Category: Ultra (Run, Walk & Jog options in 25km, 50km, 75km & 100km)
Event name: Thames Path Challenge
Event location: Putney Bridge to Henley on Thames
Terrain: Mainly tow path along the canal but the route does cross some fields and through towns. If the weather has been good then road shoes are fine, there is a spot just after the first stop that is very boggy, be carful not to soak your feet here!
The route can only be describes as FLAT!!!!! This might sounds good, but by half way you will be calling out for any sought of incline or decline to give your legs a break from the same running/walking movement. Take the opportunity when crossing the bridges to stretch your legs out up the steps and short ramps.
Would you say the event was good value for money? I entered via a charity spot for £15 and pledged to then raise X amount. However I would have been more than happy to pay the full amount (approx. £200) as the event was so well supported, couldn’t speak highly enough of the event team and support volunteers.
You will find 7 aid stations between the start and finish (never more than 15km apart) all stocked with just the right things you need to get you back on the path. Each station was well equipped with toilets, food, hot/cold/energy drinks and medical teams, (if you are running the stations are easy to get around as they are quieter, by the time the majority of walkers began to come through however it understandable would have taken longer to get feet seen to for example, but this didn’t take away from the support and care they gave).
What tips would you give to others before they take on this event? Flat doesn’t mean easier!!! Make sure you train on flat path or tow paths wherever you can, get used to that same leg movement. Book your hotel at the start early if you are staying, otherwise it is an early start to get to Putney Bridge! They discourage support at the small stops, but with the exception of stop 7 at 88km they are all accessible to your fans!
Would you take part in this event again? 100%, this was my first Ultra Marathon, Ultra Challenge put on an incredible event and the atmosphere at the aid stations and the support from strangers asking “had we really been going for 88km?” was amazing. I am hoping to try out another of their races next year!