Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Off to the UK in June


I'm so pumped up! I have awarded myself a tour in the UK. It's one on foot. The organizers have seen fit to label it a race but I have chosen to call it a vacation!!

I leave SFO on June 20 for the inaugural 260-mile Thames Ring Ultra which begins at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. I have 100 hours, until 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 28, to finish. More details about the race are on http://www.tra-uk.org/downloads/thames_ring_update.doc.

The organizers are the same ones who put on the existing GUCR 145 mile race held in May every year.

The Thames Ring race has aid stations about 26 miles apart so I will have to be self sufficient for at least the marathon distance. That should not pose a problem during the day since I will have access to shops in the little villages I will pass through. Nights will be a different matter altogether. I will have to ensure that I put enough stuff in my backpack to meet most "emergencies" at night.

The Thames or Great Ring is actually formed of 3 canals - the River Thames canal, the Oxford Canal Ring and the Grand Union Canal Ring(GUCR).

For more information:
Thames River
Oxford Canal
Grand Union Canal

To say that I am excited is an understatement. As a child growing up in India reading children's books by the famous author, Enid Blyton, I yearned to see the English countryside the stories depicted. Come June, I get to be a child again! I will run or walk through places steeped in history and lore. Charming little villages with even more charming names like Goring (race Start/Finish), Mapledurham, Caversham, Reading, Marlow, Chertsey, Stoke Bruerne ...

Images of some villages in the first 50 or so miles can be viewed at http://www.map-reading.co.uk/localimages/HTML%20files/LocalImagesGallery.html.

A few more images, taken from the above site (thank you Clive Ormond!), below.

(Grand Union Canal at Braunston)

(River Thames wending its way through Caversham)


Peter Lubbers said...

Awesome Rajeev.
I was going to run GUCR145, but unfortunately my work schedule changed and I won't be there at that time. Maybe next year!
All the best with the Thames Ring--sounds like a great adventure.

P.S. A belated happy birthday!

Rajeev said...


I might do the GUCR 145 next year. Let's see how the Thames Ring goes!

I'm excited. Good luck with your races this year.


Anonymous said...

Awesome, 260 miles : almost 10 marathons back to back in 100 hours - its incredible but should be fun, looking forward for the race report

Alan said...


You are going to love it!!! Have a great time an dtake a lot of photos!!!

Tapori said...

Awesome ..i'm sure it's going to be "never-a-dull-moment" adventure.

Rajeev said...


I am so charged up about the English countryside and the zillions of memories I will make.


Rajeev said...


Thank you my friend. See you in Ruth Anderson.


Rajeev said...


Thank you sir! How is Louisiana treating you?


brownSugar said...

hey rajeev

this is anu from the SF marathon this past sunday!

just wanted to thank you for helping me through the most difficult 6 miles (15-21)!
my knee started giving way after that, so i walked/ran the rest of the way and i finished!!!! even if in 4:52 :)
definitely one of the most memorable runs so far!!
can't wait for nike now :)

Trey Lominack said...

Hi Rajeev - it's Trey from the SF Marathon. I thought I remembered your e-mail address but I guess I don't. Thanks so much for your generosity and help. I mentioned that I would crew for you when you do Badwater - I meant it. Hope we can keep in touch.

pi_hole@yahoo.com or pi_hole@google.com

PS - I'm in awe of your run through the UK.