Words: Jim Benson
Race to the Stones takes on the Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest long-distance path. It’s a route used since prehistoric times, passing through an ancient landscape of sweeping downland, secluded valleys and leafy woods, finishing at the World Heritage Site of Avebury. There are several race options: 100k in one day, two days or a single 50k.
Nervous but excited, I lined up at the start of my first 100k. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the organisation and atmosphere were fantastic and I was excited to finally be on my way.
The first few kilometres climb steadily towards the escarpment, fresh legs and leafy woodland giving away nothing of what’s to come. The heat really kicks in on the long, exposed ridge, magnified by the chalk trail that snaked away across the hills. The route rises and falls with the land and there’s not much distance on the flat, making for some hot, hard running. But the camaraderie is uplifting and the support is great, with well-stocked pit stops every 10k (the fresh oranges were amazing!) and a hot meal at 50k. A really enjoyable, well-organised race through 5,000 years of history – and a great first 100k.