This page is designed to help people who want to cheer/ support their runner on course. Before we come to the options for good locations from which to spectate, we need to be clear on three items. We make no apologies for being explicit in these directions, you directly threaten the future of this event if you disobey these rules, hence the pretty severe terms!
Rest assured that we will thoroughly take care of your runner during their race. There are 16 check points manned by volunteers with extensive supplies at each. They have a drop bag every 25 miles and the course is fully marked. Part of this sport is about self sufficiency on the trail and runners should be aware that they are responsible for themselves out on the trail. But they will be fully catered for as much as is possible in a 100 mile trail race.
1. Supporters are not allowed at the check point locations, full stop. Not by foot, by bicycle and most definitely not by vehicle. Many of the check points at this event are the size of a handful of parking spaces, which are used for the volunteers cars and the check point itself. Our permissions from landlords and the National Trail manager, exist because we guarantee a specific number of cars and people attending each site. Please do not threaten the future of the race by breaking this rule. Your runner risks DQ if you visit any official check point. Please be sure that not at a check point, does not mean 10 metres away. Please be sensible. Please do not park at a check point and then walk down the trail. It is the parking at the check point that is the primary issue.
2. Crewing is not allowed anywhere. Your runner will be disqualified if you provide them any outside assistance. Crewing refers to handing them food, drinks or any kind of physical assistance. Words of encouragement are great! Do not run alongisde your runner. If your runner has a pacer then they may be with that runner. You may not run with them even 'just for a few minutes'. That is pacing.
3. Goring. Goring is the centre of the race, the start, the finish and the point to which runners return every 25 miles. At Goring, you will not be allowed in the hall (we simply do not have space for anyone that is not a runner/ pacer) unless you are a runner or pacer. The exception to this is at your runners finish, you can then come in (assuming there is space) to congratulate/ hug/ help them. You can support outside the hall, but there are houses on literally every corner of the hall so please be respectful of that and do not block driveways or make any noise whatsoever during hours of darkness.
So, on to some ideas for locations from which to support. This is not an exhaustive list, within reason you can walk down the trail to meet the runner anywhere that isn't a check point. Remember that each leg is an out and back, therefore each location is actually two separate opportunties to see your runner.
Location: Wallingford Town Centre
Approx Mileage: 6.2 and 18.8
Brief Description: Please ensure you stay clear of the check point at the Baptist Church. Further down the road from there next is a large public car park where you can park to watch runners come through just the other side of the east wall on Thames Street. The course travels down the Thames Path on Thames Street itself.
Location: Benson Waterfront Cafe
Approx Mileage: 7.3 and 17.6
Brief Description: Parking at the cafe is available but limited, the race goes along the thames path in front of the cafe. Please ensure you patronise the cafe if you park on site. Just before/ after the cafe, is a little recreation ground which is also ideal for supporting. The race travels through there on the Thames Path.
Location: Mongewell, OX10 8BX
Approx Mileage: 31/39
Brief Description: Extremely limited parking in the village. Please be courteous to residents. The race travels through the village on the Ridgeway.
Location: Nuffield Church, RG9 5SN
Approx Mileage: 35/40
Brief Description: Runners pass directly adjacent to the church at Nuffield, on the Ridgeway. The church car park is open to the public but has limited spaces. Please do not block the car park and ensure to be courteous to the other residents in this small village.
Location: Bury Down Car Park, Bury Lane, OX12 8QX (DO NOT FOLLOW THE POSTCODE ONLY YOU MUST LOOK AT A MAP)
Approx Mileage: 58/67
Brief Description: Big public car park with free parking spanning both sides of the main road. Parking plentiful. The course passes through it on the Ridgeway.
Other Possible: East Hendred Car Park Mile 59/65. Course passes through it on the Ridgeway, but this is just a mile further on than Bury Down and smaller/ trickier to find. Look for the landmark Scutchamer Knob on the map which is adjacent to it.
Location: Kings Meadow, 92 Napier Road, Reading, RG1 8AB
Approx Mileage: 86/89
Brief Description: Huge open meadow, anywhere in that section and around the town centre along the river side is appropriate. At night just be cautious of the Reading town centre turn out, we have had aggravation from locals there in the past though it has always been dealt with. The Thames Path runs alongisde the Thames around the northern end of the meadow.