Obviously I would like to maximise my chances this time once more.

Start date

Last year, I stopped partly because I thought I would finish too late on Sunday, and not be able to recover for work before Monday morning. I will arrange to have 4 consecutive non-working days this time. That is 3 days + 2 nights for running (60 hours), and 2 nights + 1 day of recovery after the run. Since I'm now pretty sure I will take more than 48 hours to complete (if I do complete!), there is no point in starting too early, aside from avoiding the crowds/traffic in Central London, so I might start at 5 or 6am, instead of 4am the previous years. I might miss the early, lonely start though.

It is not as easy as the previous years to find a suitable date given the events in London this summer.

I was hoping for June again to maximise the amount of daylight. The first week-end of June looks good on paper (and in the sky), with the additional Spring and Diamond Jubilee Bank Holidays on Monday and Tuesday, making it a 4-day week-end. But that's also a potential issue, since "one of the largest flotilla ever assembled on the river" will go down the Thames in London on Sunday. Whilst I hope to be far from London by then, it might cause disruption, as platforms and large screens will be installed on the river banks beforehand.

Furthermore, this is the Hardmoors 110 week-end.

Later in July, the Olympic Games will be organised in London. In particular, a cable car is being build not far from the Barrier, and the rowing lake next to Windsor will be used. These might lead to path diversions as well, if not already the case.

Therefore, I'm now looking at the end of June / begining of July like the previous years. This will be adjusted based on how my training is going, since I've been feeling rather unfit for a while now.

Moon and tide

A tricky one, since I want a full moon to help at night, but a low tide coefficient to avoid floods in the Chiswick and Richmond areas... These two are obviously incompatible, but with the right timing, I can go through the flooding areas during low tide. The potential full moons week-ends are on 2-3 June, and 1-2 July.


The recurrent tricky question... Unsupported again, or self-supported? As mentioned earlier, as self-supported I could allow myself to get water and food from nearby sources (but not from a dedicated crew). That would mean carrying a lighter bag, and crucially allow for better physical and mental recovery if I can indulge a warm fish&chips on the go :)

Fully supported is not an option so far, but that might still change.


The direction suggested in the walking guide book is from Source to Barrier (downstream). The only technical advantage (aside from the minor gradient) is the dominant winds, which are sweeping from West to East.

Mentally, it might also be easier to be finishing towards London. Last year, had I run the same distance the other way round, I would have stopped near Windsor. This might have felt "nearly" in London, and I knew all the way from there. When I ended up in Oxford, the thought of an extra 90km in the middle of endless meadows was tough. I chose nevertheless this direction (and this name for the challenge) because I saw it as an escape from London, and I didn't feel like finishing in dodgy East London in the middle of the night in a near-fainting state.


I might follow a forced run-walk pattern from the start as I did in 2010 (but not in 2011) to save my legs for later. Should I choose to do so, I will probably follow this strategy during some long training runs too.

Other changes

The nights are chilly due to the humidity, wind, tiredness, and lack of food, so a light jacket is necessary. Caffeine in the form of supplements should help for the night. I will also need to sort out some blister and chaffing issues.

Ultra small changes