Punk Panther Ultra Marathon Yorkshire UK

Punk Panther Races  started in 2017. We organise 12 Ultra Marathons a year. There is a series of 6 Ultra Marathons, where each race has points given each race will count towards an annual trophy for men and women, but you can of course just enter single races. In addition there is an Elimination Ultra – Panther Takes The Hindmost, The Dales Way Challenge, The River Aire Ultra, The Nidderdale Way Ultra and The Dales High Way Challenge.

Punk Panther Race Series Ultras all start and Finish in Otley, West Yorkshire. They are a minimum of 50K and are run over a variety of challenging courses in West and North Yorkshire visiting stunning scenery including Ilkley Moor, The Chevin and the many reservoirs and beauty spots the area has to offer.

The Dales Way Challenge starts in Bowness-on-Windermere and finishes 82 miles later in Ilkley. The Dales High Way Challenge starts in Saltaire and finishes in Appleby-in-Westmoreland, The River Aire Ultra starts in the centre of Leeds and finishes at Malham Tarn. Panther Takes the Hindmost takes place around Swinsty and Fewston Reservoirs. The Nidderdale Way takes in the whole of the stunning Nidderdale Way from Ripley Castle to Pateley Bridge to Scar House Reservoir and back in a circular route.

Every finisher receives a medal and Punk Panther Ultra Marathons Tech T Shirt (you can elect to donate the money that would have been spent on a T-Shirt to our chosen Charity for 2021 this is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Refreshments are provided en-route but you are expected to carry basic supplies as per a kit list. All races (except the Elimination Ultra) have Julian Hall First Aid Service in attendance

Punk Panther Ultra Marathons Yorkshire UK

Punk Panther Ultra Marathons have directly and also indirectly (via runners) raised over £25,000 for Charity See a summary of current and past beneficiaries here These are just the ones we are aware of.

During 2021 we will be raising funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. This is through sales of excess T-Shirts and also those who do not want a race T-Shirt donating that part of their event fee. 10% of our Dales Way and Dales High Way fees go to the Dales Way Association and Friends of the Dales High Way respectively.

So far during 2021 we have raised £201 (up to 11/5/21)

Charities for the future include

2022 CALM

2003 CLIC Sargent

2024 Buglife

2025 Resurrected Bites

Our thanks go to the following local businesses for their help and support.

Sinclairs, Paper Stationery Manufacturer, Otley, Yorkshire (sinclairsproducts.com)

Kindly allow us to use their car park for a number of events that start and finish in Otley which is also used by Craftsman Tools who also kindly allow us to use it.

Yorkshire Runner and Active Numbers Sponsor Punk Panther Ultra Marathons


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Punk Panther Races

Link to our 2021 Race Diary in Full 2021 Punk Panther Diary

Link to our Provisional 2022 Race Diary 2022 Punk Panther Diary (Provisional)


Ultra Race Series

The Welcome Ultra (Saturday 3rd April 2021) – RACE COMPLETE

Short Circuit Too Ultra (Saturday 22nd May 2021) – RACE COMPLETE

A Bridge Too Far Ultra (Saturday 12th June 2021) – RACE COMPLETE

The High Life Ultra (Saturday 3th July 2021)

Reservoir Dogs Ultra (Saturday 25th September 2021)

Short Circuit Ultra (Saturday 13th November 2021)

Christmas Cracker Handicap (Saturday 11th December 2021)

Race Comparison Chart

Other Ultra Races

River Aire Ultra (Saturday 17th April 2021) – RACE COMPLETE

Dales High Way Challenge (Saturday 8th May 2021) 

The Dales Way Challenge (Saturday 14th August 2021)

Nidderdale Way Challenge (Saturday 23rd October 2021)

Panther Take The Hindmost (Friday 8th October 2021)




Punk Panther Ultra Marathons

Punk Panther Ultra Marathons were created by Ryk Downes, who in his teenage years was a top Orienteer before a running hiatus of over 20 years. This break from running ended when he ran the 2003 London Marathon as the Punk Panther. Since then Ryk has completed many Marathons, Ultra Marathons and other long distance challenges.  In January 2016 Ryk collapsed and ‘died’ from a hereditary heart condition. He was thankfully revived at the scene by passers-by by using a defibrillator and performing CPR.

A subsequent triple heart bypass in February 2016 saw him return to running in the Leeds Half Marathon three months later. Ryk then returned to ultra-distance running with the Hardmoors 60 in September 2016. Whilst recovering from his heart attack Ryk was looking for Ultra Marathons near to home. Finding few and wanting to give something back to the sport he has launched the Punk Panther Series from Otley. He is currently writing a book about his running experiences and the road to recovery and how for many people he has become an inspiration.

ITV Link to ITV News article on Punk Panther Ultra Marathons