Thames Path
Ultra Challenge®

14th September 2024

Join The National Brain Appeal as we celebrate our 40th year of transforming the lives of people with neurological conditions!

The National Brain Appeal is the charity dedicated to raising money for Queen Square – a world-leading centre for the treatment and care of patients with neurological and neuromuscular conditions including brain tumour, dementia, epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s and stroke. Over the past four decades we’ve raised £56m to advance treatments and fund pioneering research into these conditions. 

On 14 September 2024, we’d like to mark this special anniversary by walking either the first 28km, or really  push yourself and tackle the Full 100km route of the Thames Path Challenge over 2 days together with our supporters to help us build on the successes of the past few decades and raise more funds to change the future of neurology. 

See below for more details – and please sign up to the event via the links on this page.

The Ultra Challenge Experience

Endurance events for a wide range of fitness & ages – and UK’s #1 series of treks & trial runs. Choose your Challenge – do it at your pace, and there’re 14 events in the Series. Our support enables you to go further, whilst enjoying the great outdoors & camaraderie. There’re marquee rest stops, lots of food & drink, medical & massage teams, with a fully signed route to guide you. A big finish-line celebration awaits with an amazing sense of achievement, and once the aches subside you’ll feel energised, and up for more of life’s real challenges!

Good preparation & smart planning are key, and from the moment you sign up you’ll have access to our Challenge App – with training guides, optional training walks, maps, online forums, and the latest news & updates.

Rest Stops every ~12.5 km with ‘major’ ones every ~25 km, and are much more than the shaky gazebo with water that you see on some events. We’ve marquee cover, large medical & welfare tents, catering services, seating areas for recovery, changing rooms, and a friendly welcome!

There’re pink arrows to guide you, distance markers, glow-sticks at night, hazard signs, and a route map in the App. Our ‘Trek Masters’ organise group departures at night so nobody has to walk solo. Our chip timing system enables our Control Room, and your friends / family, to track your progress through the Rest Stops. There’s also the option to hire a ‘GEO TRACKER’ – so they can follow you in real time every step of the way – day & night!

Keeping you well fed & hydrated is key. We pride ourselves on the quantity & quality of our catering, and whichever distance you are on – meals, snacks & drinks are included – so no need to carry much!

  • Snacks & drink stops every 12.5 km
  • Snacks – from the healthy to treats
  • Meals / food every 25 km
  • Energy drinks
  • All dietary requirements catered for
  • Lighter options for ‘runners’
  • Finishers meal

We generally have a ~50 km campsite for rest & sleep if you’re on the 2 day ‘Daylight’ 100 km option, or if you finish / start a 50 km ‘half’ Challenge. Book an inclusive package or ‘pitch your own’ – there’re showers and chill out areas.

We’ve experienced Doctors, Paramedics, First Aiders, Podiatrists, and Massage Teams at Rest Stops. There’re ‘Self Help’ areas with blister plasters, talc, Vaseline, and tape if you want to patch your own feet. Our mobile Emergency Medical Teams are only a phone call away, via our 24 hour Control Room

We don’t want you to forget that finish-line moment – our Cheer Squad will ensure you won’t! You’ll get a medal, finisher’s T-shirt, and a glass of fizz, before heading to a finishers meal and a well earned rest. Download your official Challenge certificate when you’re ready.

There’re shuttles to local train stations for onward travel, and most finish lines have parking so supporters can meet you. We’ve bus ‘transfers’ to / back to key venues (eg the start) – and check out the ‘Bookable Extras’ for details of all transport options.

100 km over 2 days, with optional camping packages at half way – or book a hotel / B&B – and rest!

Day 1 – Fulham > Runnymede 

  • Saturday 14 Sept 2024
  • Start – Bishops Park, W. London
  • 50 km & 200 m climb 
  • Finish – Runnymede
  • Optional camping package

 

Your camping at the halfway point in Runnymede can be booked via the Optional Extras link on this page!

 

Day 2 – Runnymede > Henley-on-Thames

  • Sunday 15 Sept 2024
  • Start – Runnymede 
  • 50 km & 150 m climb 
  • Finish – Henley-on-Thames

Fulham > Hurst Park

  • Saturday 14 sept 2024
  • Startline – Bishops Park, Fulham
  • 28 km & 20 m elevation 
  • Finish line – Hurst Park

 

Rest Stops every 10-15km under marquees with support – toilets, massage, changing rooms, medics, rest areas, hot drinks, water & snacks & much more. 

  • Snacks & drinks – every 10-15 km
  • 28 km – Picnic lunch & fizzy drinks
  • Finish – glass of fizz, medal & t-shirt

Your teams start time will be around 8.45am on Saturday 14th September at Putney Bridge (exact time tbc) – you will need to be there at least 1 hour before the official start to register – then have a pre challenge cup of tea / coffee and soak up the atmosphere!

There’s a full range of optional parking & pre or post Challenge shuttle bus transfer services, to make it easy to join & exit – and to provide flexible options for your own planning. These include:

Due to the central London start line location we recommend you use public transport to get the start line  

  • Parking: There is local Pay & Display and free parking along the route at Hurst Park (28km) – NO parking at Bishops Park in Fulham (if required)
  • Post Challenge Bus Transfer: From your finish (Hurst Park), to the local train station (Hampton Court)

 

See OPTONAL EXTRAS further down the page – these need booking in advance

BAGGAGE SERVICE  Transfer of a bag from start to finish is available and payable on the day

When you reach the finish line you will be greeted by a big crowd and celebratory atmosphere!

The National Brain Appeal will also have their own hospitality tent for any of the team members taking part! 

It will be easy to spot – clearly branded with your logos on flags, and banners. It will also include a specific outdoor seating area, and even your own event host.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Camping at Runnymede – Halfway point – Saturday 14th September

This option applies to those who choose to do the Full 2 Day Daylight Challenge. Complete the first half, camp overnight and complete the second half on Sunday 15th.

Inclusive Packages – with pre pitched tent & roll mat – (you bring a sleeping bag & other equipment). Parking & breakfast the following morning is included in your package.

  • 1 person: £65
  • 2 People: £85

 

Pitch Only Option – bring your own tent or campervan (+ all equipment). Breakfast is NOT included in your pitch only camping – this must be booked separately.

  • 1 person: £35
  • Extra campers: £25 per person (Max 4 per pitch)

Your Challenge,
Your Way!

Join us – as whether you’re an occasional walker, an experienced trekker, a weekend jogger, or a budding marathon enthusiast – there’s challenge here for you! Walk, Jog, or Run at your pace as part of your Team, as you fundraise for the National Brain Appeal. The Thames Path Ultra Challenge is fun, safe, and rewarding – with full support along the way, enabling you to push yourself further in famous and historic scenery along the tow path – it’s certainly an event not to be missed!

Check out your route options on the interactive map below!

How to Join

You’ll need to fill in the online from. There are two ways to pay for your place.

  1. Pay a small registration fee to commit to the challenge and The National Brain Appeal will fund your place – as a result you will have a minimum fundraising target of £400!
  2. Self fund your place on the event and fundraise as much you want without an obligatory target – use the link  below to receive a 5% discount.  

Ready for a challenge?

Register to Join the team!

Find the online form in the link below on this page to register. Once registered, you will receive a Confirmation Email – this will give details of how to access the Event App (with lots of info & updates)

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

 There is a Post Challenge Bus Transfer and Saturday night camping available. Please ensure that this is done at least 4 weeks prior to the event – Click ‘Book Here’ to pay for the optional extras online by card.

FUNDRAISING

As part of your challenge you will be fundraising for The National Brain Appeal – no matter which funding option you choose follow the link below and you can create your JustGiving page to get started! The charity and event are pre-selected for you.

EVENT WEBSITE

Visit the ULTRA CHALLENGE website. YOU MUST return to this page to sign up.

EVENT FACTSHEET

All you need to know about the Thames Path Ultra Challenge.

PARTICIPANT AREA

Information & advice for ALL participants taking on the Challenge

16 Amazing Challenges

Over 200,000 adventurers have taken on an Ultra Challenge® so far, and the 16 unique events make up the UK’s biggest & best series of treks & trail runs – which have also raised £50+ million for charities. Whichever challenge you choose, you’ll get full support all the way so you can set a new goal, enjoy the British countryside, and Push Yourself Further! Whoever you are – If you’re up for a challenge, it has to be an Ultra Challenge!

Map

Lake District Ultra Challenge

8-9 June 2024

100 km loop + Half & Quarter Challenge options & Ambleside 10K

FULL DETAILS >

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Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge

5-6 May 2024

106 km ‘Full Island’ Loop + Half & Quarter Island options.

FULL DETAILS >

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London 2 Brighton Ultra Challenge

25-26 May 2024

100 km + Half & Quarter Challenge distance options

FULL DETAILS >

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South Coast Ultra Challenge

7-8 Sept 2024

100 km + Half & Quarter Challenge options

FULL DETAILS >

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Jurassic Coast Ultra Challenge

18-19 May 2024

100 km + Half & Quarter Challenge options AND Marathon + Double Marathon & Bridport 10K

FULL DETAILS >

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Thames Path Ultra Challenge

14 – 15 Sept 2024

100 km + 3/4 + Half & Quarter Challenge options

+ Thames Bridges 25km Trek (Sat – Central London)

+ Friday Moonlight 10K Walk (Central London)

+ The Henley 10K (Sunday)

FULL DETAILS >

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South West Coast 50 Ultra Challenge

3 August 2024

50 km Loop + 25 km & 10 km Challenge options

FULL DETAILS >

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Peak District Ultra Challenge

6-7 July 2024

100 km Loop + Half & Quarter Challenge options & The Bakewell 10 Mile. 

FULL DETAILS >

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Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge

22 – 23 June 2024

100 km + Half & Quarter Challenge options.

FULL DETAILS >

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Chiltern 50 Ultra Challenge

28 Sept 2024

50 km Loop + 25 km & 10K Challenge options

FULL DETAILS >

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North Downs 50 Ultra Challenge

27 July 2024

50 km Loop + 25 km & 10km Challenge options.

FULL DETAILS >

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Easter 50 Ultra Challenge

Sat 12 April 2025

Windsor

50 km, 25 km, 0r 10 km Loops 

FULL DETAILS >

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London Summer Walk

Sat 24 August 2024

25 KM or 10 KM looped route – Woolwich Start / Finish

FULL DETAILS >

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London Halloween Walk

Sat 26 October 2024

25 KM or 10 KM spooky looped route options. Start / finish – The Oval Cricket Ground ‘dungeon’,

FULL DETAILS >

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NEW – Kent Downs 50 Ultra Challenge

Sat 12 October 2024

50 KM, 25 KM or 10 KM looped routes options. Start / finish – The Kent Showground nr. Maidstone.

FULL DETAILS >>

 

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