7 May 2024

Thames Path 100 2024 Race Report

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The thirteenth edition of the Thames Path 100 took place on a beautiful, sunny weekend - not too warm, not too cold - sandwiched in between some truly atrocious weather. This event has been marred by heavy rain or extreme heat the last several years so we were delighted to get a 'good one' this time, however whilst the first 70 miles were in good condition, some treacherous mud sprinkled into the last 50km thanks to the wettest winter on record, certainly made for a challenging final section for all of those who endured that far. 

Of the 295 starters, many were first timers and this race continues to attract a lot of UK and international runners, making their 100 mile debut. After the tragic loss of one of our community Ed Catmur, over New Years Eve last year, we were joined by the start by Richard and Ginny Catmur, Ed's parents who said a few words in his honour. Ed ran thirty, 100 mile races with including eight TP100's and a win here in 2014. It was a moving start to the day and the first timers had the added incentive of being eligible for the new Ed Catmur trophy for fastest first time 100 mile finishers up in Oxford. 

The womens race was competitive, close and exciting as the lead changed hands several times over the course of the weekend. There were four runners all within a minute of each other at check point one inclduding Anna Brown, Jette Anders, Bonnie Rye and Tamsin Neale and whilst the field inevitably spread out, the gaps remained very small. Bonnie made the Henley Check Point - halfway - in 8:50, with Anna and Tamsin within 12 minutes of her in second and third. 

Tamsin Neale

It was however, Anna who found the strongest finishing kick, passing Bonnie between Goring and Wallingford heading into the final quarter and extending her leading margin over the final miles to cross the line in 20:53. Tamsin also passed Bonnie to finish second in 21:23 and Bonnie took third in 22:37. 

Anna Brown

Anna ran the Grand Slam a few years ago but missed the Thames Path due to sickness. She finished an unofficial Slam that year by running the TP100 solo, so this was not only a debut win with us but also a fitting outcome to make up for that missing race.

The mens race had a very different shape to it as Kallum Pritchard, one of the favourites coming in, took the lead from the gun and never looked back. He also never looked like relinquishing it. The early stages were despatched at a low 7 minute mile pace as he passed through the first half check points at close to Course Record pace. With the added diversions this year due to bridge closures, the course was running at 103 miles, so that would always factor in to his being able to challenge the CR, but as Kallum hit the mud in the last quarter he did also slow as that opportunity quickly slipped away. But his margin over those behind had grown to an entire check point and he had the opportunity to relax and enjoy his first win with us.

Kallum Pritchard

Second and third place in the mens race went to Senne De Schouwer and Milan Sumny in 16:29 and 16:51 respectively. Both men were a long way off of the podium places earlier in the day and ran superbly paced efforts to come through and finish strong. A great example of race management where the second half features the tougher running. 

The Ed Catmur awards went to two thoroughly deserving runners. What made these more special is that the athletes themselves were aware of these awards, and that they were in line or competing for them out on course - creating a level of competition and something tangible to aim for that wasn't necessarily a podium place. 

In the mens race Nick Miller held the 'lead' for a long time, going back and forth with Morgan Glazier, before he slowed and eventually unfortunately stopped at Lower Radley. Leaving Morgan to take the award. Nikki Javan won the womens award, finishing fifth overall. To have Richard and Ginny Catmur at the finish to present these was a wonderful and uplifting moment for all and an thoroughly appropriate way to honour Ed's memory.

Richard and Ginny Catmur with Morgan Glazier

Richard and Ginny Catmur with Nikki Javan

In the Age Categories, first FV40 was Anna Brown who was first over the line overall. First FV50 went to Tamsin Neale in a superb second overall. 

In the mens Age Cats, the MV40 award went to Milan Sumny in 16:51. MV50 to previous TP100 winner Pete Windross. MV60 to the evergreen Sammy Kilpatrick and MV70 to Ken Fancett who finished his 12th Thames Path 100 and 43rd 100 miler with us.

A huge thank you as always to a team of 98 volunteers and 15 course markers who made this event possible. We will see you all in less than two weeks for the North Downs Way 50!