Round Reading Ultra 2023

A Run Round Reading

There were no mugs in the Round Reading Ultramarathon...

There was water everywhere at the Round Reading Ultramarathon (RRUM) on Saturday, 29 July. Plenty there to help the runners to rehydrate at the five checkpoints, plus the calming influence of the gently meandering waters of the River Thames, River Kennet, Kennet and Avon Canal, and River Loddon that the circular route runs beside for around half the 50K total distance.

RRUM 50K is promoted by UltraViolet Run, who leave nothing to chance to ensure every competitor has a safe and enjoyable experience. The organisers had put up 330 direction arrows – one per every 150m of course – and there were plenty of cheering and cheery marshalls supporting the 178 finishers who were all home and hosed inside nine hours.

The race was based at Berkshire County Sports Club, Sonning, near Reading – around 40 miles west of London. The course joins the Thames Towpath for the first 10K before heading south through country lanes and woodland paths through the surprisingly green urban outskirts of Reading.

Heavy rain in the days before had caused a few concerns but conditions were good and clear on race day with most competitors opting for road shoes for comfort on the tarmac sections.

Two men finished inside four hours and the top seven women were under five hours. M40 Bryan Wilkins (Wimbledon Windmilers, 3:40:29) is the new RRUM champion from Jay Jewell (Shinfield RC, 3:57:13) and M50 Peter Abraham (Altrincham & District AC, 4:02:53). The winner's pace was 4:24/km.

The women's race was won by W40 Sarah McIntosh (West 4 Harriers, 4:34:15) – operating at 5:29 min/km – from W40 Vicky Bosley Fairbrother (unattached, 4:40:15) and W50 Claire Pusey (Burnham Joggers, 4:51:28). The top five women were all in the W40 or W50 category, demonstrating the importance of experience in ultra running.

As well as the chunky finishers' medals, the runners appreciated the discount offered by sponsors Up & Running Reading on the production of a race number and the clever live GPS tracking by event timers Rogue Racer that could be downloaded for free and activated on the day for £1 (free for supporters to follow their athlete). Also popular were the personalised mugs from Absolute Mug with race details and individual results to be admired with a brew – until next time in the RRUM!

Results and previous reports at the runABC South race listing here.

Photo courtesy UltraViolet Run/Round Reading Ultramarathon gallery

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