GB Ultra Thames Trot 50

I've been mulling this over for a while now, I've read last year's thread and it seems to get a really good write up so I'm almost convinced, however I'm wondering about a few things...

How much of an impact does this kind of distance have? I have a few races soon after (half's that I really like). I did a 32 the other week then ran a HM PB a week later so I think maybe it's ok?

32 is my furthest so far & it felt good, how much of a step up is 50?

I think it's probably just something to bite the bullet on and give it a shot!


  • Most people will not have done more than a marathon or a 50k when they do their first 50.  I completed this race this year and while it hammered my quads, I was able to run the London Ultra less than two weeks later.  I was fine by the following Thursday. 

    It is more of a step up mentally than physically.  With a 50 you have essentially done a marathon by the time you hit the half way mark.  This means that you will be challenged physically and mentally before you hit the half way mark.  In a 30 miler this challenge would come when the end was already in sight, while in a 50 you know that you have to go as far again.  The mental low point of any race comes at the half way mark. 

    This year the Thames Trot had a drop out rate of approximately 10%.  The interesting point is that virtually everybody who dropped out did so at the half way checkpoint, while pretty much everybody who made it past the half way checkpoint completed the race. 

  • Thanks Ben, good to hear from someone who's been there! I think that might just tip me into an entry...
  • I've got my eye on this one too, SoS, as i work in Oxford and want to get into this ultra thing. I will be moving up from marathons, and am doing two in two days in December, so that may be good buildup.

    Totally agree with ben about the halfway thing.

  • I'm in!

    Any company?

  • I am hoping to run this one,ran it last year and i loved itimageimage
  • Just  enteredimageimageimageimage
  • Hey well done Colin!
    Nice to have something nutty in the diary. Will quiz you on tips and logistics nearer the time....
  • I'm in as well, stopped my deliberations and entered! I looks fantastic, now onto the training plan. I have a few long distance canal runs in mind that should fit the bill & all in the depths of winter, love it image
  • How do you go about this race?  I take it their is not many hills so is it run the first 25 miles then a run walk policy?  Im asking as maybe next year.
  • The flat profile of this event does indeed make pacing tricky.  There is actually one hilly part, but it

    I essentially ran the first 25 miles, then switched to a time based strategy of run 25 minutes walk 5 minutes.  As the race progressed, I dropped the ratio down to 20/5 and later 15/5.  Some people with more experience of this sort of thing than me, advocate using a 25/5 strategy straight from the starting gun, and have suggested that I would have got a better time had I done this. 

    As a rule of thumb, I would expect a person who takes 4 hours to run a city marathon, to finish this event in about 9 hours using a run walk strategy.  Unless you are very fast, it will be dark when you cross the finish line, and you will need a head torch. 

  • Thanks for that Bem.  Next daft question, when do you drop the ration down?  Just have to decide how your legs are feeling?
  • Its essentially a matter of reading your body.  I drop the ratio down when I have trouble maintaining the current ratio at a steady pace. 

    The terrain plays a role as well.  If I encounter a section that is boggy underfoot, or where there is a strong headwind, then I walk that section and compensate by running where the going is better. 

  • Cheers mate you are a great help.   May do this as my first 50 miler in 2013.
  • Whats wrong with 2012?

    I mean apart from the state of the world economy. 

    Joking aside, sometimes it is better to take the plunge on an ambitious event, rather than spending a year of your life building up for it.  I have thrown the dice a couple of times with big step ups, and have so far got away with it. 

  • Yeah, come and join me in Feb 2012 spen.
  • Im doing Coventry 40 miles in April.
  • Very excited now, glad I decided to enter, I think you're right Ben, sometimes these things just need that step into the unknown... I have Snowdonia in a couple of weeks then I'll be looking long, I have a couple of 45 routes in mind so we'll see... I guess back to back 20s might be a decent starting point?
    I noticed some people last year mapped the route on map my run, is it worth doing or getting hold of, or is it pretty straightforward? From my local stuff on the Severn the only issue sometimes can be which side of the river you need to be on for the path.
  • SoS flyer

    Back to back 20s would work pretty well for this event.  I was doing 25 for my long run and 15 the next day.  The crucial thing is to train on tired legs. 

    Navigation is straightforward for most of the route i.e don't fall in the river.  There are however a couple of sections where the route diverts significantly from the river, and people do get lost.  At one point you end up in a church yard, which can be a bit confusing.  The event organisers provide you with an easy to use map of the route, but it would do no harm to study the route in advance. 

    Did I mention that the medal handed out for this event are rather elegant, and you get a technical T?

  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    Spen, the cov 40 is a fantastic event. I've done it the last 4 years and goes straoghd past my back gate! One of the friendliest and best supported events I've ever done, and despite the name is a very rural and tranquil event!!
  • Im in for this year having deferred from last year, looking forward to it very much.  I did Country to Capital last year which was brilliant (although i got horribly lost - so dont follow me!) but this is the first step up to 50 miles in one go (aside from 24 hour lap races and multidays). 

    Heard some great things about this race and its good to have your experience Ben.  Road or trail shoes?  I would prefer road for sure if there is any road or tarmac involved as my trail shoes cane my knees, but if its all trail then I guess I should start building up the miles in them?

  • Hi all, still trying to pluck up the courage to do thisimage , am doing the druids challenge in november and have done the salisbury 50k,  chatted to avon and stouty at the abingdon mara last sunday and they say it is an excellant and well organised event. So do i or dont i image 

  • Mmmm, have just seen this and it sounds appealing.

    I ran my first marathon on 9th Nov up at Keilder and loved it so much I want to go longer. 

    Hunterway - I was thinking of doing one day of the Druids... but we've just had to replace our washing machine and I'm now skint. Hope you have a great time.

    It's been mentioned already about training on tired legs and doing back-to-back 20milers. Is that basically the main bit of the training plan? Would anyone like to recommend a training plan? I do like simple ones without much technical language.

  • Chilibean--  Ive got relentless forward progress,  it is a guide to running ultramarathons
  • Katiecom

    Road shoes will usually be fine for this event.  I wore my Brooks Adrenaline's this year, and had no problems whatsoever.  Most of it is on flat grassy surfaces, though there are significant sections paved over. 

    One note of caution.  If it rains heavily before the event it can get very boggy underfoot, which might push the case towards trail shoes.  On the other hand the ground might be frozen hard by the frost, making it solid underfoot.  This is certainly the type of event where you should be taking a close interest in the weather leading up to the day. 

  • Cheers Ben, although ive realised that ive run the route already as part of the TOAD this year so im happy enough with it.

    Hunterway - ill be at the Druids so ill twist your arm there to enter if you havent already!

  • chilibean,  what a bummer,imagestill next year maybeimage

    katiecom, still thinking about it,does it get fully booked or do i have time to see how the druids goes first.image I am 90% nearly thereimage

  • Last year I entered it after Christmas, however today I received an email for all last years deferrments asking us to confirm so that they can be certain of numbers when it comes to starting a waiting list - advice is to get your entry in!  You can always defer if you have to, but having country to capital (45 miles) as a goal last year kept me training throughout the winter, even in the snow.  go on, go on, go on, go on!
  • List time...?

    NiceIronDad (First Ultra!)
    Colin Jones 15 (old hand!)
    SOS_flyer (32 in bag, pushing for more!)
    Katiecom (45 in bag, pressing on...)
    Tiago Hefner 2 (FU)
    Chilibean (FU)


    That's a pretty impressive list so far! Apologies if I missed anyone/got anyone wrong.
    Not the best week to start the RW plan for me. Missis NID away so juggling work/child care/ultra training. Still managed a 1hr today and should be able to get the big runs in at the weekend. Happy training!
  • This event usually sells out well in advance. 

    I would expect that there would be places left after Druids, but I don't want to be responsible for promising anything. 

  • Impressive list indeed!

    Tonight was the first night it's really got cold round here, base layers on & thinking the shorts might be going away for the midweek runs now. I love this time of the year for training, you know not many people are out in it rain, wind & shine & snow!

    Just got the Snowdonia information through today, it's getting closer now and will be a good race to kick start the training for this. Some very tired legs to run on the week after image

    Hunterway - sign up!
Sign In or Register to comment.