02 Jan Happy New Year! Time to run 43-miles Country to Capital style
Ladies and gentleman, roll up, roll up!
It’s almost time for the first big event of 2024. An international field. Muddy trails and charming countryside. Forty-three miles of fun and quite possibly pain.
Yes, the 16th annual Country to Capital Ultra Marathon is set to start at 8.45am this Saturday (January 6).
Starting at the Shoulder of Mutton Pub in Wendover, the race runs 43-miles across the Buckinghamshire countryside, through the well-heeled streets of Denham and along the Grand Union Canal before finishing at the Stowe Centre next to the Little Venice Canal in a little place called London.
We have a host of high-class athletes taking part, so with the race just days away it makes sense to have a quick look at just some of the ‘runners and riders’ taking on this epic event…
TeamHour7 is a ground breaking ultra running team, committed to supporting athletes in pursuit of the incredible. The best way of describing them is a race team along the lines of a Tour de France cycle team.
Not least among their stable of runners is Caroline Turner, who has already produced a string of impressive results. Having represented both England and Great Britain at 100km in 2022, Caroline will fancy this distance.
Her best performances include finishing 1st in the 290km VUM Iceland self-sufficient race, breaking the course record while winning the Grand Tour of Skiddaw in the same year, coming 3rd in the 100km British Championships in 2022, and going on to place 15th in the World Championships at the same distance.
Alfie Pearce-Higgins will be hoping to go one better than last year after finishing 2nd in the 2023 Country to Capital race.
His brother, Sage, was last year’s winner meaning Alfie will have more reasons than one to push for the top spot this time around.
If there is one person in the field you’d expect to get their race nutrition right, it’s Andrea Fraquelli.
When Andrea isn’t running ultras, he’s working as the co-founder of the exclusive Brasseria Notting Hill.
Following a stellar performance last year when he came 3rd after leading for much of the race, Andrea will hope to be among the front runners again this time round.
Rachel Piper is a multiple winner at Go Beyond events, including the Rose of the Shires 54-mile ultra, at which she broke the course record.
She also holds the record for the Shire and Spires (Clockwise) Ultra, and is famed for her love of upsetting the guys with her pace.
AKA The Tube Runner, Jonny Davies is perhaps the best known of this year’s competitors.
Last year, he completed a rather unconventional ultra marathon by running the entire length of the London Underground network. This epic achievement covered nearly 360-miles and took him 11 days.
After that 43-miles of countryside should be no problem!
As the man himself said on Instagram: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do the things in life that you want to do. You are capable of so much more than you think you are capable of. Just go out and get it.”
Andrew Siggers holds the old course record for Shires and Spires for it’s last running from Lamport Hall in 2018, famously running further than the distance to avoid a horse in a field on the route.
He also managed a solid 4th place at the 2022 Country to Capital race in what were probably the toughest conditions in its history.
Shusanah Pillinger is famous for becoming the first British woman to cycle solo across America, completing the 3,004-mile route from California to Maryland in 12 days, nine hours and 14 minutes.
A Triathlon champion, she is also a keen runner who will be eager to make an impression on the Country to Capital field.
Helen Ramwell is an experienced ultra runner and multiple Go Beyond competitor, who recently took part in our inaugural Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon.
With huge races like the Marathon des Sables in her locker, Helen will be one to keep an eye on this Saturday.
The winner of our recent inaugural Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon in Nepal, Tarne Westcott will be hoping to take that form into the English version of the event.
He’ll be accompanied by another Nepal runner in Dharmesh Mistry and the pair will be aiming to use their experience of the extreme climbs found in that country to conquer the slightly less fearsome Grand Union Canal!