Running from the Chilterns Hills to the North Wessex Downs, the Ridgeway is the oldest path in Britain. For 5,000 years men and women have left their marks on the chalk paths and woodland tracks making it one of the most fascinating routes within the UK. However, it isn’t just the history which makes the Race to the Stones a unique challenge, the route runs almost entirely within designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty with views to inspire you even if your legs are beginning to grumble.

Just some of the goody bags to prep for the race

The past week my diet has consisted of plenty water dense fruits, salads, vegetables and salts. I have been following a higher fat, no sugar no grain lifestyle (no rice, pasta, bread, oats) on and off for the past few months and for 7 days have stuck to a strict regime. I still eat oily fish but no meat. My energy levels and hydration have improved, with feeling lighter and stronger in my muscles and joints.

Organic medjool dates, coconut, chia seeds and salt. Perfectly soft to nibble on the go

As there is no option for the one day expert runners to access a drop bag, I had to find ways to keep my supplies light as possible during the day. With high temperatures to deal with this was not going to be an easy day ahead. I packed nuts, seeds, dried fruits, sport spf100 sunblock and Nakd bars in my waist pack and UltrAspire Surge vest. I decided to use my Luna Sandals for the entire race distance as the Alpha Earth Runners have been causing bad blistering longer distances. I borrowed an iFitness racing belt from my partner, that holds your number to the front, then 2x8oz bottles to the sides. Perfect to carry my coconut water with Himalayan salts snugly. Compression tights and a short sleeve tech tee. Inov-8 running cap and covered in P20 spf50+ for 10 hours sun protection. Prepared for everything, I think I am ready to go. 

Meeting fellow sandal man Mark 

In a field by Chinnor village hall. The air feels dry and warm, already it is 19c/68f. After bag drop and registration I make my way to the starting area. Today I have my good friend and runner Helen as my support at the start and then later at the finish, this evening. 

Luna Runners

10 minutes to go until race start and I catch up with Mark 'Cardiosaurus' Griffiths. Mark like myself is wearing Luna sandals today too. It is good to finally meet Mark, whom I chat to on Twitter, discussing nutrition and feet over the past 6 months. I am very pleased to discover he has adapted well into the barefoot sandals and has been able to train safely with few injuries. Mark's first ultra at NDW50 was a good test and practice for today's next bigger challenge. Like myself he enjoys the natural real food as fuel whilst running and we laugh about my small carry bottle of Bulletproof coffee I have on me. The runners around look at us like we are hippies on drugs! 

Race briefing

277 ultra runners

8:15 Start
Miles 1-12 
Fastest pace/mile 7:58
Slowest pace/mile 11:19
The route is pleasant trail through meadows and woods. I feel strong and light on my feet, but keep my pace down to around 8:45 where possible. It is still cool but already the temperature is rising fast and the sun creeping up high.

Just The Chilterns and blue skies reaching 27c already

After the first few check points I am good for water in my back pack so just have the cups. I eat a few nuts and dried fruit when needed but I am just thirsty for salts with the heat rising. The route is stunning in places and the fields are in full bloom.

Still feeling strong I keep up my pace, but I start to sweat lots more now reaching mid-morning. The temperature is already reaching 27C and no breeze or clouds as relief. 


Miles 13-24 
Fastest pace/mile 8:27
Slowest pace/mile 14:22 

Going to plan. Marathon covered at an average 10min/miles

Please have something cold....

Miles 25-36 
Fastest pace/mile 8:58
Slowest pace/ mile 17:04 

Meeting up with my guardian angels ultra runner Joanne and photographer Toby

One of many enjoyable views to distract the mind from the conditions

Miles 37-49 
Fastest pace/mile 8:59
Slowest pace/mile 21:35

Just 10 miles left to go...

Miles 50-63 
Fastest pace/mile 9:05
Slowest pace/mile 17:14


Happy trail running-blister free

Slower average pace than predicted but sensible in the hot conditions

13th position on the 13th July

Time to relax and reflect

The bling

I figured so...

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