The eleventh edition of the North Downs Way 50 is right around the corner. Kicking off from 0700 on Saturday 21st May, below is a list of the possible front runners in the womens and mens events. A field of 300 is expected to start this one, with the ambition as ever, of making it to the finish under 13 hours.
Sarah Hill: Our 2021 SDW50 champion, Sarah has a raft of wins behind her on the ultra scene including Race to the Stones, The Druids Challenge and the Fox Ultra. Earlier this year she was 7th at the SDW50 but only because of a time penalty she received along with a group of runners who accidentally took the wrong turn resulting in an unintential course cut. It will be great to see her back racing here to make amends for that and get a result she deserves.
Amy-Jo Clarke: Three ultras and three wins in 2021 including Race to the Stones, The Fox Ultra and Endurancelife's CTS Exmoor.
Nicola Soraghan: Won our 2021 Wendover Woods Night 50km. Went on to finish sixth at UTS 50km and third at the Ecotrail Wicklow 80km later that year.
Kat Short: Third at the SDW50 this year after beating fourth by literally a few metres. Has also taken a fourth at Chiltern Wonderland 50 in the past, though a while ago.
Rachel Lindley: Some very solid runs of late with a fith at the Arc 50 and a sixth at the SDW50 already in 2022. Finished ninth at this race in 2021.
Dawn Godwin: Has twice run 3 hours dead for a marathon but this looks to be her first ultra.
Ed Knudsen: Possibly the favourite coming in to this. He has been second here before in 6:50, just 4 minutes behind Stuart Leaney. Previous winner of the Chiltern Wonderland 50 in a superb 6:34, he has also taken second at that race another time as well as second at the SDW50 in 6:18. He's had a strong start to the year with a second at Country to Capital in a steady 5:17.
Luke Davies: This years SDW50 champion in 6:49:10.
Daniel Weller: Daniel is off to quite the start in 2022 with a win at the Lakes Traverse and a second at the North Downs Ridge 50km just a fortnight ago. Has previously won the Grand Tour of Skiddaw and the Beacons 50 amongst others.
Ben Gibbon: Winner of the Fox Ultra in 2020 an 2022. Regular sub 2:30 marathoner.
Ed Fisher: Third at the 2016 Autumn 100. Several other podium positions at shorter ultras to his name in the UK. Has also raced some longer stuff including UTMB and Western States.
Oliver Knowles: Winner 2021 Eden Valley Ultra Trail. 1:15 Half Marathon.
Samuel Anderson: A good number of consistent top ten finishes to his name. Stand outs a 4th at the WW50 in 2021 and 4th at the CW50 in 2020.
Andrew Classey: 5th at the 2021 Wendover Woods 50. Won the Hangman Ultra earlier that year.
John Borton: 2:33 Marathon at London in 2021. No ultras to his name.
Follow the race live via our tracking page which will be available here from 0700 on Saturday 21st May 2022.
The eleventh edition of the Thames Path 100 is upon us. A stunning, incredibly flat journey from London to Oxford along the banks of the Thames awaits 300 eager (some of them!) starters and we can't wait to kick off our trail 100 season in great style.
The mens course record fell a long way last year with Richard Mcdowell posting a 13:43. The womens still stands at 16 hours flat, run by none other than Sam Amend who set a new British 100 mile womens record at our Track 100 less than a fortnight ago.
The womens field this time looks particurlarly interesting with a lot of potentially competitive athletes. The mens looks much more open.
One thing is for sure, the course is in fast condition, with very little rain to speak of lately and a largely dry forecast between now and race day. Here are some of the likely contenders for the overall positions.
Ingrid Lid: Ingrid was second here in 2019 in a time of 17:34. One of our past NDW100 champions, the Norwegian athlete has taken things to the next level over the past six months, lowering her 100 mile PB to 15:10 at the Bislett 24hr and running home the winner of the Bergen Ultra 100km just a month ago.
Ali Young: Stalwart of the GB 24hr team, Ali racked up a 100 mile PB at our Track 100 last year running 15:41 for a new National Age Group record. She can run the trails too however and crucially, bearing in mind the profile of this race, won the GUCR in a solid 28:35 in 2019.
Ali Young at the 2021 Track 100
Zoe Murphy: Winner of our 2020 Autumn 100 in 18:23. A memorable run that day and one she will no doubt be keen to repeat!
Zoe Murphy - 2020 A100 Champion
Sarah Morwood: Has won no less than eight of our races including this event back in 2014. Has represented GB on the Trails and in the 24hr format and has a 100 mile PB of 16:13 putting her in rarified company on the all-time list. It is great to have her back racing after recovering from her car accident and operation in recent years.
Ally Whitlock: Ally ran home fourth at the 2021 SDW100 having previously also finished fourth in the 50 two months prior.
Anna Brown: Third at Race to the Stones in 2021. 19:10 for second at the Robin Hood 100 in 2020 and went on to win Gloucester 24hr later that year with a 100 mile split of 19:30 along the way.
Tristan Stephenson: Shot to fame earlier this year when he nailed the Arc of Attrition in a stellar 20:01. If it hadn't been for one Mark Darbyshire the course record would have been his. Has several other wins behind him on the ultra circuit including the Serpent Trail 100km and the South West Traverse.
Ed Catmur: Ed has featured on probably more pre race previews than anyone else. He has finished no less than 24 of our 100s, so many of them podium places and wins. He was champion here in 2014. He showed in 2020 that he still has it, with a second at the A100 in a 100 mile PB of 15:38. This year he has already taken a solid third at the Lakes Traverse.
Julian Cazorla: Sixth here last year in 16:18, before going on to a prolific year of racing with second place at the Beacons 50, SVP 100km and our CW50. He then placed third in the Autumn 100 in a storming 15:02.
Kallum Pritchard: Won the Robin Hood 100 in 2021 in 15:39, suggesting this race could be right up his street.
Matt Gallagher: Ran 16:21 here in 2021 for seventh. Several other top ten performances in shorter ultras preceeded that.
Ash Varley: Second at the NDW100 in 2020, Ash has more recently posted a top ten at the Autumn 100 and started the year well with a seventh at the SDW50 in a little over 7 hours.
Tom Kingham: 2021 Race to the Tower winner and then went on to a solid seventh at the NDW100 later that summer.
Craig Purle: Led our Chiltern Wonderland 50 for 50km last year before a big detour lost him all of his lead and more. Had finished second at Wendover Woods Night 50km in an excellent run, the previous July.
Daniel Moloney: 19:07 here in 2019. Third at Wendover Woods 50 in 2021 and fourth at the Arc 50 in January of this year.
As always you can follow the race live via our live tracking page which will be available here from 0930 this Saturday. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who will make this weekend possible.