The Druid Challenge Ridgeway Ultra 2012

I could not see a thread for this years event even though there is only 2 months to go. This will be my first taste of any kind of ultra and would love to hear from others that are doing it or have done it. I understand that two masseurs each night so make sure you bring some cash to get patched up and put back together each night. Who's been doing what kind of training? Let's get a great thread going.



  • Hi Julian

    I've entered just the one day - so i'll be there at the start on Friday, but then unfortunately that's it! Really looking forward to it though, have run about half of the Ridgeway in total with some friends from another part of the forum - it's such a great varied route...

  • all i saw on that first post was 'masseurs' !!!! im in on the first day...but i can feign a lot of injury if it means a massage!!image


  • Knowing our luck Lou you'd get the masseuse and i'd get the masseur!

  • Hills and mud are good preparation.  Although no really big climbs there are enough long slow hauls are short steep slopes to be quite challenging.

  • Thanks Ultrarocker & Loulabell, I had to laugh at your replies image Just for the record my Lord, I cannot be responsible for the gender of the people who provide the massages. 

    Bear B.Hind - hills I am ok with but mud may present a few issues being a multi-day event. Whats the best advice re shoes? I was going to take 2 pairs, thinking that when one gets wet, I wear the other while the pair dries out. Does this make sense? Or do I need 3 of everyhing? Being my first ultra I don't want to break the bank but I also don't want to buy stuff that I don't need. Cheers.  

  • Does anyone know where the individual days begin and end? Might be tempted to do a couple of days as a warm up for the winter 100, I've had a look at the xnrg site but the link provided wants me to buy a running app before I can download the route
  • If you just look at the basic route descriptions it tells you the starts and finishes...

  • I would take at least 2 pairs of shoes.  As you say you can let one pair dry out during day 2 (I take newspaper to stuff them with).  As day 2 will end earlier you can unpack them and give them a further chance to air.  I prefer taking 3 of everything, but that's just me.  The sports complex we stay at on day 2 is quite airy and warm - so providing it does not pour down every day with a bit of luck you can get away with 2 changes of gear.

  • image3 of everything?????????? 

  • We're only doing one day Lou - we don't need 3 of anything....

  • imagebe lucky if i remember 1 of anything

  • You've never forgotten anything yet...

  • Hmm, had a look at the website but it seems a little pricey for what it is, I'd probably only want to do the second and third days with no accommodation needed and 96 quid is a little much I feel. I take it I'm right in thinking its running from north east to south west? And roughly 27 ot 28 miles a day?
  • Yes, starts at Ivinghoe and heads south west. Think it's 31 on day one, 30 ish on day two, and about 25 on day three (I may be a little out on that?!)

    Must admit 3 day seems much better value than individual days, especially if you were going to do two....
  • Not getting a great feel for it through their site, the rd is a friend of fiends of mine and is spoken of highly but the events seem overpriced and to Even download the route you need a paid for app. Think I'll give it a miss, there's others out there for less
  • That's an interesting point. You're obviously way more experienced than me, but I agree about an event "feeling right". You put yourself through a lot in an ultra so you need to feel positive about the whole thing, from before the start onwards.
  • Lirish, interesting that you're not getting a good feeling. Although this will be my first ultra, I have the opp feeling. I have been in contact the XNRG team both in email and on the phone and found them helpful. Anything in particular that is not doing it for you? After this I will be looking for a spring one day 56 challenge. Can anyone recommend a good spring 56 mile ultra somewhere in the south? I think this could get addictive!
  • Julian as I said Neil is a friend of friend and I've heard good things about how the races are run, it just doesn't strike me as value for money. I know there was some issues with a race over the winter which some felt shouldn't have gone ahead for safety reasons. It may have been the Pilgrims Chalkenge?

    Anyway as I say it's an entirely personal thing
  • I think both arguments are fair. The best part of £100 just to run down a public footpath is very expensive, but if you were using the accom/meals and making a weekend of it then it becomes pretty good value.

  • Lirish I did pilgrims - second day was tough, cold and lots of snow overnight but I don't think it should have not gone ahead. Start was delayed to make sure they could get checkpoints out. Everyone had a choice start or be bussed to train station plus all cp's were sited near train stations. About a third of people dns day 2. Food and support were really good. I'm going to Toad in 10 days. Yes prob not the cheapest and unless you are targeting a big multi day ( I hope to do atacama crossing 2014) there are better options for a one day ultra.
  • I did the Pilgrim Challenge in February which was probably the winter one referred to.  Who exactly was complaining?  Yes the snow came down and day 2 was quite challenging, but no one was forced to start.  Surely the majority had already completed day 1 so knew what the return would be like.  Neil had checked the route at 4a.m Sunday and found it doable.  He altered the position of the check points so that there would be easier access to public transport if anyone wanted to drop out. 

    The irony is that following Monday this forum was filled with people complaining about cancelled events - now we apparently have people complaining about the reverse - get a life!

    The reason I like Neil's events is that he treats you like an adult and capable of making your own decisions.  I have been allowed to continue under my own terms when a lot of other events would have insisted I retired. 

    If you're not able to take responsibility for yourself then stick to nice safe road events with lots of smiley marshals at every turn and cps that will insist you retire if you're a minute over schedule and organisers who will cancel at the first sign of rain....image

  • Great minds and x posting Jeremy image.


  • You finished Bear?
  • im going to stick my two penneth worth in here as well seeing as we are on it- although the weather conditions may have been viewd as harsh/difficult/too dangerous for some who were less experienced , some runners aiming for bigger, more techical events may have wanted to train in harder harsher conditions whilst being in a race scenario?? surely having paid and entered they have the right to turn up and take part even if others think its too dangerous ? as Bear says , we arnt MADE to do these events, we choose to, if you think it should be cancelled well then fine, just dont turn up!!

  • So are you saying you are coming over to Chamonix next year then Lou?! You know you want to... Moutains!!!


  • imagei would like to WiB ...i need to man up about the weather conditions....i think id pick something with guaranteed worse weather than Druids to train with if im considering CCC

  • imageIF i take lots of hot water bottles.....

  • You know we're doing our planned runs and races whatever the weather Louimage image

  • Hi Julian and all,

    I will be doing this- all three days, I have completed the Ridgeway 40 and I have done a 24 hour event this year, these being my only experiences of ultra's. I'm looking forward to this, though not so much the sleeping on the sports hall floors; all part of the adventure though!

  • Returning to the point above -

    If lives are at risk (ie UTMB this year (and a lot of years)) then it is only right that the organiser should either cancel or amend the event to reduce that risk - there is a limit to which people shouldn't be "allowed" to push within a race environment. For example, a lot of people will have invested a lot of time and money in being at UTMB - are they likely to make a rational decision themselves bearing in mind they've travelled a long way to compete? However, something like Pilgrim/Druids/most races in Southern England (I'm not including Scotland/Lakes etc on purpose) should not pose a threat to life under even the most arduous conditions - as long as the competitors are prepared for the conditions, both mentally and physically (including their kit), then they should be given the option to choose to continue should they wish.

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