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Goring Gap Ultra competitors

Ultra initiation opportunity at Mapledurham House

Beginners welcome at 50K Goring Gap Ultra

The Goring Gap Run returns on Sunday (15 May) with a 50K Ultra or Half Marathon available. The runs, formerly part of the RunReading Trail Weekend, are managed by Racesolutions with Chris Sumner at the helm as Race Director.

The 2021 edition was hit by inclement weather with 721 finishers in three events. The winner of the flagship Goring Gap 50 was Jake Lane (3:58:34) and Alex Lane (4:27:17) took the women's race – certainly in the 'fast lane' for those two! There were 363 sodden finishers.

Last year's programme included a full marathon, which was won by Phillip Woolfall (3:33:55) and Nicola Cooper (3:40:50), and the former RunReading Riverside Half Marathon was restyled as the Goring Gap Half Marathon and headed up by Stephen Fabes (1:20:18) and Fiona Slevin-Brown (1:37:45).

The two remaining runs start at 10:00am, with the 50K Ultra given a small head start. The 50K is billed as a perfect first ultra as no navigational skills, drop-offs or pickups are required on the waymarked and marshalled circular route. There are no massive climbs although there are 215 metres of ascent in total. There are five support stations and a mobile medic if required.  

The event is based at the Elizabethan stately home, Mapledurham House, on the Berkshire/Oxon border, and the course takes full advantage of its riverside setting with the Thames towpath featuring strongly. There is free car parking just 100m from the start. The race HQ also offers complimentary camping for the scouts and guides among you!

The format is a little different, so competitors are well-advised to study the Race Guide. There are staggered starts to avoid congestion on what would normally be paths too narrow for a competitive race. The emphasis is on a self-sufficient, relaxed challenge rather than a fast-paced race.  

Sounds like just the ticket after the last two years of upheaval through the pandemic.

Race details at the Goring Gap Run website

Image courtesy Goring Gap Run

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