Don't miss the Run for Love ultra-marathon in the Azores – 6 days of volcanic island beauty

Join Tribe for a one-off event that's set to be a runner's dream trip
An unmissable ultra in the Azores

If you're on the lookout for a new running challenge that's a change from the usual races, then the Tribe Run for Love event in the Azores is worth some major investigation.

As a destination, the Azores is famous for its volcanic mountain peaks, ancient fishing villages and incredible wildlife. What it isn't quite so well known for is running events, which is why this one-off ultra is something you probably don't want to miss out on.

When is it?

The event takes place over six days, with people heading there between 23 November and 1 December 2019.

Why would you do it?

One reason is the fact that the Azores are one of the most sought after and least-trodden locations in Europe. The remote island archipelago off the coast of Portugal has, over previous years, been served by limited transport – that's changing significantly now though, so visit sooner rather than later.

6 Day Ultra Marathon across 3 stages in The Azores

The subtropical island chain may be part of Portugal, but being situated 1,500km off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean means that the scenery and climate are as if you're visiting New Zealand or Hawaii.

Which leads to the next reason…

If you're on the search for an ultra that stands out from the rest you're likely to find across Europe, then Run for Love needs to be on your list. Most importantly because it moves around each year.

After taking place in the Azores this year it will move across to the Copper Canyons region of northwestern Mexico in 2020.

And finally, it's for a good cause

The TRIBE Freedom Foundation is an anti-slavery charity and athletic community which works to harness the endurance fitness community to increase awareness of modern slavery and support the survivors.

Funds raised from Run for Love will be used to set up two centres for trafficking victims in East London and Sheffield. The project aims to raise £250,000 for the cause.

How does the event work?

The important bit. The six-day race takes place across the volcanic island of São Miguel. The route is split over three stages and people can choose from three different options: the full Run for Love (stages 1 to 3), stages 2-3 or just stage 3.

It's more than just a race though. Expect 30-degree mountain inclines, wild bats, volcanic eruptions, wild tropical Atlantic storms, extreme weather conditions and Atlantic-force gusts at high altitude.

Stage 1: Starting on 25 November and spanning four days. From Ponta Delgada to the sandy cove of Calhetas, runners will average 54km per day with the toughest part being an 80km overnight leg where the runner’s depart at 3am. Not only that but they'll need to climb Pico da Vara (1,103m), the highest point on the island. (50 runners)

Stage 2: Taking place on the fifth day, the route covers 24km from Calhetas to Siete Ciedades through the volcanic region of the island. Expect Atlantic gusts and huge inclines along with some beautiful views across the lagoons and craters. (100 runners)

Stage 3: Known as the Volcanoes Half Marathon, 500 runners will take on 21km around the rim of a volcano in Ponta Delgada. Afterward – celebration time! (500 runners)

6 Day Ultra Marathon across 3 stages in The Azores

How to get there

Flights to Ponta Delgada Airport arrive from all around the world, however depending on the location and the frequency of flights you may need to fly to Portugal and then transfer from there.

Flights frequently come in to Ponta Delgada Airport from numerous locations including Boston, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Lisbon, London, Porto and Toronto.

How much will it cost?

There are a number of race packages available:

The Full Run for Love: £1,049 (Deposit £300)

Half Run for Love: £549 (Deposit £200)

Volcanoes Half Marathon: £119-499 (Deposit £119)

The half marathon is broken down into three package options: Package 1: Flights + three nights accommodation + Race Entry (£499). Package 2: Two nights accommodation + Race Entry (£249) and Package 3: Race Entry Only (£119). Click here for more info.

For non-runners who wish to spectate there are the following options:

Non-runner package (Stages 1-3): £749 (Deposit £300)

Non-runner package (Stages 2-3): £349 (Deposit £200)

The registration fee doesn't include flights, personal insurance or additional accommodation though.

For more information on Run for Love and to sign up to any of the challenges over the course of the event click here.

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