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Country to Capital

12-Jan-2019 Wendover, Buckinghamshire, UK (England)

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16 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
72KM / 45Miles
1 Day - 400 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From £53

2019 is the 11th Anniversary of this fabulous race and is one not to be missed, its been a sell out race for the last 5 years!

Now established as the opener to the Ultra race calendar and is one of the premier single day Ultra events in the UK.

The route takes in some pretty stunning countryside which, even in the depths of winter is going to look good. We carry this countryside well inside the M25 where we pick up the Grand Union Canal tow path for the final run into London where we will finish at the beautiful and enchanting Little Venice.

Our Race start is hosted by the Shoulder of Mutton Pub which is directly opposite Wendover railway station and there is plenty of room for parking.

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Event Organiser
Simon Hollis

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Review Country to Capital

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Burgessking1

09:35 11-06-18

Awesome event. First of the year for me. Great route and a good beginner course. Loved the aid stations and the support/volunteers. Epic route finish in London

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Attila the Run

10:31 20-02-18

Run in 2018...

Country to Capital is what it is...a runnable 40+ mile Ultra.

A frantic start set up with registration tucked away in the back of what is probably a lovely pub when it isn't packed to the rafters with hundreds of runners and kit bags.

A fairly pretty and gentle first 20'ish miles on trails and roads before the bleak and uninspiring drudgery of the Grand Union Canal in January. Decent aid stations (particularly the one with mini pork pies).

Definitely more of a mental challenge that a physical challenge for me. And not just for me a I am sure. I did note one lady at the start line on crutches. I'm pretty sure she didn't pass me so I'm not sure if she finished!

Not one I'd revisit.

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jurasource

06:38 16-02-17

Well organised and straightforward course requiring little navigation. The canal section (second half) is a little dull but that's mostly the contrast to the pretty first half.
Bit more here https://jurarunner.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/country-to-capital-2017-race-report/

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SarahCrunning

03:57 18-01-17

I ran this in 2017 knowing that it probably wouldn't be my favourite route. January is relatively quiet in the ultra calendar and I wanted an ultra I hadn't run before that wasn't too far from home to kick off my racing year. I tend to find flat ultras mentally challenging and I like the natural walk breaks and variety that come from hills and technical terrain. I also like my races to be scenic, so towpath wasn't the obvious choice!

I'd say this race was exactly what I expected. The first half was quite enjoyable. Not the nicest trails I've run on, but pleasant enough. We were hit by an unforecast mix of rain, sleet and snow which was pretty grim, but in January you can't really complain. The second half of the route is pancake flat towpath along the Grand Union Canal. It is pretty dismal and it was interesting to see how many people who had cheerfully run up hills and through mud were grinding it out and walking on this section. I'm sure that wasn't the case amongst the front runners. This is known for being a fast ultra and that is what it's geared up for. Apart from CP3, which had a good selection of sweet and savoury, the checkpoints are pretty basic. Perfect for speedy runners who won't stop for long and won't be on their feet all day. This isn't at the top end in terms of price, and the food at the CPs was accurately described in pre-race emails, so this is fair enough. However, there are cheaper races that put on a better spread, and the time limit is 11 hours, so slower runners would need to carry their own food or have support crew. On the plus side, the volunteers at the CPs were fantastically helpful and friendly.

Reviewers from previous years have commented on the course being short. This is still listed as a 45 miler, the CP information suggested the finish was at 44 miles, and the GPX file was 42.9 miles. I know of one supporter who missed her runner at the final CP because she was given incorrect information about the distance from the previous one, so there is room for more clarity here!

The positives about this race are: good organisation and pre-race communication, the opportunity to get a fast time, a very runnable route that would suit those new to the distance or to off-road running, a long-sleeved technical finishers' t-shirt.

The negatives: an uninspiring route, a general feeling that people were grinding out the towpath miles rather than enjoying the experience, confusion over the distance.

I am glad I completed this race, but I wouldn't run it again. I would say it is best suited to runners with a clear goal - a certain time or completing the distance for the first time. This will keep you focused in those final miles.

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Paullen

08:18 17-01-17

A route of 2 halves; first half technical and stunning scenery, second half flat with one the same view...a canal. Having said that a really well organised friendly event. Travelling from London very easy as the race won't start until those travelling buy train have arrived. Recommend the cake at all checkpoints.

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kerrysutton

05:52 24-02-16

This race tests two different types of running. Muddy, Hilly, beautiful and sometimes hard to navigate for first half and then flat, pretty dry, uninspiring and easy to navigate in the second! Great one to get out and test yourself early on in the year and see where to focus your training energies!

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RunEmailGuy

01:03 01-02-16

Only the second ultra I've ran and although there are many others out there, I can happily say I would run this again.

Pros
- Quick course
- Strong field (judging this on my finishing position vs my 1st ultra)
- Two halves - mix of slow climbs and fast paced flats
- Good amount of check points, friendly staff & volunteers
- The finish point is great for those living in London
- Great time of year, keeps you on track going into the winter period
- Nice finishing shirt

Cons
- Difficult course to navigate (could be a pro depending on what you're looking for, but I got lost twice before we hit the canal, if I was going for a good time I would have been a bit huffed!)
- Toilets at the start were a bit of a nightmare (get there early)
- Could do with more photographers, if you’re running for charity it’s good to have a visual to accompany your story

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alflowersruns

01:41 17-01-16

I ran this one in 2015 and it is one that I will definitely run again. Some people don't like the way this race goes from trail to about 20 miles worth of canal path but for me I found it great as it allowed for a faster, focused finish - it's a real test of mental strength running the last half. As mentioned in other reviews it's not the prettiest race but it is a good for those moving into the longer stuff with a chance to do a bit of navigation during the first half.

If you're going to run this one I would recommend staying in nearby Tring or Wendover the night before to ease the registration process as it does get very busy and crowded in the registration area. Second, if you're looking to get off to a good start and get into a rhythm quickly, get to the front (or near the front) of the pack at the start because there is a tight bottleneck within the first few hundred metres...

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Trev_collett

11:24 30-12-15

I've run this twice now, 2014 & 15 and will be running again in 2016 ! It's a good Ultra, fast and flat, well organised and a good atmosphere, the checkpoints are well stocked and although the route isn't continuously marked its easy to follow. I use it as a target race to keep me training through the winter months, I would recommend this race if you are looking for your first ultra or indeed a fast one !! Entry price is very reasonable too !

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