It’s very important that you are aware of the race format which differs from most road and multi-terrain races. This event is not suitable for faster runners looking for PB’s, it’s a challenge event rather than a race and runners are required to self support i.e. carry a phone in case of emergency, carry at least a 500ml water bottle to top up at support stations and have suitable running clothing for all eventualities. Regardless of which distance you choose please read the “guide to self support” there will be something useful to everyone.
The route is predominately public footpath, but also quiet lanes and village roads. Staggering the start allows us to use a route that would not normally be suitable for mass participation events. We expect a density of around 2/3 runners per 100m. It is important to note that the route is not closed to other people, there will be walkers, joggers, cyclists and as there are quiet lanes through villages on the route there could be the odd vehicle. There are a few road junctions to cross and there are several gates to pass through. We have no road closures; you are responsible for ensuring it is safe to cross and you must stop and check at road crossings.
Where you are running by a road this always means you should use the pavement or track by the side of the road, there are roads with no pavement so please be aware there could be vehicles accessing properties in these roads. Please read our event guide carefully (download available March 2023) and study our interactive route maps on the event specific page.
There are marshals at key points and we will sign the route, long stretches are on established trails along the river bank so should be easy to follow. There will be a mobile number printed on the race numbers so you can check the route if you are unsure or contact us if you require assistance. If you do need support we ask that you reach a point on the route which will help us reach you, a road junction or landmark. We suggest downloading the app “What three Words” this will help us pinpoint your location to within 3 meters
If you have any questions relating to the event format or just general questions about the event you can call us on M- 07551 006099 (office hours please), or use the e-mail button at the bottom of this page.
Venue Address & Parking
The venue is Mapledurham House, Mapledurham, Reading. RG4 7TR. It is a rural venue not served by public transport so car or bike are the only real options. Parking is available at the venue and is no more than 100m from the start and finish area. The route into Mapledurham is narrow please show caution and look out for pedestrians.
Start Times & Cut Offs
The Ultra 52K start is at 8.00am, there will be a slight stagger to lower the density of runners on the route during the first few miles, but everyone will be away by 8.30am. Faster runners will leave first to reduce overtaking.
The Ultra 50 Mile start is at 6.00am, there will be a slight stagger to lower the density of runners on the route during the first few miles, but everyone will be away by 7.00am. Faster runners will be seeded in the later waves.
The Half Marathon starts from 10.00am and will be staggered over 15 minutes – running partners can start together, the event is chip timed. There are no cut off times.
52K Ultra cut off time – We are aiming to have eveyone back at the venue by 5.00pm, this gives you 8.5 hours to allow for the slight stagger at the start. If you fall signigicantly behind this at the Wallingford crossing we may require you to be transported to the finish as we need to ensure the support stations and medical team are available to support you on the route.
50 Mile cut off time is 13 hours with a view to getting everyone back by 7.00pm, we expect our first finishers from around midday.
Start lists and times will be published on the website around 10 days prior to race day. If you wish to start with another runner please let us know at least 10 days prior to race day by e-mail.
Your race pack with a copy of this guide and your race number will arrive a few days before the event.
Please fill in the meical details on the reverse of your race number. The number is chipped and will record your start/finish time.
The race number has a mobile number printed on it to use should your require support while on the route.
Under no circumstances offer your race number to someone else, we need to know who is on the route.
Camping is available for tents and camper vans from 1.00pm Friday. The cost is £12 or £20 for two nights, booking is available on the entry page. There are no electric hook up’s or showers, there are portable toilets and a drinking water supply. Check with us if you require catering as this has not been agreed yet.
See the venue plan for camping location details.
Support Station Information
50 Mile Support Stations – To be confimed but we are planning on 8 roughly evry 6 miles – We will supply 500ml bottled water or a drinking water supply, wrapped cake, energy products, gels & bars and isotonic mix.
50K Support Stations – will be located at Mile 5, Mile 10, Mile 14.2, Mile 19, Mile 21, Mile 26 – We will supply 500ml bottled water or a drinking water supply, wrapped cake, energy products, gels & bars and isotonic mix.
Support Station 1 & 2 are available to the half marathon runners at 5 and 10 miles to top up their water containers
We will locate medics at Goring Village Hall miles 14 and 26, Moulsford Village Hall mile 21 and at the start and finish venue. There is also a mobile medic but if at all possible try to make it to the support station if you have an issue as some sections of the route are difficult to reach by vehicle. Use the mobile app What Three Words to help us locate you.
Guide to Self Support
It’s important to understand that this is a serious challenge and you should prepare for all eventualities. If you need to stop then it’s wise to have something to pull on to keep warm, if it’s raining you need a waterproof. You are out there for a long time and you need a way to contact us or call for support if you run into a problem.
Goring Gap Run 2021 was an event that proved that you can not underestimate the British weather, what started out as a lovely day ended up with a biblical rain storm, make sure you are prepared.
You are responsible for carrrying your own water. Although we have support stations where you can refill, you can never be entirely sure during an ultra how long it will take you to reach the next station. Some sections might take longer than others due to heat, terrain, tiredness, injury, navigational issues etc. There are three ways to carry fluids on the run: handheld, multi-bottle waist belt, and hydration pack. Find out what works best for you during your training runs.
Items you might like to consider taking with you are
A base layer (Compulsory) – a separate layer to that which you start the race in which should be kept dry and used only in an emergency.
A waterproof jacket with sealed seems (Compulsory) – runners who become wet through suffer reduced core temperature leading to a slowing of pace which can ultimately result in hypothermia. Jackets without sealed seems are not waterproof – the fabric should be verified waterproof (not wind or showerproof). The minimum water resistance of a jacket should be 10,000mm. As well as keeping you dry the waterproof can also be used to keep you warm should the temperature suddenly drop
A plastic bag for wet clothes, and rubbish
A Bottle or hydration pack (to carry between 0.5L & 3L of water)
Electrolyte drink eg. SOS Rehydrate and extra sachets for re-fill
A mix of fuel – Energy bars/chews and sweets etc..
OS Map – take a map or the section of the map
Waterproof map case if it’s wet
Mobile Phone (COMPULSORY) – with spare battery or on-the-go charger
Whistle – If you suffer an injury and are unable to proceed the whistle may help your being located far more quickly than without one.
Compeed Blister Plaster
Kinesiology Tape – Cut into strips already
We strongly advise you to check the route out in advance. There is a dowladable GPX file available for those people who use GPS devices on this website. You can also access the route map on this website using your mobile phone while out on the route.
You may choose to run smaller sections of the route, plan to do this over the weeks leading up to the event. The ground conditions in April are usually fairly reasonable along the Thames.
If you are not able to recce the route then please study our website map, in particular the areas around Caversham (river crossing 1), Whitchurch/Pangbourne (river crossing 2), Goring/Streatley (river crossing 3) and Wallingford (river crossing 4) to make sure you understand the route at these points.
Covid-19 & Social Distancing
We will update this section when we have details of any social distancing requirements or government guidelines relating to Covid-19. Currently we have no special measures in place but please feel free to wear face masks and if you would like to start out of a group just let us know and we will arrange that for you.