Ridgeway 85 - 2012

Morning all,

I am struggling to find a thread for people to chat about preparations for this year's Ridgeway 85 in August.

I am very much an ultra-novice, with 26.2 being the furthest I've run to date, so I would be very interested to hear experiences / advice etc. from more experienced runners, or simply share the pain with other newbies!




  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭

    Jules, I did this one a few years back and its a cracking event. I might look at doing it this year, but have got a 100 in March to concentrate on for the time being. From what I recall it was a battle of two halves. The first was hilly and very hot, second was dark flatter and flipping wet!

    really good event though,

  • Hi mr f,

    Sounds like you have a fair bit more experience than me -- any tips on building mileage gratefully received...

    Good luck with your 100!

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    I'll chat to anyone, anytime about this race!  It's my favourite event and I've done it for the last three years.  There's such a variety of types of countryside you're running through, including woods, fields, open hillside, golf courses, churchyards, and along the Thames in the dark. The night section over the Berkshire Downs seems to work well. 

    The whole event is extremely well organised.  The checkpoints are always very friendly and have an astounding choice of food available, and really care about the runners.  In fact I can't praise this event enough.

    It's certainly ideal for a first overnight event, but I'd try to get a couple of ultra races in before then in the 30-40 mile category.  Don't know if there are any in your area.  Or measure out some extra long offroad training runs testing out different kit options (especially shoes), food, etc.

    The main thing is to go out steadily and just keep making forward progress.  The cut offs are not designed for walkers and you will need to keep up a reasonable pace until the Goring meal stop (44 miles).  After that the cut offs are more lenient.

    That'll do for now.

  • Cheers T Rex -- are you competing this year?

    Had planned to run the Classic Quarter in June as a way of introducing myself to a proper ultra, but looks like this will coincide with a trip to Cuillin Ridge now... will definitely be getting some long runs in beforehand, including overnights.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Cuillin Ridge - now there's a good run!!  Watch your footing, though.

    Yes, I'll be running.  Would take a lot to prevent me entering.

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    Hi T Rex,

    After seeing you last year, I'm, thinking about it this year. I'm going to run the Ridgeway 40 in May, see how that goes......

    So hopefully see you somewhere near Tring in August. image

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • There is the Ridgeway 40 in May which is a ldwa associated event but runners welcome.  A good intro to the Ridgeway and a really well organised event.  Details here.
  • Whoops great minds....
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Chimney - I don't think the way I was progressing was particularly inspiring, was it??  You caught me texting Mrs T Rex instead of running up Smeathe's Ridge.  I did get going after that, honest.

    It's Ivinghoe Beacon to be precise.  If you give ROs good notice they can arrange a pick-up from Tring station.

    No Cuillin Ridge for you, then?  I expect you're an old hand at that.

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    There is something majestic about the Cullin, followed by a few drams of 18yo Talisker. Not for your average home counties walker, an undertaken not to be underestimated............

    T Rex, you inspire in so many ways, the movement from A to B is only part of it

    Also Page 12 of The Trailrunner. And the back cover. How is he looking so fresh? Are they sure that photo wasn't taken at the start?

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    I'm sure In Pin is straightforward enough as long as you've got stout shoes and a couple of jam sandwiches.

    Looking for sub-21 hours this year.  Then I'll be able to inspire at least myself.

    It's all down to getting the shoes right, which I haven't yet.

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭
    You haven't tried the combination of flip-flops and clogs yet. That's the way to go.
    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    What, for In Pin or Ridgeway 85?

    For first time this year I might go for a change to road shoes for the second half, certainly if it is dry.  Some of those downland tracks are very hard on your feet. 

  • Have got the National Trail Guide for The Ridgeway; says it "can be walked comfortably in a week". Nothing about running it in 24 hours....

    Trying not to think about the distance too much!
  • PS not planning to run Cuillin -- going with a climbing club, so it'll be a hike. Might try to emulate the running photo in a recent Runners World -- looks like some good trails up there...
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    jules - the people who write the books don't consider the less-than-comfortable 24-hour options!  I wouldn't think about the distance.  Break it down into the manageable chunks e.g. the distance between CPs.  Once you start treating it as "only 72 miles to go", etc it can dent the morale.
  • Cheers, T Rex.

    It's probably a bit early for details, but would you have a list of CP locations by any chance? I can't find anything on the TRA website...

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Sorry, can't help there.  Haven't kept an electronic copy of the race info from last year.  Can anyone else help out?  If not I'll type them out later.
  • Morning all, I too have signed up to run the Ridgeway this year.  Crewed for my missus a few years ago when was injured and have been meaning to have a crack at it but other races have got in the way...not this year though image

    I think these are the checkpoints jules:

    CP1: 10.5 miles; Grid Reference 874071; Wellhead Farm on approach to Wendover where Ridgeway crosses Hale Road.

    CP2: 16.8 miles; 823036; next to car park near Whiteleaf (just before Princes Risborough).

    CP3: 24.5 miles; 741987; where Ridgeway crosses a minor road.

    CP4: 31.7 miles; 683904; after field gate where Ridgeway crosses minor road to take road towards Swyncombe Church.

    CP5: 43.7 miles; 598807; Goring Hall

    CP6: 52.4 miles; 479840; Bury Down car park where Ridgeway crosses minor road.

    CP7: 61.5 miles; 344851; Sparsholt Firs – car park

    CP8: 69.4; 238818; 2145 to 0845; Charlbury Hill – junction of farm road and Ridgeway.

    CP9: 79.9 miles; 157760; Near Barbury Castle - near car park and toilets.

    Finish: 85miles; 101700; Avebury –  The Social Centre. 

  • Fantastic Giggster, many thanks indeed!

    Any idea where we can have drop-bags sent? Is it just halfway at Goring?

  • From memory I think it is just one bag at Goring per runner.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Yes, one bag taken to Goring and then on to the finish.  CPs are well-equipped with food and drink - in fact that's an understatement.

    Something you need to be mindful of is that the total distance is about 87 miles, not 85 - most of the discrepancy is in the last leg which is much further than they quote.

  • I can concur with all that's been said about the Ridgeway Challenge,it really is a cracking race,the guys and girls on the checkpoints are fantastic and the food and drink plentiful.As for shoes I ran in Salomon xt's and found them to be ideal for all the surfaces on the course.I would run again this year but for being handed a place in the UTMB,2013 for sure though,and yes that last leg does seem to drag on a bit,you would think that at that sort of distance an extra 2 miles would be neither here nor there but it messes with your mind!

  • Straw poll for advice please...?

    Am thinking about which shoes to wear.

    It looks from the bits I've read that the Ridgeway is more 'trail-y' in the first half, and less so from Goring onwards. Does it make sense to wear trail shoes until Goring, with a pair of dry road shoes waiting for the second half?

    Would be interested to hear other thoughts / experiences with footwear...

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    That's exactly what I'm going to do, jules, unless it's wet underfoot in which case I'll stay with trail shoes throughout.  The Wessex Downs bit is a hard and rocky surface for the most part.  Haven't changed shoes before but I think it will be a good idea.

    Hoping to go sub-21 hours, but will have to see how the summer season goes.

  • This race is very much on my radar thanks to this discussion. I quotes 8000ft ascent on the website flyer is this brutal climbing or gradual undulations?

    Last years winner 12hrs58mins super human performance well done!!

  • Mike,

    Haven't done it before, but there are no really high hills that I can see. I think the elevation comes mostly from losing and regaining the ridge...

  • no there's no "brutal climbs" just a lot of gentle hills,works out at less than 100ft per mile I think! PS I wore Salomon XT shoes all the way worked for me.
  • Bear B.Hind wrote (see)
    Whoops great minds....
    I don't know about that, it just seems that all these ultra runners are not happy with driving up the prices of races, they also want to enter and fill up LDWA events so walkers have no chance getting an entry!
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Well, this is neither.  It's an extremely good value TRA event.

    I tend not to enter LDWA events for that very reason. They are for walkers.  I just do their challenge event nearest to my home which often falls on parts of my training routes.  I've done one of their 100s but not even sure I'd do another one of those.

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