Sunday, 19 September 2021

Lakeland 100 2021 - respectably surviving

 - Is this your first time doing the 100?

- Yes... its also my first time in the Lake District

- Oh wow!

Apparently there aren't many people who's first trip to the Lake District is to do the Lakeland 100.

What is the Lakeland 100? To quote the event website... 

The Lakeland 100 ‘Ultra Tour of the Lake District’ is the most spectacular long distance trail race which has ever taken place within the UK. The circular route encompasses the whole of the lakeland fells, includes in the region of 6300m of ascent and consists almost entirely of public bridleways and footpaths. [oh and it is actually 105 miles]

I ended up racing the LL100 due to COVID. For the last few years, I have been trying to get into UTMB which is a similar time of year, and the LL100 has typically sold out almost straight away in early September so no chance to decide later on. I was due to be running UTMB in 2020 but that was cancelled and I had the option to do it in 2021-2023. Back in the dark days of lockdown, 2022 was looking like a better option for UTMB and I had no plans for 2021. 

The LL100 ballot for 2021 opened and I figured I would put my name in. I'm 0/11 in ballots so figured I wouldn't get in but against all odds, my name was drawn. July 2021 would be the Lakeland 100. 

Pre-race admin was very straight forward. I spent the evening before in Windermere. I was staying at the Windermere Hotel which was very handily located next to the train station. I checked in and headed down to the Coop for my usual pre-race nutrition.

I settled down for a quiet evening watching the opening night of the men's hundred Cricket. It was really hot so not ideal but I did get a good night of sleep eventually.

Race day started at 8am as I packed up my stuff. I then grabbed a taxi to Coniston. To be honest, I should have got the 505 bus but didn't want to expend any excess energy and the buses are only once an hour. It was a pleasant journey and soon enough I was pitching my tent.

I had a new tent and within a few minutes, it was up nicely. I was very close to the registration tent so pulled out all my mandatory kit and headed over. It was efficiently done with loads of kit checkers. Absolutely everything on the list was checked which was nice.

I then went to settle in for a rest in my tent but it was absolutely roasting in there already. I did a bit of a wander around the site and caught up with loads of people I had seen for a while. My plans had been to get some rest (ideally sleep) in the tent but just being in it was sapping my energy. Eventually I worked out the best place was outside in the shade and this gave me a chance to rest.

Soon enough, 430pm and the briefing came around. I hid at the back and listened. The mandatory unmanned not-a-dibbers were my main takeaway. I went back to my tent and stuffed my race pack. I had left it to the last minute to give me something to do but it ended up taking ages as the new UD race pace design has a lot fewer zip pockets and the stupid burrito pocket where a bottle holder should go so it took a bit longer.

As a result, I was right at the back of the start pen. This suited me well as I was worried about setting off to quickly and having 500 people in front of me would prevent that. The traditional Nessun Dorma was sung (meh for me but each to their own). Just before the start, Thunderstruck AC/DC was played. This was also played at the funeral of one my school friends who died aged 38 so it made the start a bit more emotional than might have been the case.

Eventually we were off...

I had seen the start several times in the late John K's videos. This time is was absolutely rammed with lots of people cheering. It was quite a shock after the one man and a dog staggered starts of the Centurion races. It was a nice steady pace which is just as well as it is a decent climb straight from the gun.

There was a bottleneck at the miners bridge early on which was maybe a 5 minute wait. It was then a slow jog-walk up the first hill. 20 minutes for the first mile - but then again my target time was 35 hours which is 3mph. There was a bit of a plateau and then another climb up to 2,000ft just below Brown peak.

My training has been many many hill repeats on the North Downs. I certainly have it better than most - my biggest climb is about 400ft and the steep ones are more like 300ft. This was nearly 6 times that and only the first one. 

The decent towards Seathwaite was absolutely sensational. I had been told there were limited runnable descents and this was one of them so I made the most. I was just over 21 minutes for 2 miles which sound pedestrian normally but was absolutely golden today. Soon enough I was into the the first CP in just under 1h50. I had looked a results from previous years and 1h40 was typical for a mid 35 hours finish but then again, people typically go off to quickly so I was happy with that. I was in 362nd/540 so very much nearer the back than the front.



Top Trail Wonk outfit with combo of poles, ridiculous hat, cooling arm sleeves, and expensive GPS watch

The first checkpoint was very busy. There was very modest queue which is testament to the hard work of the checkpoint volunteers. I only needed to grab water as I had put two tailwind sachets in my bottle and had drunk half of it.  The other was for water and I had drunk that plus a cheeky stream refill on the high ground. It was decently hot even at 7pm.

I had chance to refuel along the nice flat path out of the CP. Soon enough there was a big hill. The sector was a big climb then descent down to Boot - apparently the middle bit is normally a bog but was bone dry this year. I got the climb done well but unfortunately it was a shocker of a descent. I was very glad to have my cheat sticks as I dropped 700 feet in a mile down some very unforgiving terrain. This was a beautiful section. It was getting towards sunset and the temperatures were easing. I even stopped to take a couple of photos to remember it.



I had a quick turnaround at Boot. Apparently James Elson was there but didn't see him. I had made up a lot of places on this section and was now into the race. Shortly after leaving the aid station, I came across two James's carrying a guy who was out of it back to the checkpoint. Helping out fellow runners in need is definitely a feature of the race.

The 3rd leg was one of the more straight forward ones. It would be the last with daylight for a while and I tried to hold off as long as possible. I even made it past Burnmoor Tarn and a fair way down the descent towards Eskdale before it was no longer safe to run without it. Only 16 miles in and it was dark. I had a really good run down towards the checkpoint though despite the darkness. 

 All the checkpoints were brilliant but I had a soft spot for CP3. I was coming in towards Wasdale Head and it was about 11pm. This is typically a time to be wary of in ultras as it is pub chucking out time and there are often a few drunk people around and I could see a pub or two in the village. I was some people in regular clothes in the distance and thought it might be drinkers to avoid but it was the aid station crew. The theme was Alice in Sunderland and it was run by the Sunderland Strollers. The volunteers were all Mackems and in fancy dress. There were loads of different sandwiches but asked for peanut butter and jam one. The lady making it said it was just like having Christmas cake and cheese - that would be a brilliant idea for aid station food.

Whilst leg 3 was pretty straight forward, this most certainly wasn't. According to Andy Cole, if you are in the wrong race, you will drop by Buttermere. The end of it would be marathon mark and officially the start of "being in the race". However there was a lot of work to do first.

Black Sail pass was massive but it was just a case of plodding up it. I ended up chatting to someone on the way up who had been struggling to run (possibly Matt?) and he had done the TP100 in 2012 and we passed the time heading upwards. I was going a bit slower than most so let some people past every so often. It also meant I had a time out to take a look back towards the full moon and trail of head torches. I was near the back of the field but there were still plenty of lamps in my photo.

Rubbish photo but gives an idea of the moon and headlights

The one-two punch of Black Sail pass and Scarth gap is one of the toughest parts of the route. I thought having made it to the top of Black Sail pass, it would be easier but the next 5 miles - despite being mainly downhill - were the slowest of the first half for me. It was a fair bit of scrambling in the dark and I remember a lot of people falling over. The cheat sticks definitely saved me a lot here.

Eventually the terrain eased and the last mile or so into the checkpoint was fairly easy. It was alongside Buttermere and it probably spectacular in the daylight but was just a nice flat section to make the most of. The first 25 miles had knocked quite a lot out of me so despite being flat, I was still run-walking it but eventually got to the checkpoint. I also passed the marathon mark in a somewhat shocking 7h43. Ideally I wanted to be under 7h30 but anything under 8h was fantastic as the cut off here was 9h30. 

The first 25 miles of LL100 had taken me about 10 minutes longer than the start of UTMB. That race has two big climbs of Le Delevret (900m of climb) and Col du Bonhomme (1,500m of ascent) so not exactly exactly an easy start either. It goes to show how hard the start of LL100 is.

I made it into Buttermere aid station and it was appropriately enough M*A*S*H themed. It was a hive of activity with the aid station set up outside a village hall. The queue was on a rocky outcrop so even the aid stations are a challenge. Usually I'm on the sugar early in races but went for a hot dog here. I was officially in the race now...

Having looked at the results, a surprisingly high number of people dropped here - perhaps 20 looking at the results. There were quite a few broken people here already. I had put in a decent shift to get here but had been reasonably conservative as there was a long way to go and gaining half an hour in the first quarter can cost you hours in the last quarter. This CP also completed the first GPX track which was a big milestone too.

I headed off on my own towards CP5. I was a bit clueless coming out of the CP as my watch hadn't quite got its bearing but eventually I was on my way towards Sail Pass. It is sometimes a bit dispiriting for me in the first few minutes after a CP as I'm usually very slow as do my eating and drinking on the go and then have a quiet few minutes to digest. However during those 10 minutes, I will have covered half a mile versus nothing of those sat in a checkpoint.

The Garmin navigation is fantastic but sometime ignorance is helpful. It gives you the details of any upcoming climb and it flagged this one as 3.3 miles and 1,500 feet to go. That would be well over an hour at my pace. It was a slow burner with a gentle gradient on the low slopes but it managed to catch out a few people. A fellow David managed to fall and land headtorch first and was bleeding quite heavily. I was third on the scene and two other runners were sorting him out. I also fell a bit later on but was lucky and it was soft thud and only a very minor shoulder tweak and everything was fine.

The climb steepened as it progressed and many people passed me on the way up but eventually after well over an hour, I topped out at over 2,000ft with 30 miles and 9h17 on the clock. Now just the descent into Braithwaite and the tough opening would be over. I looked behind and the first hints of the morning were coming too. This race gives you a chance to be in places at times which just aren't normally possible.

Morning of day 2 coming down off Black Sail Pass


As with so much of this race, the descents are often as tough - if not tougher - than the climbs. The first mile or so after the pass dropped about 750 feet and was some scrambling at times. Not too easy in the dark with many miles in the legs. It felt quite alpine with almost no vegetation holding everything together. There was a gradual and consistent easing of the trail towards Braithwaite - however the gradient was unrelenting with another mile of almost 700 feet of elevation loss.

The GPX track was a bit confusing here - it looked like we needed to make a loop like you would for an overpass or similar. Eventually it became clear that we had made it to HMS Braithwaite and CP5. There was no doubt I was definitely in the race now. I had survived the first night and a smidge under 10 hours for 33 miles. It wasn't going to be a sub 30 day but the cut off for the previous aid station was 9h30 and that was a lot more than 30 minutes back.

The ship analogy for the aid station was a good one - it felt like opening the door into a battleship during the Battle of Trafalgar. I had hoped for a bit of a regroup here but it was absolute carnage. The aid station crew were awesome and rallying around to get people fed and watered. David was getting his head patched up which added the field hospital vibe. There was some good food here with excellent pasta on offer. There was even a lone bottle of real coca-cola - no idea what it was doing there but I figured anything on a table was fair game. I took a cheeky cup of this to go with some biscuits. I was out fairly sharpish and on my way.

We were into twilight hours already and I packed away my headtorch as I headed towards the A66. Shortly after the aid station, I came across a slightly lost looking runner who was commenting about how it was tricky navigating the town. It became clear they hadn't been to the checkpoint and took quite a bit of persuading from another runner for them to head back to check in. Yes - it was a checkpoint with food and people and everything. Putting aside the potential DQ, heading out for another 8 miles without refuelling might have caused a DNF anyway so glad we sent him back.

 The next two miles were beautiful. I am probably the only person who loved running next to the A66 but it was a moment of peace with easy footing and breaking through the 4mph barrier. It felt like when a vacuum cleaner or car alarm has been turned off. I was overtaken by a couple of people but kept them in touch as I finished off my snacks. 

I had finished the first 35 miles which was one third distance in 10h37 - nearly 3 hours up on the cut offs. This race has fairly even cut offs unlike UTMB. At the equivalent stage of UTMB, I was only 45 minutes up on cut offs. LL100 does build in an element of progressive cut offs as the first 35 miles are tougher than average but still only have a third of the time allocated. My projections were for 36 hours or so based on performance to date - that meant another 25 hours on my feet though...

The flat section so came to an end as the route joined the Cumbria Way. It was a long gradual climb an I managed to keep the speed up as it was fairly easy going. The sun was up in the sky now and dog walkers were out and about. I had also made it comfortably through a Lake District night in just a t-shirt and things were warming up already. 

The race takes a largely contour path but still somehow gains over 1,000 feet in 3 miles or so. I think this was my favourite part of the route with the path cutting between two big peaks with the view extending long into the distance. There was a compulsory virtual checkpoint - originally these would have been bibber points whereby you would need to mark your card there but with the GPS trackers, the bidder is no more. You still needed to be within 20 metres of it to trigger a "dib". This led to a few people including me milling around the marker for a few seconds just in case. The marker was a light so not much use during the day but obvious in any case.

The virtual checkpoint also marked the most Northerly point of the course and roughly the high point of this leg. There were some nice runnable tracks down towards Blencathra which were fairly pleasant. They would probably be described as technical, or rough on other races but felt like carpet here. I was knocking out some good run-walking with a series of 16 minute miles. That might sound laughable when I can run 100 miles along the Thames Path at an average of less than 12 minute miles but this was a combination of terrain and leaving something in the tank for later. 

I arrived into Blencathra having covered nearly 9 miles in less than 2h30 - the cut off pace was 3 hours was excellent progress made. The CP crew had put out some posters advertising the theme - this was great but it built up some false hope as it still seemed to take ages to get the actual CP. The Theme was School of Rock and I used this as a chance to regroup at last. I discovered by new favourite check point food. They had toast and butter - nothing more complicated than that but it did the trick perfectly.

There were some great tunes on and it was AC/DC Thunderstruck again. Time to leave the CP before I got sunscreen in my eyes... I ended up in a pack of people for the first time shortly after I left here and we headed off down the road. The next mile popped up as 19:21 including the stop so I must have been fairly efficient. There is definitely a different vibe to the Centurion events I'm used to. Some of the runners here seemed to be settling down for a three course lunch rather than a Formula 1 pit stop. I knew I didn't have the hill fitness or trail technique so would need to be quick in the CPs so I could stay ahead of the cut offs.

There was a gentle couple of shady miles along the River Greta.  

This was a pretty good leg up until the climb up from the Threkeld. This happens to be the home to Kenny Stuart (no relation as far as I know). Going up this climb was a bit like when the sprinters and domestiques of the Tour de France hit the mountains and head backwards. It was only about a mile long and maybe 500ft so not all that different to some of the Surrey climbs I’ve been training on but for I was way slower than everyone else.

It gave me a bit of time to ponder how I was a bit of an outsider in this land. I had my knee high compression socks, cooling arm sleeves (good to keep the sun off), carbon fibre hiking poles, a Sahara style sun hat, and a £500 GPS watch (I didn’t look at the map once). A far cry from the vest, short shorts, and Walsh PBs of the local fell runners. However I had managed nearly 50 miles of the Lakeland 100 so I was handing in there.

It was warming up now despite it being before 9am. The hill went on for what felt like ages. I walked past a dead lamb which added to mood. It looked relatively fresh as the magpies hadn’t got to the eyes yet. Another small group came past and I was again left on my own to climb. I was actually making reasonable pace – I was climbing at 2,000 feet an hour which is at the bottom end of my climbing range and Strava suggested my gradient adjusted pace was consistent so I stuck at it.

Eventually I reached the plateau and picked up the pace a bit. I joined up with a couple of people including James (he was one of the James’s who had helped carry the guy back to Boot). He had quite a history with the L100 including a DNF at Kentmere with a partially ruptured Achilles, and a walking wounded finish with a damaged knee. This one was slightly dramatic at Ambleside but sounded relatively straight forward to previous years.

Dockray aid station marked 49 miles on the route – still well short of halfway by distance and certainly by time. I had thought about taking a bit of break here but all the chairs were full with people taking a rest and refuelling. Funnily enough, they were all the folks who had blazed past me on the previous climb. This was the Hardmoors crewed aid station and I had a brief chat with a Sunderland runner while I filled up my bottles. There were jam sandwiches and peanut butter ones, but not PB&J ones so I had to improvise with a double decker one.

I made my way out of the aid station fairly steadily leaving a crowd of people behind having breakfast. I might lose 5 minutes on a climb but my efficient pit stops were pulling back 10+ minutes on some people. My watch was slightly less than 50 miles as I entered the aid station so I pushed on as I exited as I had the arbitrary goal of getting to 50 miles in under 15 hours. I did this with just over 3 minutes to spare so celebrated with the rest of my sandwich and a bit of an extended walk. My 50th mile was 17:22 including the stop – one of my fastest. The cut off for the previous CP was 15 hours so I was a solid 8 miles ahead of that. I had 25 hours to cover 55 miles now.

The next section was one of the most enjoyable with a couple of flattish miles through Dockray towards Ullswater. It was the lowland fern lined trails with the Lake below to the right and there were quite a few day walkers out and about. It was late morning and a great day to be out in the lakes. After passing through some woods and fields, we eventually joined the roads to Dalemain. These were pretty dull but easy going – I managed to cover the 4 miles in an hour which is decent going 16 hours into the race. I managed to get some running in which was reassuring that the legs were still working.

Dalemain is a country mansion which marks the halfway point of the race. It is well over halfway by distance at 59 miles but the last 46 miles are slower with tired legs. It is a key aid station as it is the only one with access to a drop bag. I used this as a chance to recharge the batteries – my watch and phone needed a top up – as well as my body battery needing refuelling.

It was a pretty busy marquee – I was mid-pack and probably the busiest time of the race to get there. I had a plan and worked my through it. Change of socks and top to start with then picking through what to take from my drop bag. I had more stuff than usual because I wasn’t quite sure how the race would go. I grabbed a few gels and tailwind sachets plus my spare headtorch battery.

I had been sat on the floor as all the seats were taken. This was probably a good thing as it meant I didn’t get too comfortable. I wolfed down an excellent bowl of rice pudding plus a can of coffee and it was time to go. I had arrived at 11:30am (17h30) so was on track for a 35 hour finish so just needed to get the second half done.

There were two races happening this weekend – the Lakeland 50 starts at Dalemain at 11h30 with a 4 mile loop of the estate. This meant that as I was easing myself out the checkpoint as the leaders of the 50 were coming past doing sub 7 minute miles. It was like someone pulling out in front of the Tour de France riding a Brompton folding bike. The 50 mile race covers the same last 46 miles as the 100 mile one so I would now have company until Coniston.

I was a bit worried about having the fresh 50 milers steaming past on narrow trail but I needn’t have worried. The trails were fairly wide out of Dalemain and there was fantastic support for the 50ers as they cheered me on. I had my name on the back so I got lots of “Well one David” as they came past. I was run-walking so after the first few speedsters had come past, I was able to keep up with most people including running a few hundred metres with Tony Trundley and Dill before slowing down to a walk again and letting more people past.

 The route crosses over the River Eamont at Pooley Bridge. There were some big crowds of supporters lining the route. I was feeling slightly self-conscious at this point as I was still up near the front of the 50 field and was probably looking dreadful with 60 miles in me. The 50ers were asked to self seed with the faster ones at the front and I probably looked like I would struggle to make it past Howtown.

The route then rose steadily towards Heughscar Hill. This was a pretty decent section as it knocked off 600 feet of climbing and a couple of miles before a couple of beautiful runnable miles into Howtown. It was quite wide tracks so plenty of room for everyone - I was also able to tack onto the back of some groups for a bit of running until a walking break was needed.

I was pleased on many levels to get to Howtown. I had dropped out of UTMB at 65 miles/ 25 hours and I was a mile further on and here in 20 hours. I had 20 hours to cover less than 40 miles. Barring injury or disaster, I was confident in beating the cutoffs - at UTMB, I was less than hour inside at this point when the thunderstorm started. 

The first CP of the 100 had a bit of queue so wasn't sure how 1,500 people hitting the first CP of the 50 would work. It wasn't great as there was the start of one when I got here. Turns out that as a 100er, you get a priority pass and jump to the front. I was happy to take an help so wandered towards the front. It was quite a sizeable queue but my red pass allowed me to queue jump. I was in a different race and an extra 18 hours in my legs so figured it was ok.

The CP crew were awesome but were having to fill all the bottles (runners not allowed to touch) so it was a bit slow. It was very warm as it was 2pm so important to get the fluids in. I had kept a soft flask in my bag to give myself an extra 500mls so carried a half coke/half water flask in my hand as I left the CP. I noticed a few people in the queue that had overtaken me a while back which made me feel somewhat guilty as the queue was maybe a couple of hundred people. This might be a COVID one-off but could be worth starting with a bladder and bottles so the first CP can be skipped (I did this at UTMB as I was expecting scrum at the first CP but it wasn't too bad).

I'm glad I grabbed the extra 500ml as this next section was a tough one. I had in my mind not to worry about pace at 30 minutes as mile would get me home safely. This was just as well as the first two miles out of Howtown were 28:30 and 28:45. On a gradient adjusted pace (GAP) basis, they were 16:03 and 15:08 so actually a strong measured effort.

The difference between raw and GAP shows how tough this climb was. It went on for ever and ever. It was pretty steep too with an average gradient of about 15%. I was a bit of a rolling roadblock so pulled off whenever I had people behind me. I think some welcome the enforce rest of being stuck behind me and were disappointed when I moved out of the way. I had one guy who decided I was his pacer and stopped every time I did and followed me for ages before my slow consistent pace was a bit too much and he dropped back.

Eventually I reached the plateau between High Kop and Wether Hill. This relatively unremarkable spot marked the highest point of the entire route and it was net downhill until Coniston. It was also at his point I realised I need a pee and this was also possibly the most exposed place in the entire lake district. There were also hundreds of fellow runners as far as the eye could see... I would have to wait until further down the valley.

There was some great running down towards Haweswater and my technique and confidence were enough to offset the tired legs - I over took quite a few people coming down here and covered the next two miles in less time than either of the previous two. This included a quick stop behind so ferns that had appeared nearer the water. I was into the last third of the race now - the first third was the toughest and the second third was much easier. My first 35 miles were 10:37 and the second 35 were 10:54 including 25 minutes at Dalemain to sort out kit so effectively a negative split.

Whilst I hadn't set foot in the Lakes for a recce, I had tried to understand what the different legs would be like. On average, this one would be the longest by time, and only half a mile shorter than the longest Dockray to Dalemain one. It was a big climb and descent followed by a flat section along Haweswater. I had been warned that the flat bit would take for ever and it certainly didn't disappoint. The climb was a pretty tough 2 hours and I had 4 miles or so left.

I had found a decent equilibrium with the 50ers. They had been out in the hills and sun for 5 hours now so their initial pace and enthusiasm had faded - they were down to my level now. I'm pretty chatty and enthusiastic when out racing - I'm not quite up there with the legendary Tom Garrod who will also include passers by in his chats but I try. I was about 20 odd hours in now and sharing some of the stories from this race and others. 

Normally most people are in the same position but here I was a bit unusual in doing the 100 mile distance compared with most doing the 50. I was a bit of a novelty having already been out for the night and also this was my 15th race of 100 miles or more so a few things to share. I tried to be as positive as I could about the current race as it was helping with keeping things going. For the record the 50ers are amazing too and finishing the Lakeland 50 is up there with many 100s.

The section along the side of Haweswater took me about 90 minutes. I knew the aid station was just at the end and it didn't look that far but it took forever. It was also remarkably awkward with a combination of fern and rocks making to far from straight forward. I had also ran out of water which added to the enjoyment. The extra 500ml was definitely a good shout.

The famous Mardale Head was finally here. It was a Spartan themed CP hosted by the Delamere Spartans. The field was massively spread out by now so no issues with queues and I refuelled with a combination of sandwiches and crisps - excellent early evening food. I even treated myself to a seat while I had my sandwich. Given that I was sat on the grass at Dalemain, this might have been my first sit down of the race after nearly 24 hours. Mardale Head was 76 miles so I only had a baby ultra to go (less than 50k / 30 miles) and 16 hours to do it in.

Down towards Sadgilll


The climb up Gatescarth Pass is a restricted BOAT (byway open to all traffic) so isn't the same scramble as some of the earlier climbs but it was pretty tough none the less. The 1.2 miles / 2k took me over 45 minutes and I had covered less than 1.5 miles in the previous hour as I had taken 10-15 minutes at the CP before starting the climb. I am currently 2,306th / 2,346 on this section so it was pretty slow but even the CR is 13 minute miles so it is pretty slow going.

The descent was much more benign than the climb and on the way down, the marathon to go mark was passed. Despite being passable using a stout 4x4, it was still not exactly towpath smooth. It was a case of chipping away the miles to Kentmere. I had that as the beginning of the end - not least because the last GPS quarter starts there. This section also marked the start of the quite frankly ridiculous wall stiles. There was at least one dry stone wall step style and a ladder style. These look fine until you have 75 miles in the legs. There were a few minor climbs but nothing compared with the high passes.

 I made it to Kentmere with a bit of daylight to go. I had been prepared for being here in the dark so it was a big bonus to still be the evening. This was the Montane CP and I think had some massive deck chairs which would have been fun until you start to get moving again. I had a wonderful bowl of pasta here - really basic dried pasta with tomato sauce (possibly spicy) and it hit the spot. I've been undone by piling in a massive bowl of pasta and then needing hours to digest but got it right. I turned down the lovely looking fruit smoothies - I'm not sure my digestive system needed a snow plough of fibre coming through just yet.

Every mile before darkness was a bonus. I managed to get up and over Garburn pass and down towards Trout Beck and the last 20 miles or so. Garburn pass didn't seem particularly technical but it managed to take out a couple of people including the Prof. - sometimes the trails which look runnable are the ones which catch you out. The game of playing how long I could go without my headtorch came to an abrupt halt as I approached Skelghyll forest. The combination of tree cover and roots puts an end to the game. I also used this as a chance to put on my trust dayglo gilet - it was slightly cold for the first time in the race.

It was a reasonably challenging descent through the woods down towards Ambleside. Even with only 17 miles to go, this would likely be my 19th night that I have run through as those 17 miles would likely be at least 5 or 6 hours. It would also be the first time I had run two consecutive nights without sleep. Speaking of first time, it was the first time that one of the 50ers I was running next to had run with a head torch. Quite a baptism into the head torch world.

Mile 89 took me to the edge of Ambleside with the pubs still open. Normally coming through a town at 10.30pm is a case of trying to sneak through without interacting with any drunk people as "drunk bantz" isn't quite so funny when you have a full day or more of running in the legs. This was very different as all the pub gardens had people here to cheer the runners on. It was pretty cool to have a whole town cheering you through. It was slightly tricky nav as the route goes through some side streets but it was a case of follow the noise to the checkpoint.

Speaking of the race being slightly different, going for a pint in the pubs was forbidden. Unlike a lot of races, there is no outside support permitted - including stopping at shops/pubs. This was a nice change for me as I usually don't have pacers and a crew so I wasn't at a disadvantage to those who have friends to help them out. It can make a huge difference on some races where as a screwed runner you have to run say 10 miles on your own in the dark whereas a crewed runner would have a buddy with them to help navigate and then crew with a car load of extra snacks and kit appearing somewhere midway through the section. That is obviously within the rules of the race so I have no resentment and I quite enjoy the race as a challenge on my own. Likewise, I'm sure there are many who don't approve of my use of fancy GPS tech and cheat sticks but they are allowed.

Ambleside checkpoint was pretty busy with some of the walking wounded patched up. I grabbed some lovely cake and was on my way. I had regarded this as the final section standing between me and finishing the race as hardly anyone drops after Chapel Stile. It would have been a very straight forward one but it was fairly slow after 90+ miles in the dark. It was a still relatively easy section with a small hill (by Lakeland standards) to Skelwith Bridge and then along the river to Chapel Stile. It got relatively chilly here as it often does next to rivers at night but soon enough the runway to the checkpoint arrived.

I  had a few sandwiches and some cake here. I only had 10 miles to go at this point but it could easily be 5 hours as it is pretty slow going in the dark so figured it was worthwhile having a proper feed. Chapel Stile was a big marquee with lots of bright lights and action plus I met Gareth from BBR who told me it was just a 10km to the last CP and then a parkrun from here. I can do that in just over an hour on a good day...

The first hour after Chapel Stile was a real struggle. It was 2am on the second night and I had 30 odd hours on my feet. Up until now, I had found navigation very straight forward but it was quite tough on this section. The watch had been brilliant up until now but the route is less consistent as it is sheep tracks and somewhat variable lines so the route can be far enough off the GPS track to trigger an "off course" which is a bit disconcerting. I waited a few times for people to catch me up as I figured it was better to lose a few seconds getting the right route rather than chunks of time getting lost.

This section also included wall stiles. Regular stiles are bad enough but these are like ladders but with the steps about twice far apart. These are pretty intense in the dark when the step down is a little bit further than you think it should be. I was dropped by several groups so found myself plodding along in the dark until caught up by the next folks. This cycle continued until the unmanned dibber...

 I had a quick chat with the man at the unmanned dibber (Uncle Terry?). Apparently there had been very few red (100 miler) numbers through so it sounded like I was doing well. I said some inane comment like "lets get this thing done" and he said that at this point, I should take it easy and get home safely rather than quickly. Wise words.

Fortunately the next section was pretty easy with all smooth road until the last checkpoint. My watch ticked over to triple digits on the way up the last climb to Tilberthwaite CP.  Trail races are almost never the exact distance and this one has a few bonus miles up its sleeve. Despite having run 100 miles of the Lakeland 100, I still had a couple of hours to go.

Tilberthwaite CP was my possibly my favourite of the race. I arrive in the middle of the night (about 3am) and they had a roaring wood fire going with chairs set up around it. I had a final cup of coke and was about to head off when there was talk of cheese toasties. There was a spare one which had just come off the Chimenea. I sat myself down for a quick bite to eat and get myself ready for the last section. I had 1h40 left for 3.5 miles in order to get a sub 35 figured I could treat myself. This would have been a wonderful place for the race to finish but I had one last climb and a pound to drop off in the bucket first.

There was quite a bit of chat about Jacob's ladder and to be honest I had no worries about loads of steps. A big chunk of my hill training was done on stepped hills so it suited me. Unfortunately there were only a few steps before it turned into a more traditional Lakeland surface. My watch had let me know this climb was about a mile so even at my terrible pace, it would be no more than half an hour before heading down towards Coniston.

After about half an hour, the path plateaued but I could see at trail of headlights on a distant hill. I had hoped this was an earlier part of the course but I was on a false summit with a chunk of climbing to go. It turned out to only be another 15 minutes and 300ft of climbing but it was definitely starting to drag as my projected finish time was extending beyond 35 hours.

I knew once the trail started heading downhill, it would be downhill all the way to the finish. It was initially pretty rough but started to ease and eventually joined the unmade road where I had queued to cross the miners bridge two days earlier. The surface still wasn't ideal but was improving rapidly and I was alternating between a slow jog and fast walk. Despite being pretty slow by regular standards, I was overtaking a quite a few people - no issue going past 50ers but I felt guilty about passing 100ers at the end but I was going quite a bit quicker. I had to apologise to the marshall who had told me to stay on the pavement but in my excitement (and possibly sub 8 minute miles),  I found myself on the road going past the petrol station. It was before 5am so no traffic but still...

I got to the road section and had a surprising amount of running in my legs and my last mile was less than 12 minutes with almost a sprint finish down Lake Road and under the finish banner. I crossed the line in 34:47 with a nice chunk to spare under 35 hours. I did my customary finish line press ups - I was unsure about being able to do them as my arms had taken a battering but got them done.

I then made my way to heroes - or should I say legend's welcome in the big marquee. Everyone got a massive cheer from first to last. I had my photo taken and massive medal round my neck. It was very smooth and I was through the finishing process. Normally I crash on the ground but this time, I stayed on my feet as I wanted to grab my drop bags before heading back to my tent. I caught myself using poles to get across the flat field which must have looked ridiculous. I crashed in my tent shortly after 5am with a job well done.



I woke up a couple of hours later busting for a pee and made the agonising journey across the field towards the portaloos. A fellow penguin was making a similar journey and we had a laugh about the race towards the toilet. I was expecting a horrendous experience but the portaloos were in great condition. I then treated myself to pizza and fanta for breakfast. Sadly the Caribbean food truck wasn't around - that looked amazing on Friday evening and some really nice guys running it. 

I packed up my kit and made my way to the bus stop for the long journey home. I was lucky to catch Nici finishing the 50 as I was making my way there. The bus was quite sociable with a couple of fellow legends chatting away with some locals and tourists. Then it was 7 hours on a combination of 3 trains and the Victoria line before getting home at 5pm. Part of my keenness to finish quickly was to make the journey home a bit less painful...

I went to work (from home at the dinning room table) on the Monday and got back on with life. My sleep was still out of sync as I was wide awake at 5am so got to watch 4 hours of Olympic and several gold medals before breakfast. The race took quite a bit more out of me than I had realised as my family thought I was "very grumpy" until at least Tuesday evening whereas normally I'm fine after a good night of sleep. Legs were ok by Wednesday but there was a general malaise for about a week as the lack of sleep unwound.

I would rank the race as the second hardest thing I've done. Physically, LL100 might well have been the largest effort but I found KACR145 harder - a combination of my collapse in pace after 120 miles and being alone for the last 15 hours so hours made that one tougher. Going up Gatescarth Pass wasn't exactly easy but I would take that over Slough town centre on a Saturday lunchtime which was at a similar point timewise. Apart from the section after Chapel Stile, I was generally around people most of the time.

I'm happy with my performance and might well go back one day. It is a beautiful race and very well organised with very friendly volunteers (massive thank you to every one of you) and fellow competitors. But it is really tough with two nights and 30+ hours out on the trail making for a massive effort. The 50 looks like a great race but I don't know if I could do a 50 when I knew a 100 was there too - and it is long journey for me to get to the Lakes so might as well make it worth it...









Sunday, 4 July 2021

100 miles finish times versus a night out

Just as 100 mile finish times seem to correlate well with 5k time, there is also a similarity between finishing times for 100 mile races and drinking sessions.

Not all 100 mile races are equal - the winning time for Ronda Dels Cims is over 30 hours and beyond the cut off for some races so this isn't a reflection of the pace of the finishers.

11-12 hours. Most pubs don't even open now so to be finishing your drinking session before midday suggests you have a problem

12-13 hours: Lunch with a beer. Not really counts as a drinking session.

13-14 hours: Just about time to have had a lunch and maybe a glass of wine. 

14-15 hours: Long lunch with a bottle of wine

15-16 hours: As above but probably with added Port/Brandy

16-17 hours: Lunch with an afternoon in the pub

17-18 hours: Long afternoon out but sneaking onto the usual train home. 

18-19 hours: A quick pint(s) after work. Probably going to be fine the next day

19-20 hours: Going out for a drink plus 3 for the road

20-21 hours: If you started after work, there is enough time to do some serious damage

21-22 hours: Planned to just be out for a few drinks and the window for dinner has been and gone. On train home and in bed for the normal time.

22-23 hours: Calling it a night before 11pm means you made the choice to go home not because someone rang a bell 

23-24 hours: A key milestone is to stop before midnight. A lot of people have this as their goal.

24-25 hours: Not many nights out finish between midnight and 1am. It is kind of a no man's land between pub finishing time and going "out out". People often push to get things done by midnight to get the last train/tube/bus home

25-26 hours: Probably involved a kebab and a late night drinking establishment. Maybe a bit of dancing.

26-28 hours: Past the usual finishing time for a big night out. A big night out with the stragglers being swept out of the establishment just before cut off at 4am. 

28-30 hours: Having it very large. 4am is a typical end to the night so only a small number of nights can go on this long and often they include substances similar to Tailwind.

30-36 hours: These are places that need some insider knowledge. Potential candidates include the Swan at Stockwell, and Duck & Waffle. People are going to work the next day is very much underway. Generally you need to go overseas to have nights out this long.

36 hours+: Really specialist sector here featuring locations such as The Church at Bagley's studio  

Saturday, 3 July 2021

2021 Thames Path 100 - Half a dozen finishes

I often write up my race reports within a week or so of the race but this one in nearly two months late so might be more historical fiction that factual... 

 The previous 5 times I finished the Thames Path, I had claimed I wouldn't run it again and yet once again found myself on the start line. 

  •  2015 - My first 100 which featured torrential rain from Reading onwards, horrendous blisters, and 23:03 finish 
  •  2016 - The first leg of the 2016 GS which featured a leg injury caused by changing into low drop trail shoes at Henley, falling in a massive puddle 76 miles in, and a long trudge home to finish in 23:25 
  •  2017 - A decent effort. Good first half but poor second half with another leg niggle to finish in 22:27 (a PB at the time) 
  •  2019 - This was run under the cloud of a heart investigation. I had been diagnosed with suspected LVH (enlarged heart) so took it easy to start with and then jogged it in as I was comfortable pushing things too hard. Turn out a few weeks later, my heart was perfectly normal for someone who jogs quite a bit. Finished in 23:06 and felt a bit of a plonker for running it. 
  •  2020 - The COVID edition. It perfect weather and held during September. It started 2 hours earlier too so optimum conditions and led to a massive PB of 19:40. 
I figured I would retire there as I would struggle to beat that time. Come late 2020, I found myself on the entry list again... Given the Centurion team's ablity to put on races safely under COVID protocols it was a great race to have penciled into the calendar. 

 One of the reasons I have done the race so many times is the simple logistics. I jump on a train and after a quick change at Clapham Junction, I'm in Richmond. This time however, the train networks had different ideas with Victoria closed which meant no ability to change at CLJ so I would need to go to London Bridge and then across to Waterloo... oh and bus for the last bit so it would have been 3 hours rather than less than 1. My wife thankfully gave me a lift to the start. 

 It was absolutely tipping it down on the drive there. It wouldn't be ideal conditions with lots of standing water on the roads. I jumped out of the car and straight into registration. It was a pretty slick set up but with runners funnelled through Richmond townhall and out towards the river. No waiting around this time as the race had started 40 minutes ago... 

 I had a look at the live results page and it looks like I was about 100th over the line. It was raining reasonably steadily but this had the huge benefit of keeping the general public inside. It was very quiet on the riverside and this helped with making swift progress. I felt really good at the start and was zipping along at high 8 minutes a mile and made it 5 miles in 44 minutes. This was a bit of a wake up call and decided to take my first walking break. I also met the "taller than he looks on facebook" Spencer M for the first time in person. The green GS t shirt confirmed the sighting. There was also the fabulous Hampton Court. Not photos today as it was still damp. I had another walking break a while later but still made it to 10 miles in just under 88 minutes. 

The first aid station arrived shortly after in about 94 minutes - 7 or so faster than 2020. I thought I had timed my pit stop well with nobody really in front of me and I had passed a couple of runners a few hundred metres before the aid station. However there was a short queue for the aid station. It is generally very slick but the first aid station is always going to be a pinch point and due to my mid pack departure time, I was in the dense part of the pack. 

There was quite a bit of faffing by the runners in the aid station. One person had a bladder which isn't a great idea in races with so many aid stations (Ken Fancett's opinion too and he knows a bit about running 100s) and another was taking off their jacket and rearranging their pack. Unfortunately, the waiting runners have to wait until the person ahead has moved away from the table.... 

 I used a bladder for my first TP100. It was a massive faff to refill. In the pre-COVID days, some very kind volunteers would help but in COVID rules, you have to do it yourself. It takes a while to do properly to avoid leaks and air bubbles and then you have to repack your bag. It is also impossible to tell how much you have drunk and how much is left unless you take the pack off. For the TP100, aid stations are fairly close together so 1 litre from 2 bottles plus a few cups of water/coke/tea should be enough. Bottles - especially hard ones - can be refilled in a few seconds. 

 The waiting was a blessing in disguise. I had hoped to run using my wrist based HRM but it had gone a bit nuts. It was up in the 170s which is complete nonsense. It goes a bit whacky in the cold and rain but it was probably higher than the 135-140 I was aiming for. This was a chance to regroup and assess my pace. I had a refuel of coke, cheese, and a gel. Bottles refilled with one tailwind and one water. I was then on my way with some more hand sanitiser and thank yous to the volunteers. My watched ticked over to 11 miles and my 11th was 11:28. The hold up must have been less than a minute as my own stop would have been a while plus I walked out of the aid station. 

About 7 minutes up on 2020 and on par for 19 - 19:30 hour pace. I had several time goals for today. I think it helps with motivation to have more than one goal. Often if a race goes badly, it is easy to drop if the A goal is out of the window. My goals were: 
  • AAA - sub 19 
  • AA - new PB - currently 19:40 
  • A - sub 21 - the current Spartathlon qualification 
  • B - sub 23 - median finish time is 23:03 
  • B minus - sub 24 - a 6th "one day" buckle 
  • C - finish - always good to finish these things 
 I was in about 24th after the first aid station but took it a bit easier between 10 and 20 miles as things felt a bit quick. It is very easy to overcook it in the early stages and I had possibly gone a bit quick. I had a couple of walking breaks in this section but was feeling really good and keen to push on. 

A "highlight" was the blue bridge which will be very familiar to those of you who run Phoenix events. One of the slightly annoying aspect of the staggered starts is that you typically don't have runners of the same pace. But on the other hand you get to run with people that might not have been the case. I had a chance to run with Graeme Boxall for a bit along here. 

 CP2 soon arrived - I knew this was a "mask" one so had it ready. I had again timed my arrival well and got through it very smoothly. I was 42nd at this point and 7 minutes up on 2020 so stabilised my pace. I was a bit slow on the way out. I really mentally struggle for some reason on this part. There is a huge temptation to carve straight through the middle of the park but the markers show the route next to the river... 

It then follows a major road for a mile or so which is a bit dull. The next bit is quite nice though as you get to see Windsor castle. Next landmark was Victoria Bridge just after Datchet. This normally involves cutting across a park on the footpath to get back on the TP but there was a massive construction site which required a detour. It is the same for everyone but a 3 minute detour was a bit annoying. I had gone into ultra territory on this section with a 4:09 marathon - not a bad time and definitely not stopping me from achieving my AAA goal but probably nearer 20 hour pace. 

 Next up the 50k aid station of Dorney (31 miles). A few familiar faces (possibly Paul McLeery) but it is a while back now. It was lovely to get to 50k in under 5 hours. Amusingly I was 4:57 here versus 5:04 last year - that 7 minute gap again. I can't remember too much exciting of the 30-50 mile section. It always seems to drag a bit as there are quite a few miles in the legs but nowhere near even halfway (by time). I chatted to a few people along the way - always good for the spirit to chat to first timers who are making really good progress and likely on course for a sub 24. 

I have a few traditions on the TP - one is that I always walk through churchyards. It is a good excuse to take a break and it feels like something I should do out of respect. It also reminds me that I'm very fortunate to be able to run these things and there are some who have died before their time who can't. Cookham church is a scheduled walking break.... Hurley was 7:33 - good enough for 43rd place. I had stabilised in the low 40s which was a good sign. Also 7:33 for 44 miles is a smidge over 10 minutes a mile. That is proper running that... 

Reaching Hurley also reminds me of meeting Matthew - a friend of Paul Reader's. I met him a mile or two before Hurley. He was convinced he was nearly at Henley (or with a mile or two) as his watch had gone wonky. Always good to have the memory of the aid station distances - he had another 90+ minutes to Henley but he did ultimately get a sub 24. 

 One of favourite sections is Hurley to Henley. There is a slightly surreal moment when you go through a billionaire's estate which comes complete with Cricket field. You rejoin the Thames at the Flowerpot Pub which also serves as an aid station for KACR - this means less than 3 miles to the Henley aid station. One of the massive benefits of the earlier rain was that the Henley section was really quiet despite the weather being fairly dry now. In 2020, there was a music festival and fantastic weather so the run into Henley involved trying to squeeze past groups of oblivious people. There was however an absolute shocker of a headwind which meant my plans of running were turned to in a determined trudge. 

I paired up with someone here to pace each other into town. I also passed the 50 mile point by GPS in 8:38 - my fastest Centurion 50. I had hoped to dip under the magic 9 hours mark but arrived in 9:00:36. Looking back at my splits, the Hurley to Henley section was my worst (69th split ranking) but I think pushing hard into the wind would have been a lot of wasted energy.

My watch was 51.5 or so which was nice as it suggests it was tracking well. I saw the distinctive figure of David Harvey (6'4" version of Mick Hucknall) on the way in - a quick elbow bump greeting rather than the usual high five. I had a very rapid stop here. My main drop bag was going to be Goring as I was planning to get there for dusk. I grabbed a gel or two from my bag plus a can of coffee and was on my way. 

I had a quick chat with a few people (Louise A for sure) but was out very quickly. I hooked up with Marco in an amusing repeat of 2017. He was in bad way that year and was slightly struggling. I was a bit sluggish after the headwind fun so good to have company. I drank my can of caramel latte and was refuelled. Normally I've had a longer stop here but the earlier start and faster pace meant that sunset would hopefully be close to the Goring drop bag. 

 In the first few times I ran this, I had a major stop here with a bowl of pasta and big feed. I then came out the other side fuelled but somewhat sluggish. Getting to halfway in under 10 hours meant a sub 24 was on the cards and required pace was less than 4mph so walking was helping me get there. However I found that I really lost momentum between here and Reading - especially as it gets dark with the normal 930/10am start. This is probably still a good strategy if the aim is to finish rather than chasing a time. 

 I hooked up with Marco on the way out of the aid station. We had run most of the second half together in 2017 and it was good to catch up. I had seen him in a few aid stations previously but it was good to have a proper catch up. We made decent progress to Reading and beyond. I got slightly confused at Reading aid station as there was a one way system and plastic covers required for muddy shoes but eventually worked it out. Reading and beyond was fairly uneventful. There was quite a bit of chatter on facebook about the Reading to Tilehurst having potential of drunkards on the trail but there wasn't a single sole out on the riverside. Perhaps the forecast rain had put off those who enjoy a Saturday evening sitting around a fire drinking lager or smoking weed. 

Shortly after Reading is the 100km point. I went through here in 11:14 which was about 3 minutes faster than  my previous best 100k split. For context, the 100 mile world record was set the previous month also at 11:14 so I'm about 62% slower. I was running slightly quicker than Marco so we split up towards Pangbourne. 

Last year I had been spoiled with an outdoor section to the aid station but it was upstairs like Reading again. Indoors so the mask had to come out again. An extra flight of stairs should make no difference but somehow it does. But then again in previous years, it was a detour up a residential street so I shouldn't really complain. 

 The combination of an earlier start than normal (last year it was September) meant that for the first time ever, I ran the Pangbourne to Goring section in the light. It is completely different to the other 95 miles and features the only real climbing of the route. Mount Whitchurch is 30% in places... but only about 75 feet high. It features a step descent down some steps and then a climb out the other side. Quite confusing for the legs after 13 hours of flat terrain. There is then a half mile descent back to the river before coming into Goring. 

 I arrived into Goring about 3 minutes down on 2020. My times had been remarkably similar for the entire 70 miles - the biggest gap being the 7 minutes I was up after my overly enthusiastic start in the first 10 miles. There were a few familiar faces - whilst hard to recognise people behind masks, Sonny Peart's distinctive voice was instantly recognisable here. I had a small drop bag here which I was able to pick up and use everything from. Some people have massive bags with all sorts of random stuff in there "just in case". 

I had a bag with the intention of using everything. I had my main headtorch, a base layer, can of coffee, and a couple of gels. I changed into the merino base layer and popped the head torch on, and I was ready to. I put my BBR tshirt on over the top and my thin hiviz cycling jacket over the top of that and was out of the door. The other advantage is that I then didn't need to wait around at the finish for the Goring drop bag. On departure from Goring, I realised my outfit was way to warm. I hadn't even made it over the bridge and I was overheating. 

I took off the cycling jacket and as back to an appropriate temperature. The other main topic on facebook was how cold it gets overnight on the Thames. I have been incredibly cold in the past along but it was quite mild this year. My inov8 top was well designed with a hood and hand covers so it helped manage my temperature when it got colder later in the night. There had been some mud on the route which had generally made a minimal difference to pace but it started to get a bit trickier from here. 

In 2020, there was a longer road detour which at the time was quite annoying but probably would almost have been quicker this year. There some really quite muddy bits with boardwalks which made for slightly slower going. I had made the decision to go in road shoes (multicoloured Mizunos) which had been great up until here. I had a compare of my splits and whilst I had run this section in about 1:27 - about 3 minutes slower than last year but I had made huge improvements on the first 4 times I ran this race. My strava splits were fairly consistent at 1:51:16 / 1:51:27 / 1:52:22 / 2:06:47. 

The last one would have been in line with the other 3 but I fell in a puddle during that section in 2016 - ironically a year I wore trail shoes. Wallingford aid station was very slick. It helps when the field is more spread out but they were particularly keen at helping. It turns out one of the volunteers was a previous winner of the race and she set the British 100 mile record at the Centurion track 100 a few weeks before. 

I was out the other side of Wallingford fairly quickly via the garden of a pub. This was still during the time when only pub gardens were open so there were lots of people sat in a normally empty outdoor area which was slightly strange. These were the only vaguely drunk people on the entire route which has to be a first. 

I still had a chance of a sub 20 finish but a PB was probably gone at this point as I was about 10 minutes down on 2020 an struggling a bit with the terrain. My tailwind/gels/coke plus a few random bits of proper food was going well and my legs felt decent but I didn't quite have the push of last year - sub 21 was pretty assured though. 

This section is probably the toughest of the race. It comes fairly late on and I think is the longest time between checkpoints (first two are longer by distance). It starts of with some muddy trail, then crossing a weir over some very fast moving water which isn't fun, bit of a section on a road with very fast cars, a muddy meadow which is always colder than anywhere else in England, and then the longest section into the never ending darkness. I made decent progress but was struggling to get down towards the 12 minute miling I was aiming for at this stage. If I could keep it in the mid teens, I should have comfortable sub 21. The last landmark on this section is Day's lock - after that it is a really long left hand bend for about 2.5 miles / 40 minutes or so. 

In a small win for the runners, the usual CP was in use as a vaccination centre so one was set up by the churchyard - this had the massive advantage of not having to climb the hill to the normal location saving a few hundred yards. I went for the unusual option of hot water here. I have it at home sometimes and it is quite nice on the stomach. The only snag is that is exceptionally hot - I need to remember to add a bit of cold water next time so it doesn't slow me down. I sipped away at it when I started on the last 14 miles of the race. 

I had done well to have got this far before regretting my life choices. This normally happens at some point in 100 mile races and 15 miles to go isn't too bad. This was the 6th time I've done the Thames Path and know the last 15 (more like 13.8) miles of the route very well. 

I've been fortunate to have a target to chase the every time I've left Clifton Hampden. 
  • 2015 - blistered feet meant I couldn't run and came out the checkpoint at sunrise and walked it in for just over 23 hours. It was nearly 4 hours of focussed walking which was quite fun as it was my 100 and I came away with a One Day buckle. 3h38m05 from Clifton Hampden to the finish 
  •  2016 - a hamstring injury - probably related to changing shoes at Henley - meant I had to walk it in. I was about 30 minutes slower to here than the previous year so I had to push on and sneaked under 24 hours. It was the first leg of the Grandslam so happy with a conservative finish. My watch went a bit funny so I don't have the split but guessing about 3h45m 
  •  2017 - having been on course for a big PB, I had faded after Henley and was struggling to run so ended up walking it in for small PB. I had the target of the old Sparthlon mark of 22:30 and I just made it with a 22:27. 3h38m23s from CH to the finish according to Strava. 
  •  2019 - I had been off the pace most of the day this year but had a strong finish as I had quite a bit left in the tank. I really enjoyed the last section and had the aim of beating 2015 but couldn't quite make it with a 23h06 finish. CH to the finish was 3h14 
  •  2020 - This was my best ever race. I came out of Clifton H with 3hr15 to break the magic 20 hours. I pushed pretty hard and took 2h55 to get to the finish - probably would have been 3h05m with usual Oxford Uni finish. 
  •  2021 - I came out CH in just under 17 hours so if could push hard, I had a good chance of breaking 20 hours... 
 I set off with a distinct purpose and about 3 hours to go. I then got about 100 yards down the path as starting slipping and sliding - sub 20 hours wasn't happening... Another long stretch in the mud and dark with lots of slippery boardwalks before the Abingdon CP. 

Dimi and Lou Fraser were there and it was a great stop. I fuelled up with an extra cup or two of coke so that I could bypass the Radley stop. The last two sections are about 8.5 miles and I had done several sections that long already so definitely a good strategy. 

 It is about 8.5 miles to the finish from Abingdon and I was here in 18h30. Clearly sub 20 was out of the window but I had a secondary goal of sub 20h20. This was a cool sounding time and would mean the average of my best two finishes would be 20 hours. My legs were in reasonable shape and I felt like I could push on a bit. I had also had enough so would be happy to get it done. 

 This new found enthusiasm lasted about 15 minutes when I reached Barton Fields. I had eaten my CP snacks and the coke had settled so I was all set to push on.  I was still with Tom and between us there were a lot of swear words dropped on this section. It is muddy at the best of times but was a mess with many puddles covering the width of the path. Apart from Barton Fields, the terrain was probably ok but I had started to take it easy at this point as it felt like awkward slip could easily result in a nasty injury with tired legs. 

 It is possible to make up (or lose) large chunks of time in the later stages of the race. Gaining 5 minutes early on cost quite a lot of energy but it is fairly easy to trade a couple of 15 minute miles (fast walk) for a couple of 12 minute miles (half run/half walk). Tom and I were keeping up the pace on the tarmac or well surfaced sections with the old "lets run to the next lampost" etc. but there was a lot of walking. I went past Radley with only a brief pause to thank to the volunteers. I was here in 19h30 so it would take something spectacular to break 20h20 as it was about 4.5 miles to go. Likewise I only needed 20 minutes a mile to break 21 hours so barring a disaster, that was in the bag. I mainly walked this section until the edge of Oxford when the path turns into tarmac and makes running easier. 

 I had been running with Tom for quite a while and was in slightly better form. I went past the 2020 finish with about 20h30 on the watch. Another 10 minutes or so of run-walk before the finish came in sight. There was a hint of dawn coming up but made it across the line in the dark. My split from CH to the finish was 3h38h23 - the same time to the second as 2017 and 18 seconds slower 2015. 

A bit of weak finish but it was my second fastest 100 mile finish and in tougher conditions than 2020 so very happy overall. Unfortunately I didn't get to hang around at the finish for long. I had been here for hours back in 2020 so didn't want to overstay my welcome again. I collected my Henley drop bag and didn't have one from Goring due to my clever planning so was good to go. The first train wasn't until about 8am so I took the Oxford Tube back. 

I can highly recommend it - it was clean and comfortable and dropped me off near London Victoria. This would have been perfect normally but Victoria was closed so I had to get the tube over to London Bridge. Sadly the bus was slightly less clean afterwards as I had failed to bring a spare pair of shoes for the finish. Marco had also caught the Oxford tube so we made our way across London together. I didn't take any photos of the route so my only one is this comedy photo as we made our way down the stairs due to escalator maintenance.


Overall, I was happy with my race. It reinforces my belief that starting steadily is the way to do things. I didn't go off particularly fast but those 5 minutes I gained over the first 2 hours probably cost me overall. In 2020, I started off steadily and slowed down less than most but this year, my slowing down rate was about the same as everyone else. My best section that year was Goring to Clifton Hampden. This year it was the first 10 miles : / (Pangbourne to Wallingford was second best section this year)

However you don't know what you are capable of unless you try and I starting off at sub 9 minute miles isn't for me just yet. I gave it a good for 15 hours before tapering back my expectations. 

The staggered start was bad for me as I quite enjoyed overtaking people early on when I should have been more steady. Likewise I struggled to find people with similar pace to partner up with until the second half. Hopefully this was my last staggered start.

My aid station technique was excellent with only 38 minutes difference between Strava moving and elapsed times. In 2015, the gap was was 1hr 17 without the COVID protocols. Time lost in aid stations is very hard to recoup on the trail. I might even be able to get this down to below 30 minutes next time...

This was my third Top 40 placing - it was a few places off my 2020 performances but a lot better than my pre-COVID placings. I have hopefully improved from consistently ~23 hours finishes in the non-NDW races to more like 21 hours or below. Sub 21 in now my target rather than sub 24.
 

As always, thanks to James Elson, Nici, and the team for putting on a great race. Thanks to the amazing volunteers who made everything work in a COVID secure way, and to my fellow runners for keeping me company along the way.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Tables for all time rankings

 

Rank

Name

Ranking points

1

Kenneth Fancett

26,598

2

Edward Catmur

25,964

3

David Thompson

24,788

4

Peter Windross

22,024

5

Wendy Shaw

21,146

6

David Ross

20,284

7

Markus Flick

20,264

8

Jeremy Isaac

18,934

9

Andrew Smith

18,693

10

John Stocker

17,609

11

Peter Johnson

17,523

12

Tremayne Cowdry

17,460

13

Paul Ali

16,779

14

David Harvey

16,386

15

Russell Gardham

16,383

16

Eduard Egelie

16,272

17

Stephen Turner

16,122

18

David Stuart

16,069

19

Andy Morris

15,816

20

David Pryce

15,574

21

Andrew Mckillop

15,490

22

Vince Darley

15,444

23

Simon Bennett

15,444

24

Barry Miller

15,353

25

Nigel Cowan

15,341

26

Warwick Gooch

15,328

27

Calvin Hemmings

15,264

28

Tracey Watson

15,226

29

Mark Taylor-Weir

15,084

30

Helen Smith

14,774

31

James Moore

14,766

32

Mari Mauland

14,758

33

John Melbourne

14,544

34

Ellen Cottom

14,351

35

Mark Fox

14,138

36

Paul Reader

14,105

37

Richard Pomeroy

14,060

38

Sarah Morwood

13,964

39

Sally Ford

13,920

40

Brent Mullane

13,896

41

Nicholas Greene

13,875

42

Peter Bowles

13,819

43

Ian Hammett

13,701

44

Christian Maleedy

13,526

45

Roz Glover

13,376

46

Rebecca Lane

13,210

47

Elaine Battson

13,205

48

James Bennett

13,123

49

Dan Masters

13,112

50

Justin Johns

13,076

51

Raymond Hasler

13,031

52

Tim Cox

13,013

53

Mark Evans

12,979

54

Lee Kelly

12,868

55

Martin Bacon

12,838

56

Richard Goulder

12,815

57

Toby Melville

12,744

58

Ian Thomas

12,636

59

Peter Kaminsky

12,619

60

Phillip Tunney

12,619

61

Sam Robson

12,613

62

Mich Hardie

12,612

63

Ilsuk Han

12,604

64

Tim Landon

12,422

65

Debbie Martin-Consani

12,398

66

Peter Lemon

12,256

67

Mark Thompson

12,224

68

Tony Sharkey

12,209

69

Simon Martin

12,127

70

Philip Somarakis

12,101

71

Luke Ashton

12,089

72

David Barker

12,023

73

Gavin Bowden

11,957

74

Jason Mccardle

11,951

75

John Gilman

11,894

76

Alexander Whearity

11,884

77

Nick Mayers

11,869

78

Cameron Kirkwood

11,838

79

Ed Fisher

11,789

80

Tony Bowe

11,705

81

Matthew Pearce

11,673

82

Duncan Oakes

11,520

83

Traviss Willcox

11,512

84

Brandon Webb

11,471

85

Laura Swanton

11,398

86

Ercole Lugari

11,374

87

George Nicholls

11,370

88

Steven Southwell

11,337

89

Christian Lambert

11,325

90

Paul Mccleery

11,303

91

Stephen Crafford

11,270

92

Flavien Bascoul

11,257

93

Kristian Morgan

11,204

94

Henry Church

11,191

95

Rob Delicata

11,131

96

Iain Stewart

11,082

97

Vladimir Zalesskiy

11,080

98

Keith Shaw

11,065

99

Piers Woolston

10,985

100

Antony Smith

10,958

101

Lorna Muirhead

10,952

102

Thomas Garrod

10,952

103

Leanne Rive

10,900

104

Chris Larmour

10,898

105

Andi Dunn

10,894

106

Rachel Fawcett

10,857

107

Timothy Chapman

10,849

108

Stellan Fries

10,849

109

Steve Carey

10,843

110

David Ickringill

10,841

111

Mark Cheal

10,821

112

Alex Cacchi

10,809

113

David Bird

10,787

114

Ken Lane

10,785

115

Jon Cox

10,753

116

Giacomo Squintani

10,716

117

Stefan Klincewicz

10,677

118

Mel Horley

10,652

119

Nick Marriage

10,646

120

James Rodge

10,636

121

Tony Trundley

10,610

122

Steven Illingworth

10,605

123

Mick Barnes

10,597

124

Rob Brown

10,592

125

Karen Doak

10,585

126

Richard Whitaker

10,577

127

Jeffrey Springford

10,521

128

Jamie Goodhead

10,482

129

Keir Monteith

10,412

130

Karol Wicinski

10,393

131

Kate Jayden

10,391

132

Mark Lynch

10,355

133

Brendan Turner

10,351

134

James Poole

10,345

135

Keith James

10,325

136

Ian Cullingworth

10,324

137

Clive Steffen

10,314

138

Paul Downes

10,249

139

Michael White

10,235

140

Colin Barnes

10,234

141

Andrew Heaney

10,198

142

Max Willcocks

10,181

143

Paul Ketchen

10,178

144

Scott Harris

10,176

145

Matthew Ayre

10,167

146

Martin Walker

10,156

147

Paul Core

10,095

148

Paul Russhard

10,087

149

Tarne Westcott

10,085

150

Michael Williams

10,079

151

Simon Brown

10,074

152

Paul Maskell

10,038

153

Shawn Timmons

10,000

154

John Fanshawe

9,891

155

Francis Graham-Dixon

9,820

156

Jonathan Langford

9,816

157

Paul Corderoy

9,809

158

Jonathan Strong

9,757

159

Ewan Dunlop

9,745

160

Thomas Hayward

9,687

161

Graham Brownsmith

9,658

162

Noora Eresmaa

9,657

163

Matt Bevan

9,641

164

Mark Farthing

9,627

165

Ken Hughes

9,626

166

Glyn Raymen

9,584

167

Phil Bradburn

9,575

168

Ryan Holmes

9,558

169

Matthew King

9,537

170

Edward Olcot

9,496

171

Peter Wright

9,496

172

Brian Mitchell

9,484

173

Jack Mortassagne

9,479

174

Tim Moloney

9,476

175

Annabelle Stearns

9,474

176

Terrence Zengerink

9,406

177

Bryan Webster

9,284

178

Stephen Mitchell

9,273

179

Marissa Harris

9,272

180

Robb Grubb

9,263

181

Tom Sawyer

9,262

182

Daniel Moloney

9,250

183

Paul Cooper

9,225

184

Martin Thomerson

9,205

185

Richard Shlovogt

9,194

186

Dan Park

9,186

187

Dominic Follows

9,183

188

Nicola Hoy

9,182

189

Fergus Edwards

9,181

190

Ozgur Gulec

9,157

191

Paul Simpson

9,150

192

James Manners

9,139

193

Robbie Britton

9,127

194

David Jones

9,117

195

Gavin Thompson

9,115

196

Phil Whiting

9,085

197

John Taylor

9,067

198

Alan Cooper

9,065

199

Julian Howard

9,057

200

Norbert Mihalik

9,039

201

Jay Macdonald

9,039

202

Robert Carr

9,030

203

Allen Taylor

8,996

204

Graham Carter

8,994

205

Raymond Parks

8,986

206

Martin Johnson

8,981

207

Kevin Rosbotham

8,969

208

Mark Denby

8,956

209

Daniel Hunter

8,946

210

Mark Johnson

8,945

211

Robert Whitehead

8,941

212

Louise Ayling

8,937

213

David Brock

8,928

214

Michelle Payne

8,922

215

Matt Brand

8,917

216

Glen Willie

8,917

217

John Volanthen

8,875

218

Andy Jones

8,845

219

Claire Searle

8,840

220

Joanna Turner

8,835

221

Danny Turton

8,829

222

Rodrigo Freeman Lopez

8,820

223

Dharmesh Mistry

8,805

224

Sarah Sawyer

8,764

225

Huw Jones

8,760

226

Owen Wainhouse

8,736

227

Jason Bramley

8,730

228

James Brouner

8,714

229

Ann Bath

8,683

230

Mark Thornberry

8,680

231

Benjamin Jenks

8,680

232

Rosie Williams

8,658

233

Gordon Forrest

8,652

234

Paul Regan

8,649

235

Mark Haynes

8,628

236

Andy Bain

8,627

237

Ian Kittle

8,623

238

Tim Lambert

8,611

239

Rui Pedras

8,582

240

Phil Amos

8,562

241

Martin Bushell

8,541

242

Andrew Tebbenham

8,531

243

Sharon Dickson

8,492

244

Tim Ellwood

8,492

245

Stephen Mcallister

8,421

246

Sergiy Dus

8,417

247

Tim Young

8,407

248

Patrick Munn

8,378

249

Luke Latimer

8,377

250

Ry Webb

8,372

251

Simon Prytherch

8,367

252

Dale Staton

8,360

253

Diane Roy

8,352

254

Charlotte Davey

8,322

255

Victoria Louise Fraser-Thompson

8,307

256

Sarah Easingwood-Wilson

8,294

257

Stuart Smith

8,278

258

Rajiv Ratan

8,232

259

Jason Bingham

8,227

260

Allie Bailey

8,219

261

David Kind

8,212

262

Stephen Hobbs

8,209

263

Mary Heald

8,206

264

Giles Humphreys-Evans

8,202

265

Louise Tidbury

8,194

266

Lynn Cunningham

8,192

267

Paul Beechey

8,191

268

James Leask

8,186

269

Nick Balding

8,178

270

Sean Parry

8,173

271

Andrew Miles

8,169

272

Nick Weston

8,158

273

Graham Watson

8,158

274

Paul Wootten

8,139

275

Andrew Disley

8,136

276

Tomasz Skokowski

8,113

277

Mark Woodhall

8,091

278

Torquil Landen

8,054

279

Peter Foxall

8,040

280

Nick Thompson

8,019

281

Christina Calderon

8,008

282

Philippe Ecaille

8,006

283

Matt Evenden

8,000

284

Ben Cuttle

7,999

285

Graham Smedley

7,976

286

Frank Chu

7,973

287

Ian Duxbury

7,961

288

Michael Oakes

7,959

289

Allan Rumbles

7,946

290

Maria Russell

7,944

291

Daniel Benwell

7,915

292

Sharon Law

7,907

293

David Bowen

7,904

294

Simon Atkin

7,901

295

John Samways

7,897

296

Richard New

7,879

297

Christian Gnodtke

7,875

298

Ollie Stoten

7,874

299

Gareth Allen

7,846

300

Tom Farsides

7,825

301

Christopher Legg

7,801

302

Ashley Gilbert

7,780

303

John Sisley

7,764

304

Laura Watts

7,744

305

Ammon Piepgrass

7,732

306

Stuart Queen

7,730

307

Stuart Secker

7,689

308

Tim Welch

7,684

309

Jamie Streatfield

7,679

310

Alastair Gallichan

7,643

311

Katharine Ganly

7,641

312

Gabriel Flores

7,638

313

Christopher Keri-Nagy

7,625

314

Andrew Law

7,620

315

Graham Cooke

7,598

316

James Owen

7,560

317

Richard Newey

7,548

318

Alasdair Stuart

7,547

319

Daniel Stephenson

7,546

320

Anthony Low

7,506

321

Martin O'sullivan

7,478

322

Jason Chase

7,477

323

Paul Pickford

7,458

324

Peter Hague

7,436

325

David Pereira

7,410

326

Matthew Bird

7,408

327

John Whittaker

7,406

328

Dan Mayers

7,404

329

Ricky Downs

7,395

330

Paul Murray

7,390

331

Phil Brown

7,388

332

Peter Goldring

7,368

333

Paul Gilbertson

7,337

334

Russ Bestley

7,333

335

Mark Grenyer

7,326

336

Spencer Millbery

7,310

337

Gavin Collins

7,306

338

John Nelms

7,301

339

Sandra Brown

7,296

340

Mark Beer

7,286

341

Stephen Scobie

7,277

342

Jim Vince

7,271

343

David Gillespie

7,270

344

Alexia Melling

7,245

345

Sean Kerrin

7,238

346

Ian Miller

7,224

347

Melanie Ross

7,221

348

Nigel Harrison

7,212

349

Gordon Mead

7,181

350

Gary Wayman

7,157

351

Andrew Platt

7,154

352

Jim Seaton

7,139

353

Andy Arnold

7,137

354

Elmar Sistermanns

7,129

355

Dominic Osman-Allu

7,124

356

Phil Hoy

7,111

357

Andy Freeman

7,096

358

Georgina Townsend

7,092

359

Peter Hall

7,087

360

Talant Abdyldaev

7,080

361

Christian Seymour

7,076

362

Dom Garvey

7,073

363

Andrew Stevens

7,066

364

Neil Dawson

7,063

365

Jan Soderkvist

7,062

366

Joe Delaney

7,062

367

Marc Bayly

7,027

368

Craig Holgate

7,023

369

Craig Norris

7,021

370

Mark Perkins

7,020

371

Danny Cunnett

6,983

372

Sebastian Jones

6,979

373

Russell Arnold

6,972

374

Kim Olsen

6,971

375

Sam Tomlinson

6,969

376

Mark Aldridge

6,947

377

Craig Western

6,943

378

Janos Orsos

6,935

379

Geoffrey Cheshire

6,921

380

Sigrid Jahn

6,918

381

Nicholas Towell

6,918

382

Phil Gatsky

6,893

383

Dimi Booth

6,887

384

Maciek Kalus

6,873

385

Jon Fielden

6,832

386

Mike Julien

6,832

387

Neil Kirby

6,820

388

Janette Cross

6,817

389

Simon Jones

6,808

390

Ian Lang

6,794

391

Sheila Rose

6,785

392

Alan Mercer

6,771

393

Bart Van Den Berg

6,769

394

Jason Skirrow

6,763

395

Chris Foulds

6,760

396

Aaron Oliver

6,760

397

Darren Strachan

6,741

398

Michael Richardson

6,730

399

Caroline Crouchman

6,724

400

Helen Etherington

6,723

401

Stephen Fitzsimmons

6,714

402

Ben Davies

6,702

403

Frank Womelsdorf

6,695

404

Dave Reynier

6,691

405

Darren Chalk

6,688

406

Bernd Rohrmann

6,675

407

Dominique James

6,670

408

Yiannis Theologos Michellis

6,666

409

Stuart Blofeld

6,663

410

Martin Burton

6,662

411

James Inness

6,641

412

Darren Hancock

6,628

413

Alex Copley

6,622

414

Melissa Arkinstall

6,620

415

Sophie Power

6,618

416

Richard Hill

6,604

417

Emanuele Paolo Valente

6,600

418

Dudley Manning

6,599

419

Mark Atkinson

6,592

420

Ian Brazier

6,589

421

Rachel Hessom

6,585

422

Ilkka Savimaki

6,560

423

David Speake

6,550

424

Bob Wild

6,524

425

Dawn Riden

6,523

426

Barrett Abernethy

6,498

427

Ivor Hewitt

6,484

428

Geoff Partridge

6,483

429

Duncan Fendom

6,473

430

James Williams

6,468

431

Ben Parkes

6,462

432

Jin Cao

6,460

433

Wioletta Gorman

6,459

434

Richard La Cock

6,436

435

Eduardo Enrique Aguilar

6,435

436

Daniel Rourke

6,435

437

Stephen Cousins

6,432

438

Nicole Brown

6,430

439

Nigel Whitehead

6,425

440

Karl Gordon

6,403

441

Lee Dunstall

6,392

442

Paul Griffiths

6,388

443

Chris Edmonds

6,379

444

Stephen Braithwaite

6,374

445

Barry Briggs

6,359

446

Ally Watson

6,348

447

James Hartshorn

6,343

448

Greg Steeves

6,341

449

Samantha Amend

6,328

450

Steve Ambrose

6,320

451

Davide Grazielli

6,311

452

Amy Burdis

6,309

453

Thomas Kingston

6,280

454

Mark Swan

6,274

455

Victor Briceno

6,266

456

Adrien Prigent

6,260

457

Gareth Price

6,251

458

Sarah Booker

6,249

459

David Hayles

6,247

460

Marcin Krzysztofik

6,240

461

John Fisher

6,240

462

Ronan Donohue

6,231

463

David Jury

6,220

464

Steve Speirs

6,212

465

Jonathan Sarkies

6,200

466

Nick Purser

6,195

467

Dean Oldfield

6,192

468

Oliver Duncan-King

6,190

469

Mike Hogan

6,187

470

Nick Thorpe

6,182

471

Jan Lavis

6,181

472

Caroline Billis

6,172

473

Peter Grennan

6,171

474

Antony Dunkels

6,149

475

Andrew Landells

6,142

476

Alexey Drozdetskiy

6,142

477

Tom Kingham

6,127

478

Peter Gold

6,116

479

Stewart Liesnham

6,100

480

Pete Chandler

6,092

481

Simon Mackenzie

6,078

482

Alistair Watson

6,077

483

Sarah Place

6,076

484

Stephen Marks

6,072

485

Justin Lovstrom

6,064

486

Gary Timmins

6,061

487

Andy Nuttall

6,043

488

Darren Pilbeam

6,042

489

Matibini Matibini

6,033

490

Peter Jackson

6,027

491

Emma Bird

6,024

492

David Hegarty

6,023

493

Toby Froschauer

6,023

494

Mark Bartup

6,007

495

Richard Brown

6,001

496

Chris Baker

6,000

497

Simon Welch

5,997

498

Daniel Hart

5,987

499

Susie Chesher

5,982

500

Andrew Muzika

5,967

501

Alun Lewis

5,956

502

Ade Fowler

5,955

503

Steve Morris

5,934

504

Sarah Salt

5,912

505

Matt Winn-Smith

5,902

506

Gavin Clark

5,898

507

Peter Bedwell

5,894

508

Akgun Ozsoy

5,888

509

Lauren Rutter

5,884

510

Matt Pannell

5,880

511

Peter Dennett

5,878

512

Annie Garcia

5,875

513

Andy Pumphrey

5,874

514

Jonathan Ryan

5,866

515

Peter Colwill

5,865

516

Neil Beacher

5,862

517

Adam Close

5,862

518

Tamatha Ryan

5,861

519

William Sheehan

5,846

520

Melanie Mckay

5,836

521

Paul Bennett

5,833

522

Alfie Pearce-Higgins

5,827

523

Ingrid Lid

5,823

524

Marketa Martins

5,802

525

Richard Heath

5,796

526

Chrissie Buckledee

5,788

527

John Sreeves

5,784

528

Gail Edmans

5,774

529

Keith Burrows

5,773

530

Annelies Gerber

5,767

531

Fiona Mcnelis

5,762

532

Paul Radford

5,758

533

Mark Shannon

5,745

534

Kevin Shannon

5,745

535

Sonny Peart

5,741

536

Richie Cunningham

5,736

537

Stephen Baker

5,734

538

Jack Gammon

5,718

539

Sarah Cameron

5,692

540

Jean Beaumont

5,685

541

Pete Hammond

5,669

542

Claire Smedley

5,661

543

Jody Raynsford

5,648

544

Andy Marsh

5,641

545

David Palmer

5,633

546

Andy Kett

5,630

547

Justin Montague

5,624

548

David Bayley

5,624

549

Nicholas Ambatzis

5,620

550

Emily Simpson

5,610

551

Julian Desai

5,606

552

Jane Stephens

5,606

553

Garfield Jones

5,604

554

Matthew Bisco

5,586

555

Dominic Jones

5,584

556

Lee Powell

5,584

557

Fiona Cameron

5,579

558

Fern Parker

5,577

559

Juhana Kirk

5,571

560

Ashley Varley

5,569

561

Dudley Desborough

5,560

562

Stephen Attwood

5,558

563

Phil Taylor

5,557

564

Tadeusz Gumulka

5,546

565

Andy Killworth

5,536

566

Alzbeta Benn

5,520

567

Lawrence Eccles

5,519

568

Gary Kelly

5,512

569

Vincent Page

5,508

570

Russell Deen

5,498

571

Clive Nottage

5,487

572

Gary Butler

5,486

573

Simon Coplestone

5,465

574

Graham O'loughlin

5,459

575

James Watkins

5,445

576

Kris Peter

5,444

577

Kevin Otto

5,439

578

Douglas Mac Taggart

5,432

579

Cliff Canavan-King

5,427

580

Michelle Maxwell

5,416

581

Corinne Rodgers

5,408

582

Christine Buckledee

5,406

583

Nina Smith

5,406

584

Hamish Mcleod

5,392

585

Maryann Devally

5,388

586

Khalid Hamid

5,387

587

Brian Robb

5,385

588

Chris Shannon

5,381

589

Hidetoshi Honda

5,358

590

Pawel Kotlarz

5,349

591

Martin Clark

5,341

592

Hideo Takano

5,337

593

Chris Spurling

5,333

594

Phillip Kynaston

5,332

595

Gary Jarman

5,324

596

James Terry

5,320

597

Alan Samson

5,319

598

Mimi Anderson

5,290

599

Lin Holley

5,271

600

Fabio Rizzo Cascio

5,269

601

James Eacott

5,268

602

Robin Tuddenham

5,263

603

William Sweeney

5,257

604

Sebastien Betouret

5,248

605

Euan Mcgrath

5,223

606

Alan Clark

5,221

607

Scott Filmer

5,221

608

Paul Rowlinson

5,179

609

Richard Antrobus

5,167

610

Lee Ireland

5,153

611

Gareth Corbett

5,152

612

Barnaby Hopson

5,133

613

Stu Wilkie

5,133

614

Eliot Weatherill

5,116

615

Kit-Yi Greene

5,110

616

Jonathan Panter

5,099

617

Rashaad Shabab

5,090

618

Catherine Simpson

5,043

619

Darren Staley

5,030

620

Matt Whitnall

5,028

621

Jamie Maker

5,026

622

Diane Alldritt

5,024

623

S Lane

5,011

624

Richard Kell

5,008

625

Rodrigo Freeman Freeman

5,005

626

Bruce Mclaren

5,004

627

Alan Li

5,003

628

Ben Shirley

4,992

629

Andrzej Gasiorowski

4,992

630

Ian Russell

4,988

631

Ash Tehrani

4,983