The Ridgeway Challenge in bullet point form;
- Very well organised.
- Great atmosphere, supportive, encouraging and fun.
- Felt very much like a proper running race – no pointless bells and whistles, felt a very honest race.
- Great mix of abilities in the runners.
- At times a beautiful route.
- Undulating for the most part, slow sections were grindingly slow, fast sections were Usain style quick.
- Hard packed and gravel trails made it tough going on your feet – especially in the climb out of Goring.
- A really challenging race.
- Well stocked checkpoints.
- Excellent drop bag access.
- Excellent checkpoint 3 own drink/food access.
- I did DNF at checkpoint 6.
- Epic chaffing from about 25 miles in.
- My damaged right shoulder was twitchy from about mile 5, painful by mile 10 and unbearable long before Goring at mile 43.
- Delicious bacon sandwich at the finish and a decent village hall finish offering refuge to finishers and retirees.
- Outstanding volunteers throughout and those Ho were simply supporting individual runners also helped cheer us all on. I got a lovely hug from a lady just outside Goring.
- Free photography
- Great looking medals and technical t-shirts
- I might be back but not next year
It seems the August Bank Holiday and this part of the U.K. (Retired at W100 too) is not a good time for me to race. I fell at the CCC last year which ultimately forced my retirement from the race at Champex and this year I retired from the race on a cold and windy hill somewhere quite exposed on the Ridgeway because of a knackered shoulder and knackered knackers. It’s true I shouldn’t have even made the start line given the state of been in just 12hrs earlier with pain racing up and down my neck, back and shoulders but I had gone and I don’t regret it – I’d always rather fail than not try. The sad thing is that I was running quite well, I was bang on time into Goring and had the pain of the (now legendary) chaffing and the real pain in my shoulder been anywhere near manageable I probably would have finished quite respectably.
Annoying but it’s a great race with brilliant checkpoints, support and volunteers. Highly recommended for those looking for a race with heart.