double Badwater crossing), becoming only the 20th person in the world to do this. I have now completed the Badwater Ultra race four times.


Closer to home, I recently completed the Thames Ring, which is the longest ever non-stop ultra staged in the UK. The route was 250 miles long along rivers and canals. I finished in 5th place.


I have just completed the 868 mile route, from John O Groats to Lands end in the JOGLE  ultra race, running around 55 miles per day in 15 days and 3 hrs and 40mins.


I have just won the first edition of The High***   I was the only finisher in this tough 222km race at altitudes of 18.000ft in the Himalayas!


Cycled John O Groats to lands End (www.rideacrossbritain.com) 980 mile route in 9 days, to possibly be the first ever to officially run AND cycle the route. Paris Brest Paris 760 mile non-stop completed in 89 hours 12 mins.


Director of COCKBAIN EVENTS LTD (www.cockbainevents.com). A series of extremely difficult UK based Ultras.






































































































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Mark Cockbain.....Ultrarunner