The Thames Challenge

Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Kemble, Cirencester, UK

Thu 8th August 2024 - Sun 11th August 2024

Starting at 08:00

1 race


Organiser's Description

England’s longest river path, starting from the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds, before finally reaching the mouth at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich, a distance of 184 miles. The challenge is to complete the entire length in four stages over a four day period.

The four stages are unique races which can each be entered as single races in their own right – The Cotswold Ultra, The Oxford Ultra, The Windsor Ultra, and The Richmond Ultra.

Finishers of each of the four days will benefit from a bespoke winner’s medal and either a bespoke t-shirt, mug or hat. In addition, the first male and female will receive a trophy.

All of the four stage medals form a jigsaw of the scaled route of The Thames Path.


  • Thames Challenge


    Solo Entry

    Booking for more than 1?


  • Thames Challenge


    Solo Entry

    Booking for more than 1?

What's Included


At the end of day 1 you will stay at Travelodge Oxford Abingdon Road.

At the end of day 2 you will stay at The Catherinewheel Hotel, Wetherspoons in Henley.

At the end of day 3 you will stay at one of the Travelodge Kingston hotels.

Rooms are on a shared basis on 3 per room. Normal procedure is that the first home get's the largest bed with the two other sharers on single beds.

If you prefer your own private room please ask us for the additional cost. Obviously this is also down to availability so please book early and advise us that you preference is for a private room.

It is requested that all these establishments are respected and kept clean and tidy by all competitors. Abuse of facilities (as deemed by Ultra Running Ltd) will result in removal and disqualification from the race.


Please see the Check-point food tab for information on food provision throughout the day.

Evening food:

Please note: Ultra Running Ltd will pay for your main meal, but you must pay for any starters, drinks and deserts yourself.

End of Day 1 – Travelodge Oxford Abingdon Rd serves a good selection of evening meals. So effectively when you complete your race you can go straight to your room, relax, shower or bath, then decide yourself what time to eat.

End of Day 2 – The Catherine Wheel, Wetherspoons. Again, a great choice of evening meals that you can choose when to eat yourself.

End of Day 3 – One of the Travelodge Kingston hotels. Same offering as Travelodge Oxford. Eat in house and you choose when to eat.

Each hotel will have coffee and tea making facilities. If you use these up they will provide additional sachets etc at reception. Ultra Running Ltd will provide a porridge pot, orange juice, banana, yoghurt or similar for your breakfast. Please provide your own spoon for the porridge pot or yoghurt

All Thames Challenge Finishers will receive:
Four Bespoke medals, one for each day of the challenge.
Either Bespoke technical Thames Challenge T-Shirts, mugs, or hats, one for each day of the challenge.
Every Finisher gets a Trophy.
All four medals joined up give a to-scale impression of the full Thames Path route.

kit transfer

Our support vehicle will assist in the transferring of one cabin sized kit bag per competitor. We will carry your kit bag into the hotel room, but please ensure that all of your belongings have your name clearly visible which will ensure we place the right bags in the right rooms.

Each morning it is the responsibility of every competitor to bring all of their belongings down to the start location of the race. This will generally be immeditely outside the hotel entrance, and the bags can then be immediately stowed securely in one of our support vehicles.

Although this is only done with the acceptance by the competitor that they take sole responsibility for these items whilst in transit, and by requesting this service, automatically indemnify Ultra Running Ltd or any of its employees in liability for any loss or damage in transit whatsoever.

check-point food

Example items which may change are:

Malt loaf, cake, jam, peanut butter, cheese or marmite sandwiches, sweets, various dried fruits, squash, cola and water.

We endeavour to cater for Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and non restrictive diet competitors. When you enter please advise your choice. Dietary requirements outside these options must be provided by the competitor, but we will happily leave drop bags at CP Stations for you.


Thames Challenge competitors must arrive at registration on Day 1 between 6.00 am and 6.30 am to collect their running number and present their kit for examination on request. Race start is 7.00 am following a race brief.

Competitors must be self-sufficient in their transportation to the start of the race and also at completion of their race.

time restrictions

It is imperative that entrants achieve a minimum of 4 mph (including stops etc).

If you fall below this minimum requirement you will get pulled out of the race and not be allowed to continue any further with the Thames Challenge.

This isn’t debatable.

race rules

By signing up to one of Ultra Running Ltd events you agree to abide by our general race rules;

The following are the race rules that apply to all Ultra Running Ltd events and should be adhered to by all race participants.

Each participant will be given a race number which must be clearly attached by safety pins to the front chest. If this is not clearly visible you may be delayed at checkpoints.
Teams must have pre-registered before the day and consist of at least three competitors who will also count as individual competitors amongst the rankings. For a Team to successfully complete the race, a minimum of three members of that Team must finish.

Each participant must make sure he/she is carrying all items detailed in the mandatory kit list

You cannot change your race entry category or team once the race has started.

Relay team members: All originally designated members of a team must complete the leg they have chosen, and the following team member must not start the race until the person they are handing over from has arrived at that CP, otherwise automatic disqualification will apply. Changes to the team members and/or race order can only be made up until the team has signed in on the day of the race.

Competitors must go through all check points and it is their sole responsibility to ensure that the check point attendant has recorded their race number and entry/exit time along with any injuries; failure to do so at any check point will mean the competitor has failed to complete the race and will be disqualified.

All entrants must be 20 years or over on the start day of the race.

Mandatory Kit List

Competitors must carry the following items. Random bag checks will be made on registration. Anyone found not to have the correct kit will not be allowed to start the race

Backpack or equivalent
Head Torch with spare batteries
Ordnance Survey Map 150 (Our downloadable maps are ok)
Compass or GPS device
Mobile phone
Emergency food pack consisting of a two chocolate bars,
Basic first Aid Kit

Competitor Retirement

If any competitor has to retire for whatever reason they must contact the race organisers immediately, either by advising a checkpoint attendant or by telephoning the emergency number which will be written on the race numbers of each competitor.

Time Constraints

The organisers want to give every competitor the opportunity of completing the race and will, where reasonable practicable, allow generous opening times of CP Stations; the allowance should be within an average of 4.0 miles per hour. If you fall below the 4.0 miles per hour you will be pulled from the race without concession.


In the event of Ultra Running Ltd. having to cancel the event, an alternative date will be provided. If re-scheduling of the event isn’t possible, or a competitor cannot make the revised date. URL undertakes to refund payments received, less any out of pocket expenses which are determined at 25%.

For all other circumstances, including Competitor cancellations due to personal reasons, refunds are not allowed. But at the discretion of the organisers an entry may be transferred to the following years race providing the request is within four weeks of the event date.

Any ‘transferred races’ or ‘reduced rate races’ are not refundable or transferable in any respect.

Race Photography

Ultra Running Ltd. reserve all exclusive rights relating to photographic coverage of their races. By entering an event, participants agree that Ultra Running Ltd may exclusively use any photographic or textual content captured during the event for advertisement purposes.


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Cirencester, Gloucestershire

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