Heavy rain has flooded the Thames yet again. The path, severly compromised and the safety of the course means Centurion had to re-route. Starting at Richmond Townhall and running along the Thames path to Cookham, before heading back to Wraysbury (first check point). Then back towards Cookham again, the final leg bringing us into Windsor at 102 miles. This would mean passing Windsor three times.

I also developed a cold, so not the best start.

Temperatures will reach 2c, with -4c arctic wind chill with thick muddy terrain making this one massive challenge to the finish.

Sunday is with me and Helen on her way. My folks will be at Windsor this afternoon. After registration from James Elson and team, kit checks and preparations. The race brief is held at 9:30, detailing the scale of the flooding and precautions to take.

I say hello to regular Ultra runner Paul Ali and wish him well. Just 30 seconds, checking Garmin signal. Today Runkeeper Live will be tracking my progress.

Starting off over the bridge, to the other side of the river. I stay grouped in the middle before finding a comfortable pace. I have no idea how to plan today, so aim around 4-5 hours per 25 miles.

I say hi to Mimi Anderson further on. I don’t see her again. This section is very urban. Over roads and junctions following the arrows and tape. I have a Nakd fruit bar after 9 miles. Eventually passing Kingston-upon-Thames, West Moseley and then reaching the first check point.

Mile: 11
Estimated Arrival: 11:32
Actual Pace: 08:21 min/mile
Rank: 5

Running for 1 hour 32 minutes. Number recorded, few cups of water and some fruits, I thank the volunteers and carry on up the trail. Some road works guide me the wrong way, dropping back position. Back on track, the group spreads and I keep up with the front. Passing Staines I loose the arrow markers. I am not the only one adding miles from going off track.

The path leads down over the M25 then onto Windsor road, before coming out into a park for the indoor aid station.

Mile: 22
Estimated Arrival: 13:12
Actual Pace: 08:46 min/mile
Rank: 16

Running for 3 hours 12 minutes. It feels nice in the warm. The cabin is cosy. Lots of runners come and go whilst I stock up on water, oranges, water melon and nuts. Thanking the volunteers and heading outside, still munching on grapes.

Here it is thick with mud beneath. Through fields and woods. The scenery is picturesque, despite the cold. My legs remain strong, with my pace. Up and over bridges to the other side almost approaching Windsor. I start to develop indigestion, did I eat too much? After a very long road, through Datchet and then across a park into the next aid station. I can hear Helen shouting ‘come on Lukey’. Runkeeper Live has tracked me spot on.

Mile: 28
Estimated Arrival: 14:04
Actual Pace: 08:44 min/mile
Rank: 4

Running for 4 hours 4 minutes. I drink coconut water, maltodextrin and super greens mixed together. Refill my back pack, grab some seed bars and a veggie wrap. I will need a shoe change, the New Balance MT00 are not griping the terrain. A huge deep puddle is up next, so the team say it is best to wait until I return. My feet feel sore. I head through the cold puddle and up passed the Castle.

The trail weaves through fields and muddy woods. It is peaceful and quiet. I see other runners dropping pace. Slipping and falling in the mud has slowed me down. I try eating a veggie wrap. Over another bridge, then under the M4, the track ends and comes out at the Bath road. The runner in 1st place passes. I catch up with two others, following the markers through a grave yard then out towards the next aid station.

Mile: 38
Estimated Arrival: 15:49
Actual Pace: 09:11 min/mile
Rank: 6

Running for 5 hours 49 minutes. I add a Nuun tablet to my water with help. Eating fruits and some salted nuts. Luckily the indigestion has passed. The team say I am looking strong. Thanking everyone I make my way back again. It shall be dark when I return.

Once into the wooded area, runners pass from the other direction. We each say a well done and I high five Paul Ali when he goes by. I see Bosh runner Kevin Smith closer to Windsor.

Back passed the Castle and through the deep puddle, I can’t wait to get these shoes off my tired wet feet. I can see Helen, Sunday, Mum and Dad.

Mile: 48
Estimated Arrival: 17:32
Actual Pace: 09:26 min/mile
Rank: 4

Running for 7 hours 32 minutes. I chat with the parents as Helen and Sunday help me out of my wet shoes. The LA Sportiva feel so snug, like slippers in comparison. My feet feel new again...

After a black coffee with coconut water. I take both my headlights, some Aduki choc brownies, a banana wrap and some Nakd bars before heading on my way again. I hug everyone goodbye.

It soon gets dark, glow sticks are dotted up in the trees to guide us. I start to lose my appetite, but force down snacks and a wrap. My headlight shines the way. Passed Datchet. pubs and eventually into Wraysbury.

Mile: 54
Estimated Arrival: 18:46
Actual Pace: 09:45 min/mile
Rank: 5

Running for 8 hours 46 minutes. My Garmin battery has died so I turn on the next one. The team help plug in my back up battery for my iphone. Water refill and fruits, I head back onto the dark trail. Once in the residential area, I see some spectators. I do not recognise them. Further up a chap and small girl say well done Luke! I shake the man’s hand, thanking him. He tells me I am only 4 behind first place and doing very well....

I later discover it was Andy from Bosh run group and his 8 year old son! Was I delirious and hallucinating?

Once back by the thames, passing the first lady, who is in great spirits, torches flicker up ahead with cheering. I reach the aid tent with relief. That felt too long to reach.

Mile: 65
Estimated Arrival: 20:37
Actual Pace: 09:48 min/mile
Rank: 4

Running for 10 hours and 37 minutes. I eat more fruits, some tomatoes, salted crisps and have electroylte salts as recommended. After coffee my legs start to get cold. The other runners have left already. I thank everyone and make a move. I feel the discomfort moving agian after standing still. It takes awhile to warm up before I am steady again.

There is an added aid stop by the road on this stretch back. The runners are starting to get very cold and tired. I have more salts and water thanking the two guys. I start to get my appetite back. My pace has dropped but I am still moving, feeling a sense of euphoria like nothing I have felt before. My legs feel tired but my mind is very awake.
Through the darkest areas and back into the cabin at the next aid station.

Mile: 76
Estimated Arrival: 22:38
Actual Pace: 09:58 min/mile
Rank: 5

Running for 12 hours 38 minutes. More fruit and salts. It feels good to get back in the warm, but I need to keep moving. I head back into the dark.

I can see specks of headlights in the distance, congratulating other runners when they pass. I see Kevin again, looking strong. I eat some more fuel, over taking the first lady and other runners again. Over the field I can hear Sunday and Helen, then see them in view.

Mile: 82
Estimated Arrival: 23:44
Actual Pace: 10:03 min/mile

Reaching the aid tent, James checks how I am feeling. He tells me to take as long as I need, I have reached 2nd place. I cannot register what is happening, I feel so alert and clear, I am so high...

Another coffee with coconut water. Plenty of snacks left and with only 10 miles to Cookham I can manage. Sunday is ready to pace me. Buzzing to come along for the ride. The company will be good. We say our goodbyes to everyone.

Back through the even deeper puddle, I guide the way, passing the lit up Castle. It is now the 24th March and over 14 hours running. We catch up on the events of the day. Walking the muddy parts. It is dead quiet except from the honks of the swans.

Eventually the trail ends and its back through the village and grave yard, then into the last aid station.

Mile: 92
Estimated Arrival: 01:54
Actual Pace: 10:22 min/mile

Running for 15 hours 55 minutes. Some fruits and coffee and perhaps chatting too long before we head out again. The runner from behind, with his pacer has left already. The muddy trail tightens my sore muscles, struggling this last stretch, it has been one long day!

My lights are fading fast so we fumble to change batteries. I never thought I would get this far and to be in 2nd place! There is no need to catch up with first, I have proved I can finish, smashing my 20 hour goal.
Passing the castle and eventually to the glowing lights of the aid tent. I can hear Helen ‘whoop whoop’, ploughing through the cold puddle for the last time. I don’t care how it feels, I am at the end....

I feel fantastic that I finished in less than 24 hours....

Mile: 102
Estimated Arrival: 04:13
Actual Pace: 10:43 min/mile

Finished 18:14:18 in 2nd place

On Runkeeper I reached 107.50 miles, so had I not got lost twice and hung about at aid stations I could have made first place. But Martin deserved to win today, and for my first ever 100 miler I could not feel more happy.

Martin Bacon 1st Place 18:10:53
Richard Ashton 3rd Place 18:35:21
Debbie-Martin-Consani 4th Place (1st Female) 19:19:20

Full Centurion race report and official photos here:

I would like to thank Centurion Running for all the planning and organisation. The volunteers and support teams for braving the cold and looking after everyone. Bosh-Run for all there continued support and encouragement as always. Sister Samantha for live updates for the whole duration of the event.

Lastly my crew, Mum, Dad, Helen and Sunday, who without them I wouldn’t of been able to complete this challenge of a lifetime.....



Mentally prepare and believe in yourself. If you have any doubts you will not succeed in finishing. You have established how to run long distances, that comes naturally. Training the mind, willpower strength to stay focused, alert all day and night is the hardest challenge.

Planning. The logistics behind an all day event sounds simple but in reality it is far from it. I am still learning. The start and finish locations are key for crew, family and friends who need to stay with you and support. Send out race info in advance. Decide how you will get to the start and who with. Plan your route in advance. Book accommodation early and try to use a flexible cancellation policy. We were unfortunate to book an easy saver rate at Premier Inn, only to discover that the route had changed last minute due to severe flooding. The accommodation was 70 miles from the finish, so in the early hours the practical approach was to just head on home.

Kit is by far the most important key to get correct. Make sure you have all the mandatory kit from the check list of the event as standard. Items like weather proof gear can be found on a budget, but will they last through an all day event? try to research quality products from other runners and read reviews before purchasing the cheaper option. I wanted to get a particular Salomon jacket but couldn't find my size. I went for a Helly Hanson Dubliner jacket instead. It worked perfectly. Was very comfortable, fully waterproof, wind proof with breathable materials and kept my body temperate regulated, protecting me from the harsh cold. 

Shoes.  Wearing comfortable but suitable footwear is key, like training and running for long periods. The conditions for my first 100 were very cold, heavy rain right up to the day, which can only mean MUD! and lots of it. I made sure I had two pairs of shoes I trained in that are good on trail. I started with my New Balance MT00 Trails, although I prefer these on road as the tread is not much of a great grip. After 48 miles my soles became sore and I no longer had the grip on the mud, so slipping and falling was becoming a problem. The 2nd leg I used LA Sportiva X-Country Trail which have deeper tread and brilliant grip in comparison. 

Fuel.  Correct fuelling and hydration, leading up to the race, during and even after is so important. Especially running such long distances as it causes such stress on the body.  A week before the race I started to drink more water, reduce my coffee to one cup a day (to feel the caffeine benefit on race day) and eat plenty more water dense fruits and vegetables like plums, melon, oranges and spinach.  I consumed more calories with extra bananas, complex carbohydrates and added fats to my diet.

Avocado is my all time favourite fat fruit that tastes great in many dishes. During the race, stay hydrated with water, sipping at your thirst. After a few hours, if hydrated properly you should start to drink more water as required, depending on how much you sweat. A good guage is if your urine is pale to light coloured then you are hydrated enough. Any darker then you need to consume more. After 5 hours running it is key to keep your salt levels up, especially if you are not eating as often.

Electrolyte tablets work the best in water bottles or your ruck sack. I like the Nuun tablets. After 50 miles I made sure to have one at every aid station until the finish. Energy gels are great for marathon distances and for many hours, but personally I ran much better without and just consumed real food throughout. Fruit bars, dates, raisans, real fruit, No-bake energy bars and Aduki choc brownies worked great until I needed more fuel. Wraps with banana, almond butter and added salt worked for my sweet tooth. Then wraps with salted avocado, spinach and olive oil worked for my savoury. 

After 80 miles I was off my food but really had to force it down with the added salts. I found just fruits and salted crisps really worked for the last 4 hours running. Once the running has stopped, it is very important to keep hydrated for the next 48 hours after such a long distance event. You may not feel like eating straight away, but try to get something down. I found Maltodextrin with coconut water helped replace some calories before I had a breakfast once home.

Feet. Look after your feet as you spend so many hours on them. Keep nails short and smooth with no sharp edges. File any hard skin areas with a pumice stone before showering. Any problem areas it is worth having a pedicure or even a chiropodist look at your feet. I use a good moisture locking moisturiser each night. I tape up every toe nail with elastoplast tape, that is very flexible and waterproof. After my toes are taped up I use a silicone lubricant between all my toes and all over my feet before putting my socks on. You may want to use the lubricant in any other areas that cause some chaffing or friction. It is a long day running you need to be as comfortable as possible. I finished with no blood or bruised toenails.

Injinji. As I love to wear Vibram Five Fingers for shorter distances I have been wearing toe socks for some time now, but nothing beats the design and feel of Injinji Socks. I cannot recommend them highly enough. These are the Caviar of all running socks. I wore the Injinji Performance 2.0 Trail mini crew socks in my first 100. They are a mid weight high density padded sock that provide less slip than standard socks and are engineered for the movement of uneven terrain. The added feature of a double elastic cuff kept the dirt and debris out of my feet for the entire distance. Having comfortable feet is crucial to any race, just one slight piece of debris can cause so much discomfort even preventing reaching the finish line, in some cases .

The injinji Trail sock feels warm and snug on my feet and my toes had very good freedom of movement between them. The Trail sock uses coolmax fabric that is built to endure many miles . The superior fibre construction works to wick sweat away, keeping feet dry, even once wet. The five toe sleeves eliminate skin-on-skin friction, preventing blisters. With arch support, reinforced heel, seamless toe box and mesh top to provide maximum ventilation and breathability. The Injinji Performance 2.0 Trail socks are the Ultra elite for any long distance runner. I finished with not one blister or hot spot anywhere.



Since 2010, reading about these so-called 'Ultra runners' participating in not just one marathon distance, but two with distances over 50 miles then reading Ultra Marathon Man Dean Karnazes inspiring story, I just knew that one day I would experience how it feels to run 100 miles. Well in just three days time I shall find out...

In its second year, Thames Path 100 organised by Centurion Running starts in Richmond and follows the trail pathway, until finally reaching The Queens College sports ground in Oxford. The course is 75% off road. This week we have been advised that the route will be very wet underfoot and flooded in parts, but hopefully not as much as last month's Thames Trot race.

Last year finishing in first place in 15:11 (first 100 miler) was Craig Holgate, a 2:30 marathoner followed by Robbie Britton at 16:02 in second. This year they both have commitments with Team GB so will not be running. With the ultra ladies, multiple world record holder, reigning champion, Mimi Anderson came in first at 18:50 finishing eighth overall. I am looking forward to seeing Mimi in action!

From May 2012 I have increased my mileage per week and ran a marathon every month, eventually training up to 35 miles over the South Downs in one go. This was ready for the Grim Reaper 40 in July 2012 where I finished in first place in 5:39.

More marathons followed and I continued training on a basis of three heavy weeks reaching 35 miles again with recovery runs the day after, followed by an easy week. In November I completed the Oxfordshire Ridgeway 53 miler in 9:38 with some navigational issues yet still coming in first.

In January 2013 I ran the Country to Capital 45 in 6:09 in 12th place and then in February the Thames Trot in 6:21 finishing in eighth place. This gave me a good taster of the Thames Path course but in reverse.

A week later I travelled to South Devon for the CTS 35 which was my toughest race yet (Still recovering from the Thames Trot Ultra). I finished in 6:23 in 11th place. With the Brighton Half and Steyning Stinger Marathon between the CTS 35 and Thames Trot. I have increased my training with easy tempo runs, intervals, mid-distance and finishing the end of the week with either a long run up to 30 miles, recovery run the next day, or back to back days.

Two weeks ago I reached 84 miles with three days of 20 mile runs during that week, juggling work, home life meant I had to split over three days instead of two. The Worthing 20 was my last fast race 10 days ago.

I feel that I am trained as well as I can be, tackling very cold conditions and snow for some of the winter has helped overall and I have stayed injury free since November, running every day since then.

My kit on race day will consist of: Injinji socks, SealSkinz socks, Skins compression tights, under layer, Helly Hansen Dubliner Jacket, Hilly beanie hat, gloves and an Inov-8 rain cap. I have a Ultraspire Surge hydration rucksack to carry fuel supplies and waterproofs.

As I have never covered more than 54 miles in one day, I will be carrying two headlights as part of the mandatory kit and change my shoes at the 51 mile aid station.

I have decided on wearing the most comfortable, lightest shoe to begin with; the New Balance MT00GR Trails then changing halfway into LA Sportiva X-Country, which have added tread and cushioning support, helping my tired and sore feet I hope!

With my fueling under control and comfortable kit, the only thing I need to think about is one foot in front of the other. My goal is simple; start slower than I have ever done, splitting into 4x 25 miles at approx 4-5 hours for each part.

Depending on weather conditions and strength I expect to finish in 20 hours or less at an estimate. I have 30 hours before the cut off so plenty of time.

Wish me luck! Race report to follow...



WORTHING 20 MILER: 10/03/13

Today this race consists of 4x five mile loops of road and pavement just off the seafront making it perfect as a training run for Brighton and London Marathons.The conditions are dry today but with bitter cold winds and a top temperature of 3C. Winter is still determined to hang on that little bit longer....

08:20:  Making the way up the pathway to the starting tent area in The Goring Gap field, Sunday, my partner spots some familiar blue wristbands that is our BOSH Facebook running group.

We say: 'Hi Boshers' as we see everyone. Scott, Sandra, Karen, Mark, Liz, Stu, Martin, Mark and Chloe are all here. I get to meet Journo Fiona from SheRunsSheWrites and backing the Mizuno campaign that myself and other running bloggers have been tweeting. We all chat shoes, my wacky smoothies (Jamie Oliver style required) training and how fast the Brighton Marathon is approaching. 

After some pictures by our photo guy Sunday and last minute toilet breaks we all head over towards the starting point. It is really cold now and the wind is in full force, blowing a gale through the field. 

Wishing all the Boshers the best I tell them I can't wait long at the end as I am working the night shift tonight. Chloe jokes 'you will be home, showered and fed the time I finish Luke'.  As we start off we shuffle through until going over the chip mats. Picking up pace we head on down back to the main road and left onto Marine Drive. 

Mile 1-5: (pace)
7:30 7:06 6:52 6:44 6:41

The front pack move off quickly, I over take around the right side of the bunched up group, which seems the best option to settle into a comfortable pace.  I figure to take it easier on the first two laps, see how I feel for the third and then pick up pace for the last lap. I have my first 100 mile run in 13 days so I really can't afford to over stress my legs with racing at a sprint today. 

The road goes passed residential houses then onto Marine Crescent. Lots of marshals in high visibility yellow jackets are dotted at road junctions, stopping any traffic as we approach. Once reaching George V Avenue it is left and then straight ahead. I see Bosher Scott and have a laugh and joke when over taking. At the end of the road we are advised to turn left onto Goring road. More marshals cheer and direct the runners across roads and junctions safely. 

The route passes many more residential houses, pubs and shops for over a mile. The road bends around the right still on Goring road and then back to the left through more residential areas. I take a cup of water at the aid station and have a few gulps thanking the support. 

Approaching 4 miles the route is left onto Sea Lane, where the houses are bigger and far between, Goring Gap can be seen to the left. Marshals signal us down the lane and then reaching Marine drive once again,  it's straight ahead through the first lap counter, over the mat with a bleep. I see on the clock 35 minutes has passed. 

LAP 2:
Mile 6-10: (pace)
6:53 6:40 6:28 6:31 6:34

One down three to go! Passed the cheering spectators and Sunday taking pictures on Marine drive, I approach a water stop and drink a cup when passing through. I am feeling strong and my pace has stayed fairly steady, so I push on a bit quicker after 7 miles in. Passing the same marshals again, clapping and calling out 'well done' when going around the route. 

At the 8.5 mile point I have a small gulp of water at the water stop. I feel hydrated enough so only need to have small amounts. Back left down Sea Lane and onto the front again towards the clock counter near the start and over the mat. my chip bleeps. 1:08 I can see on the clock when I pass through. 

LAP 3:
Mile 11-15 Min/mile pace:
6:45 6:45 6:25 6:24 6:18

Up the same road and I can spot Sunday standing by the car, again taking pictures. 'Two left to go' I call out. 'Go Bosher' he shouts back. More claps and cheers from spectators and marshals dotted along the road side. I start to catch up with the slower back runners and over take from the road side so to give them plenty of room. 

Once I reach Goring road going pass some of the local shops I spot a lady in pink shoes with matching cap. Slightly closer I can see it is Fiona running at a cracking pace, staying focused and steady. I creep up eventually at a 6:30min/mile pace, 'well done' we say to each other as I go pass. 

Further up the road at 13.5 mile I have another gulp of water thanking the team. I eat some dried dates I have on me.  Then left back on down towards the seafront, picking up pace, left again and up pass the clock counter, over the mat with a bleep from my chip. Three down and one last lap to go....

LAP 4:
Mile 16-20: Min/mile pace:
6:27 6:37 6:28 6:12 6:05

I am still feeling strong, anslight ache developing in my feet and quads but I feel I can speed up the pace slightly enough for this last lap. Again I pass Sunday 'one left to go' I say when I pass. I can start to see more of the runners from the back of the pack and can spot Chloe. As I approach I call out 'go Chloe, well done' when I pass. She is looking strong and really in the zone.

Heading back up George V avenue for one last time, clapping and encouragement from the same marshals when I pass. Back on around to Goring road. Another gulp of water with some chocolate coffee beans at mile 18.5. I over take a few of the faster runners from nearer the front now, picking up my pace to 6:12min/mile.

A left onto Sea Lane for the final leg towards Goring Gap. The last mile I am trying with all my strength left in my legs to go a 6:05min/mile. Fighting against the harsh, bitter wind, it feels like I am just crawling along. I pull my buff to cover my face just exposing my eyes, looking like a right Ninja. Keeping my head down I push as hard as I can towards the strong wind.

Back over the chip mat and then a left up the path towards the start area. Once around the corner I can see Sunday, my sister and dad who made it here to see me finish. Just as I approach I can hear my name called through the loud speaker. I give a thumbs up to the photographer as I pass over the finish line and give my dad a ‘high five’.

11:13: I collect my medal and meet my support crew. Five minutes later we cheer Fiona through to the finish. Job done! BOSHED!

I finished in 2:12:59 in 17th position, of 478 runners. What can I say, I was feeling strong today!  So this means I can achieve my goal of a sub three-hour marathon at Brighton this year. I feel fantastic and on a ‘runner’s high’ at my result today. 

If only it wasn't as cold today, but a great experience overall and always nice to see so many over team Bosh runners taking part together.   

The next Bosh Run team meet will be Brighton Marathon and it is going to be an epic day! We are becoming quite the running family....