T184 & T100 ultra challengers search for the source of the Thames
The August Bank Holiday and predictable dip in temperature could tempt us to try a slightly longer run than usual, so we take a look at the comprehensive runABC South race listing to discover the lengths some people will go this weekend.
For some runners in the south the weekend will start early with the T184 Challenge and T100 Challenge both setting off from the Thames Barrier at 10:30am tomorrow (Friday 24 August). The numbers refer to the miles run along the Thames Path and this is a full four day event with a cut off time of 6:30pm on Bank Holiday Monday (27 August).
Many competitors will witness the sun rise and set twice during the challenge of their lives, while the barely believable course records for T184 are 40:47 (Mark Denby, 2015) and 47:18 (Karen Hathaway, 2014). The T100 'sprint' record of 20:38 is shared by Paul Beechey and Alex Whearity (2016) and Ellen Cottom ran 26:22 in 2015 for the women's best.
The events are expertly managed by ultra runners Gareth and Liz Fretwell of T-Series Racing and all entrants benefit from real time GoTek GPS Tracking, fully manned checkpoints and vehicle back-up. Equally important is the kit transport from London to the finish at The Swan, Streatley (T100) and the source of the River Thames at Thames Head Inn, Cirencester (T184).
Just as the T184 and T100 competitors are getting into their stride the South Coast Challenge gets underway from Eastbourne to Arundel at 6:00am on Saturday. This is a mighty hilly 100km (with 50km and 25km options) over Beachy Head and Severn Sisters with a mid-point stop at Brighton before Devil's Dyke and on to the finish at historic Arundel.
Competitors may walk, jog or run their chosen distance and there is an introduction to serious ultra running with a 'daylight' 100km option over two days. Organisers Action Challenge are predicting an entry of 1,500 endurance athletes for this perennially popular event.
Our final offer is a little more gentle with the emphasis on walking and enjoying the scenery. White Cliffs Challenge is a 52 or 18 mile run/walk on an outstanding clifftop route around the Kent coastline, organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association, starting at Deal Town FC at 10:00am (walkers) and 12:30pm (runners). Enjoy!
Image courtesy T-Series Racing