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London 2 Brighton Challenge

25-May-2019 Richmond on Thames, UK (England)

YOUR RATING

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25 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
100KM / 62Miles
2 Days

Alternate Distances: 56KM 44KM 31KM 25KM

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

The Challenge

Over the May Bank Holiday 3,000 intrepid adventurers will Walk, Jog, or Run an epic 100km from Capital to Coast setting out from Richmond on Thames and over the North & South Downs, with full support & great hospitality all the way to the finish line. Now in it's 7th year the London 2 Brighton Challenge has become one of the UK's greatest endurance events - and will raise over £1.5 million for charities.

Join one of the UK's biggest and best 'Ultras' in 2018. Ideal for seasoned ultra runners or marathon competitors who are up for a new Challenge. The rest stops with tailored runners menus,  medics, massage, baggage transfers, and full route signage sets our events apart from most events out there.

All runners receive ...

  • FREE hot food at main Rest Stops (except 1st 25km)

  • 25km meal included for 1st Quarter Challengers

  • FREE meal at the finish line

  • FREE snacks & drinks at all Rest Stops

  • FREE energy gels & energy drinks

  • FREE Baggage Transfers (30 L rucksack MAX)

  • Medics & doctors on hand at all stops

  • Massages available at 56, 80 and 100km Stops

  • Warm up at the start line

  • Finishers medal, t-shirt & glass of bubbly

  • Shuttle service from the finish to mainline train station

  • Support vehicles on hand throughout

  • Timing chips & live timing website

  • Access to the website Participant Area

Registration

You pay an initial registration fee to sign up to the challenge - the fee is paid per person for individuals and members of a team, the fee secures your place on the challenge & is non-refundable.

Self-funding

• Full Challenge - £185 / person 

• Half Challenge - £125 / person -

• Quarter Challenge - £75 / person

Fundraise for charity

By registering & signing up you are committing to a minimum fundraising target for the charity of your choice, which depends upon the distance that you've selected.

• Full Challenge - From £60 Reg Fee  (normally £80) + £425 minimum fundraising 

• Half Challenge - £45 Reg Fee (normally £60) + £275 minimum fundraising 

• Quarter Challenge - £30 Reg Fee (normally £40) + £175 minimum fundraising


It's your challenge your way!

We also organise:

• Thames Path Challenge
• South Coast Challenge
• Thames Bridge Trek
• Isle of Wight Challenge
• Henley 10K Challenge
• Jurassic Coast Challenge
• Wye Valley Challenge
• Cotswold Way Challenge

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Event Organiser
Nicola Smith

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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.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review London 2 Brighton Challenge

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ultraventure

05:11 20-07-18

This is now my third time running this race and one I keep returning to due to the fact it is easy to get to for me and more importantly the professionalism of the Action Challenge team putting on this event.

Pre-Race + logistics: Start point is in Richmond with registration (not bag drop) on the Friday evening available to those that don’t like early mornings. For the 100km runners, the start time of 06:30 is early but means that a <15hr run will finish before sundown so it makes for an attractive ultra to finish in one day with a free bus to Brighton rail station for those without crews.

Course: The course itself is 10k along the river, followed by 40k of urban/road route and slowly merging into a country trail type run through fields. It has improved since I last completed it by taking off some of the unnecessary climbs – this is after all primarily a charity walk so will be biased towards this group. Sadly there are the stiles – many stiles – probably should be renamed the ultra of a thousand stiles. I really don’t like them - I can shuffle along just fine, but give me a stile late in a race and they are a cramp inducing trap waiting for me!

Checkpoints: Excellent as previous races, but now even better! At the first stop they had breakfast including croissants and other pastries, a pick n’mix stand at most stops and this year catered for vegan runners – increasing the available choice of food at the main stop at Tully’s farm.

The Day: It was hot, myself + many others who had trained through the winter were just had not prepared for the midday sun and we suffered because of it. Besides the heat, the course was dry and solid throughout - for a course that in the later half can turn to a muddy and slippery challenge it was a definitely a help to keeping a solid pace and spirits up. Checkpoint support was great and support crews had a lot of info on locations to support along the way down.

Equipment: I kept it light and basic for this race as I knew what to expect, but did keep extras and emergency kit in the mid-point bag. I didn’t bring poles due to minimal vertical climbs and this was the right decision even if I did miss them at certain points along the way. 1litre of water was the bare minimum for this race and I did struggle at some points where I under estimated the heat and arrived waterless and slightly dehydrated at one or two checkpoints – a rookie mistakes if I am honest – next time I will check the weather forecast.

Issues: Only really two for me
– the lack of showers/changing facilities at the finishing point. I ended up bringing in a chair to the men’s toilets to allow me to change without falling over or having to leave clean clothes on wet sink tops or the floor.
- Stiles, they need to go, there is nothing more soul destroying than seeing one of those in your path!

Only suggestion is the name - better options are “The race of a thousand stiles” or “A Culinary tour of the South of England”

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Ben Coleman

07:25 07-06-18

This is an incredibly well organised event that would suit the runner who has done a few marathons, wants a new challenge but doesn’t want to spend time fretting over maps or running the risk of getting lost on a trail. The 100km distance - although most people seemed to clock closer to 66miles - is tough but the course is mostly forgiving - aside from the insane hill at 88km. Route is a decent mix of road, path, woodland trail and gravel tracks. Some of the earlier parts were a little like training runs through towns but it was worth it once out in the downs in beautiful sunshine.

Great support at the aid stations with cereal bars, crisps, noodles standard and one with a full on pick n mix - it’s all free. The full meals are hard to digest for me but loads of people were tucking into pasta and fajitas etc at Tully’s Farm.

I finished in just over 15 hrs just outside the top 100 and a little slower than I’d hoped but this just makes me want to go back and do it again.

The race was a great experience, incredibly well organised and I could not recommend enough.

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damon1174

08:05 28-05-18

I have no experience with long distance jogging/walking. I have never done a marathon race before. The only real benefit I had when participating this event was the fact that have a healthy body. I usually keep away from fast food/ junk food. This ultra marathon is truly a challenge and I wouldn't recommend to someone with who has no experience with marathons. My feet and legs suffered the most in the challenge. Considering that I have flat feet. Blisters were not a problem but it was muscle cramps not having enough sodium in the body. My calves and Quads suffered the most. The event has alot of steep and high hills to climb. Keep in mind that it had taken me 31 hours to complete this ultra challenge. Considering the fact that I suffered from serious muscle cramps at 40km the way to 100km. But that didn't stop me. The event is well organized and I would assume that it would be alot most impossible to get lost in an event is like even at night as there are plenty of LED stick lights hanging from trees everywhere at night. During the day there are also plenty of sign posters to help guide people. Between half way e.g 40km -57km of the challenge I noticed that alot of people dropped out. Getting to Tulley's farm and Ardingly College was a nightmare. There are plenty of mud holes throughout the challenge which could seriously injury your legs and feet if your not careful. Near the end of the race at 88km was probably the hardest challenge for most people. The massive hill that had to be climbed in order to get to the 94km aid station AKA the last check point. Lastly, the aid staff at the Tulley's farm 56km were incredible rude. I end up spending 2 and half hours waiting to be seen by them and there were only 10 people at the time seeking medical attention. It was raining hard and it was very cold. Because of this I had to take care of myself by getting up even though I was in extreme pain to get a freaking thermal blanket to sleep on. To add to this I never received a massage at Tulley's farm. Which really annoyed me the most. Overall, TheLondon2brighton challenge is a insane challenge I wouldn't recommend it to somebody who has no fitness or good health background. If you really enjoy adventures and sightseeing then this is for you. I have to think twice about doing this again or an event similar to this.

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Benw05

10:04 01-10-17

Amazingly organised race, so much choice at the aid stations.

This was my first ultra and I think I was spoilt in terms of the aid station support after race facilities such as massages and hot dinners.

This was advertised as a trail race however there was a lot of hard concrete paths which were off road and a lot of road and pavements. A lot more than I expected.

I would recommend this race but would recommend some nicely cushioned shoes and possibly even road shoes.

It would be nice if the medals and t shirts were segregated so if you ran it you get a runners t shirt and medal, joggers get a joggers medal and shirt and walkers get one for the walk. Other events I have done since do have this segregation as well as segregation for the distance. I just prefer this but it isn’t a deal breaker.

I would definitely recommend this race. The organisation is first class and the race support is too.

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Veganrunner

01:34 05-06-17

27/05/2017
This was only my second ultra, my first also with Action challenge last year on the south coast challenge. My preparation this year was not what I had hoped. I am a continental truck driver lucky to train every weekend in a different part of Europe but while running in Sweden in March my illiotibial tendon had started to hurt. I do long runs at the weekend with strength training some shorter runs in the week when I can and some road biking so was disappointed this injury came up. I rested and tested over the next 5 weeks but was still not right so decided to rest completely for the last month turn up on the day and give it my best.
Ive only been running two years and am still learning lots about the amazing world of running.
So race day comes and I'm hoping I stand a chance of finishing at least. After setting off on last years ultra with far too much fluid and weight on board I set off with a litre of fluid and bananas for carbs. The first quarter of this ultra is through suburban south west London and is very flat so I started at a decent steady pace doing the first 12 km in around 1 hour 15 mins. My plan was to have bananas and Trek vegan energy bars as nutrition and was using efs mix for fluid. I have been training with coconut water but this was impractical to use on race day as my family weren't meeting me till 56 km. lesson learned don't change anything on race day. By 40 km my stomach started to bloat as I had unconsciously drank a bit too much as it was very humid from the start.
I had munched 3 energy bars along with the bananas which in hindsight I didn't really need so I don't think this helped. I had the feeling this was going to be another big learning curve. In my defence because I had been down with injury for some time I had not practised enough with my nutrition.
My legs were doing ok, I'm a very healthy Vegan and my weight was spot on so I felt healthy enough if not really fit enough. The rest stops and food at this event was first class even though I was not having any of it.
By the time I reached 56 km in 7 hours 54 mins my stomach was in pieces though I had stopped eating. After 2 visits to the boys room I set off quite quickly so my muscles didn't start seizing. To be honest the stomach never was right for the rest of the race but I persevered and kept going. The second half of this race is definitely harder terrain than the first half, it had more hills and the largest coming at a painful 90 km in. It's the last hill before you come down towards Brighton and the finish at the race course. They have deliberately put in an extra little stop at 92 km because I think they know people need it after going over that last hill. My quads were burning up that hill but I knew I was going to finish so dug in and made it. Luckily my newish On trainers done brilliantly and I didn't get one blister this year. So as you get near the race course and finish you can see the lights and flags in the distance which is a great motivator for that final push. My tendon amazingly held out apart from a little twinge going up the big hill. My decision to really rest it before the ultra had paid off. Of the many novice mistakes I had made my patience wasn't one of them luckily. I crossed the line in 15 hour 44 mins which I was really happy with. Last years first took 18 hours but it was I found a lot more hilly.
I'm now looking at my next ultra and I will take many lessons from this one. I'm possibly looking at this years south coast challenge again as I've really got the bug now.
Everything to do with Action challenge is so stress free, they are superbly efficient and make the whole process from registration to the actual day so easy. The course is marked brilliantly with glow sticks at night. The staff are very supportive and friendly and I would recommend highly to seasoned ultra runners as well as novices like me.

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lettersand123s

04:58 07-08-16

Action Challenge’s London2Brighton ultra is probably one of the best-organised ultras in the UK as well as probably one of the few where you will probably put on weight during the race. It is part of the Ultra Challenge series of five UK based races.

The race format is different to most ultras, in that it is primarily a fundraising event and has runners and walkers – a total of 2,500 people for all three distances in 2016 with circa 400 runners. The early starts are for runners, which means you should finish before sunset (so you get more cake at the half way point!)

It’s a professional organisation with a slick set-up. The most impressive aspect is arguably the participant’s area, which has a wealth of information on everything from training to the event itself. The pre-race briefing is online and worth watching. The main thing I love about this event is the advice and support they offer supporters and crew helping runners. They have information on where the best points are to support, where there will be food/drinks available for supporters to purchase whilst they wait and the all-important location info including postcode. This is such a simple thing but it makes the event less stressful for supporters and I'm surprised it is not something we expect as standard.

Route finding is excellent, and except for one point where the route crossed a road and the signs were pointing to a safe crossing point – sadly a number of people didn’t see it and took a wrong turn. Signage was with arrows and reflective strips and glow-sticks in the last half of the race for the night runners/walkers

The route for the first 60km was city/suburban with some nice sections through parks and greener sections of the area. It is only when you get past Tully’s farm that the scenery improves and the last 20km is beautiful.

The midpoint was at Tully’s Farm – 56km into the race, where the 100km runners have a free bag drop, which is a great location for supporters as there are large tents and food for all.

The finishing line was at Brighton’s racetrack in front of the stands, so a nice finish with hot food. Buses are provided for free to get you back to the train station in Brighton.

Aid stations and checkpoints are well manned and equipped and the support crews supportive and friendly. Aid stations are better described as sweet stations! Along with the normal bananas, oranges, melons, water and energy drinks you also additionally pretty much have a sweet shop with tea, coffee and hot chocolate – at one stop there is even a pic n’mix. With one of these roughly 12km it is no wonder that there is a risk of putting on weight during this race!

This is my third time entering this race, so the knowledge of the route, aid stations and lessons learned from the previous two races made this one much more enjoyable and less stressful. In previous races I have suffered from getting stressed and anxious but perhaps because it was a known entity. That, or I’m getting more relaxed but in short I was pretty chilled entering this race.

I was pretty much on target pace or better for the first 40km and then I ran out of energy – lesson learned here – don’t skip breakfast. With 16km to Tully’s Farm I significantly slowed down in this section and lost a lot of time dropping from 8min/km to 11min/km for the best part of 30km. As I knew the route and the amount of food available at Tully’s Farm, I knew I would just take a hit on the time due to the speed and time needed to eat at Tully’s Farm. For the last 30km I massively increased in speed – thanks to the Chocolate Fudge Cake and cupcakes from the guys and girls at Extreme Catering – in the end gaining nearly 40 places.

Prior knowledge of the route was invaluable and by the last 12km even with energy levels dropping I pushed harder than normal. The section around the back of the houses is now a paved path which was much nicer than before with the unmaintained rough surface that was there in past years. A big screen, flags and the racecourse grand stand provide the backdrop to the finishing line with a last bit of a slope up to it making you work for your medal!

Would I do it again – Yes, and that’s just for the cake, it is a pleasure to take part in such a well organised event – for any race director thinking of improving their race or other thinking of setting up a race – you need to do this one to learn how it is done right!

I would recommend it as a great first ultra and one that seasoned ultra-runners can fine-tune their race strategies/techniques.

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davem21

10:15 09-06-16

! am a walker rather than a runner when it come to ultra, but have done this event twice now 2015 and 2016.. It is well organised, the rest stops are excellent, with plenty of refreshments,energy bars, gels and snacks. the route is well signed and marked with glow sticks at night. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a tough but do-able challenge.

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jasealders

11:50 08-06-16

Unlike a lot of the reviews here a team of 5 of us walked the 100km instead of running it. Two team members had previously completed a 50 mile trek in the Yorkshire Pennines and although this event was longer the Ultra Challenge staff and support was so good that the only thing you had to worry about was getting yourself across the finish line. One team member had horrific blisters at 40km and the medical support team did an absolutely brilliant of patching him up and he managed to walk the next 60km thanks to their help. The food provided at the checkpoints is abundant to say the least and you really don't have to worry about anything except to keep on walking (and the weather). The blisters are still healing so at the moment we have said that we wouldn't do another challenge of this scale again however if anyone is looking to take it on then I would definitely recommend an Ultra Challenge event (and good luck!). Have a read of my London2Brighton blog post here http://www.redeagle.jobs/news/eagles-raise-staggering-3364-make-wish/

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Gemmasier

07:49 08-06-16

I loved this Challenge. Mixed terrain as expected. Support from organisers was amazing. Fully equipped and high standard rest stops. Would definitely do again. Kit list very detailed and exact to requirements of challenge and expected weather conditions. Hard terrain but as it says, it is the Ultimate Endurance Challenge so i wanted to be pushed to my limits. Am now looking into other Action Challenges to do.

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Madbunny

03:35 07-06-16

I've just taken part in the 2016 London 2 Brighton challenge. This event was extremely well organised and supported. If you are looking for an event to push you to your limits and beyond this is the one for you.
More road than I'd expected and it took its toll. Don't be fooled into thinking oh that's not a bad route, it was brutal and my blisters this time are part of my battle scars.

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