Race to the Stones: an appetiser

On Saturday (and into Sunday morning) Caralyn and I did a mammoth 100k walk along the Ridgeway from Lewknor in Oxfordshire to Avebury in Wiltshire. It was the toughest event we’ve ever done but we survived to tell the tale with no fainting or visits to hospital, so that was a bonus.

I will write about our experiences soon: I’m waiting for photos from Caralyn, who was the official photographer of our efforts. While waiting, I thought I’d give you some background information in case you don’t know what the Ridgeway is. It’s the oldest path in Britain, dating back at least 5,000 years. It’s 140km long but we were quite happy to only do 100km of it. It passes through Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age sites including Grim’s Ditch (an Iron Age earthworks stretching for 5k), the Uffington White Horse, various forts and, of course, the Stone Circle at Avebury. Much of the route is elevated chalk footpaths with downs and pasture spreading to the horizon in every direction.

You could do the race non-stop, as we did, or you could do it in two lots of 50k with an overnight camping option. You could also just opt for the first 50k. As a result, there was a huge surge of people at the start but numbers gradually dwindled through the day as the runners raced far ahead and others bedded down for the night. I borrowed the following photos from the official Race to the Stones Facebook site to give an impression not only of the scenery but also of the very fit people who we glimpsed at the start and who finished many, many hours ahead of us. The event winner (pictured below, running past the stones) set a new event record, finishing in 8 hours 20 mins. It took us 21 hours 20 mins!

Enjoy the photos and check back soon to read all about it.

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