Heineken’s Race to The Tower covers 53 miles along the Cotswolds Way to Broadway Tower and is not for the faint-hearted. There’s a fair few hills and it’s pretty much undulating all the way, with the terrain being uneven under-foot. It can be completed in a variety of ways including non-stop, two days (either with or without camping) or just parts of it (deciding if you want to take part during day 1 or day 2). You can run, jog, walk or I’m pretty sure crawl some or all of it – it’s up to you. I went along with some friends from running club to complete day 2 walking (27 miles).
What do you need for Race to The Tower?
I would say that you need good fitting footwear – obviously designed for trail. Other than that maybe a water bottle, collapsible cup, spare socks, something to treat your blisters, a very small bag and a poncho in case it rains. They have moved it to July next year but that means nothing when it comes to the heavens opening around here!
The Pit Stops at Race to The Tower
The crew at Race to The Tower were amazing (so much so it has made me look at the rest of their endurance series – Race to the King and Race to the Stones!). The pit stops were like nothing we had seen before – well stocked with just the right food and drink you needed; great big containers of water to refill your bottle; medics on hand; and recycling facilities! The crew were also really friendly and helpful. The portaloos were nice and clean too (apart from at the very first one we went to).
Why do Race to The Tower
Obviously if you are thinking of doing an Ultra (or even a marathon like us) I would recommend it just because it was so well organised. There’s not marshalls on route but there’s numbers to ring if you need help. It could get a bit lonely doing it alone but they do advise you do it in at least pairs to ensure safety (and it will help pass the time) – or maybe you will meet new friends along the way. But other than that it is clearly sign-posted (with glowing markers for those non-stoppers going into the night). It ISN’T the easiest of courses – but that will give you even more of a sense of achievement when you receive your well-earned medal at the end! Plus of course there are such beautiful views and race photos are provided free!
I liked the fact that there were 14 hours to complete our half of the ultra – really taking the pressure off times and making it more about finishing and enjoying our time. Remembering that we walked at a leisurely pace the whole thing. Not only was this great exercise and gave us a sense of achievement but it was great for mental health. I spent 12 and a half hours walking with my friends and it certainly gave us time to talk. Plus I can say I have completed a marathon!
Have you completed Race to The Tower? Or the series, or part of it? Have you any experiences or advice?