Cold Brew Events | The Coal Line
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coal line ultra
The coal line
The coal line

The Coal Line

41 Mile Solo Ultra

For years the fabled black diamond fuelled the local economy and took the north east from a poor outpost of England to a regional powerhouse that lit the fire of the industrial revolution. The saying “taking coals to Newcastle” was a pun based on the prevalence of the fuel in the area. The precious cargo was dug up in countless mines across the region and transported to the rivers which were teaming with boats on their travels. One of the main lines used in this transportation was the track from Crawleyside Bank all the way to the Staithes on the Tyne. It’s a marvel of engineering in a time before computers. Nowadays it’s known as the Derwent Walk and the Waskerley Way and forms part of the C2C route for riders and is a very popular walking track.

Take part in this 41 mile ultra on this historic trail where you can run it entirely socially distanced from others whilst also being part of a race. It’s quite simple, pick up your tracker from Domestique cafe and when you are ready to have a go you just switch it on and go – any day in February you wish. The tracker will click you through the start point, register when you have reached the halfway point and then register again when you get back to the finish. This is an out and back route. You’ll get instructions on how to turn the device on and off. When you are done you then drop off the device at a cafe near the finish called The Domestique and pick up a free sandwich or salad along with a drink of your choice and a t-shirt.  As part of the entry, you agree to have a support team who will look after you on the day as we cannot be out on the course interacting (as much as we’d love to).

There will be an interactive map open for all of February. On here you can track who is running and when. Only the first attempt counts so you need to pick your time wisely. Look for that spot when the weather Gods are on your side. As this is a solo run you are entirely solo and must cater for this when you make your attempt. You will need to have a support team who can resupply you with as much food and water as you wish and look after you on the safety front.

How difficult is the route?

The route can be found here.  All you need to do is create a free viewranger account and you can download the gpx.  It’s the most gentle of gradients all the way to Crawleyside Bank and then one massive 20 mile descent all the way back.  It gets pretty high at its southern end so be prepared for the weather.

When can I do it?

The timing system will be open for all of Feb 2021. You can run it at any time in that month.  Only the first attempt counts.

How does the timing work?

You will pick up a tracker at The Domestique cafe.  We will have one main day when we’re at the cafe to distribute trackers.  If you can’t make that day then you’ll be able to get it from the cafe staff at a time of your choosing.  Instructions to turn it on will be in the info pack.  Place it on the top of your kit so it faces the sky.  Turn it on just before you start and off again when you finish.

Your tracker is set to register as you pass through certain geo-positions on the route.  There are:

Start: GR: NZ 198 618

Turnaround: NZ 002 431

Finish: NZ 198 618

Do I need to register in advance?

Yes.  Anyone wanting to show up on the interactive map and be part of the race needs to register in advance.  You can’t run it and then upload something retrospectively.

What kit is recommended?

This is a solo race so no-one will be there to check what you are taking or not taking.  You are responsible for your own safety and are expected to check the weather and take suitable clothing.  We highly recommend a support team (in your COVID bubble) who can supply changes of clothes, food, water etc.

As a minimum we’d recommend: waterproof top, full length leggings, windproof layer, whistle, mobile phone, headtorch, food, drink, hat and gloves.

Who is this for?

Given the restrictions in the north east at present this is a race just open to local runners.  We ask people outside of the north east not to travel to the area, sorry.

Do I need support?

Yes!  One of the terms for entering is that you do and we require a contact name and number.  We will not be out on the course to keep an eye on you so you need to have someone that will.  This person or persons need to be in your bubble so you are not interacting with anyone new.  They are there to keep tabs on your well being and keep the food and water flowing.

What do I get at the end?

As you can imagine we are not going to be there to cheer you over the finish line.  In fact this is one of the few times we’re hoping not to see you at all other than to watch your dot on the map.  When you are finished you can head to The Domestique (Pedalling Squares) cafe any time you wish to claim a free sandwich or soup along with a hot drink of your choice – we’ll pick up the bill.  When Feb finishes and there are no more runners we will calculate who has won which prizes and these will also be left at the cafe to be collected in your own time.

What happens if I have a problem?

There is an SOS button on your tracker which alerts us to take action.  The first thing we will do is try to ring you as it may have been set off accidentally.  The next thing we will do is ring your support team if we have their details.  If we don’t hear from either we will come out and investigate directly.

What if I drop out?

If you hit the wall, get injured or drop out for any other reason then you need to get someone in your bubble to collect you and take you home.  This is why we recommend having a support team on hand.

Can I enter after it's already started?

No.  We need to set up all runners before the event starts so that they are logged on to the system.

Are there age limits?

18+ only.  This is a solo 41 mile ultra in Feb so you need to be entirely responsible for your actions and have enough experience to make judgement calls on your performance and environment.

Final details

1 week prior to the map and timing opening you will receive a full info pack which puts together all the details required for you to take part.  This will include any instructions, locations, phone numbers, etc. to get you through it.

How much does it cost?

The cost is £50 plus sientries fees.


The new normal, uncertain times and so forth.  Normally a race is a time for social interaction and meeting up with people to compete, compare or just chat.  COVID went and kicked all that into touch for the time being so this format still allows the competitive element whist also adhering strictly to the COVID guidelines.


You should have limited interaction with any other runners as we’ll send you the key bit of timing kit in the post.  You then hand this into a local cafe near the finish whenever you are ready.  We highly recommend a support team, preferably people in your own family, who can keep you fuelled, watered and safe during the run.


The route is very public so you shouldn’t go too far without passing other users who can also raise the alarm should you have an issue.


The coal line


Yes, an actual race to get stuck into.  The prizes will be calculated at the finish and they can be picked up at the Pedalling Squares cafe whenever you are ready.  The categories are:


  • Overall female 1/2/3
  • Overall male 1/2/3
  • MV40 1st
  • MV50 1st
  • MV60 1st
  • FV 40 1st
  • FV50 1st
  • FV60 1st