Commencing from the source of The Thames in the Cotswold’s, before finally reaching the mouth at Thames Barrier in Greenwich, a distance of 184 miles, over four days.
The Thames Challenge is the ‘Sister’ event of The Severn Challenge, one of our other multi-day events.
The Thames Challenge is split into four stages, over a four day period. Within the four stages are four unique races in their own right:
The Cotswold Ultra
The Oxford Ultra
The Windsor Ultra
The Richmond Ultra.
Finishers of each of the four days will benefit from a bespoke winner’s medal and either a bespoke t-shirt, mug or hat. In addition, the first male and female will receive a trophy.
All of the four stage medals form a jigsaw of the scaled route of The Thames Path.
At the end of day 1 you will stay at Travelodge Oxford Abingdon Road.
At the end of day 2 you will stay at The Catherinewheel Hotel, Wetherspoons in Henley.
At the end of day 3 you will stay at one of the Travelodge Kingston hotels.
Rooms are on a shared basis on 3 per room. Normal procedure is that the first home get's the largest bed with the two other sharers on single beds.
If you prefer your own private room please ask us for the additional cost. Obviously this is also down to availability so please book early and advise us that you preference is for a private room.
It is requested that all these establishments are respected and kept clean and tidy by all competitors. Abuse of facilities (as deemed by Ultra Running Ltd) will result in removal and disqualification from the race.
Please see the Check-point food tab for information on food provision throughout the day.
Please note: Ultra Running Ltd will pay for your main meal, but you must pay for any starters, drinks and deserts yourself.
End of Day 1 – Travelodge Oxford Abingdon Rd serves a good selection of evening meals. So effectively when you complete your race you can go straight to your room, relax, shower or bath, then decide yourself what time to eat.
End of Day 2 – The Catherine Wheel, Wetherspoons. Again, a great choice of evening meals that you can choose when to eat yourself.
End of Day 3 – One of the Travelodge Kingston hotels. Same offering as Travelodge Oxford. Eat in house and you choose when to eat.
Each hotel will have coffee and tea making facilities. If you use these up they will provide additional sachets etc at reception. Ultra Running Ltd will provide a porridge pot, orange juice, banana, yoghurt or similar for your breakfast. Please provide your own spoon for the porridge pot or yoghurt.
Our support vehicle will assist in the transferring of one cabin sized kit bag per competitor. We will carry your kit bag into the hotel room, but please ensure that all of your belongings have your name clearly visible which will ensure we place the right bags in the right rooms.
Each morning it is the responsibility of every competitor to bring all of their belongings down to the start location of the race. This will generally be immeditely outside the hotel entrance, and the bags can then be immediately stowed securely in one of our support vehicles.
Although this is only done with the acceptance by the competitor that they take sole responsibility for these items whilst in transit, and by requesting this service, automatically indemnify Ultra Running Ltd or any of its employees in liability for any loss or damage in transit whatsoever.
Example items which may change are:
Malt loaf, cake, jam, peanut butter, cheese or marmite sandwiches, sweets, various dried fruits, squash, cola and water.
We endeavour to cater for Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and non restrictive diet competitors. When you enter please advise your choice. Dietary requirements outside these options must be provided by the competitor, but we will happily leave drop bags at CP Stations for you.
Thames Challenge competitors must arrive at registration on Day 1 between 6.00 am and 6.30 am to collect their running number and present their kit for examination on request. Race start is 7.00 am following a race brief.
Competitors must be self-sufficient in their transportation to the start of the race and also at completion of their race.
Solo Entry - £595.00
As a Relay Member £425.00
You can defer to another year for £45.00
Please note that you can enter both the Severn Challenge and the Thames Challenge within the same year to achieve the Severn & Thames Buckle which is in addition to all of your other finisher medals. This option is available through the Severn Challenge webpage and discounted to £1,175 for both events.
All Thames Challenge Finishers will receive:
Four Bespoke medals, one for each day of the challenge.
Either Bespoke technical Thames Challenge T-Shirts, mugs, or hats, one for each day of the challenge.
Every Finisher gets a Trophy.
All four medals joined up give a to-scale impression of the full Thames Path route.
If you complete the "Severn Challenge" event in the same year as the "Thames Challenge" event you can earn "The Buckle". The Buckle has been available since 2020 as of 2023 no one has yet successfully completed both events in the same year. This double challenge is open for bookings for both 2024 and 2025. Note: You would need to book the double through the Severn Challenge entry page.
Please visit our shop to see a wide range of race related products;
Personalised Race mugs with your name and finishing time
By signing up to one of Ultra Running Ltd events you agree to abide by our general race rules;
The following are the race rules that apply to all Ultra Running Ltd events and should be adhered to by all race participants.
Each participant will be given a race number which must be clearly attached by safety pins to the front chest. If this is not clearly visible you may be delayed at checkpoints.
Teams must have pre-registered before the day and consist of at least three competitors who will also count as individual competitors amongst the rankings. For a Team to successfully complete the race, a minimum of three members of that Team must finish.
Each participant must make sure he/she is carrying all items detailed in the mandatory kit list
You cannot change your race entry category or team once the race has started.
Relay team members: All originally designated members of a team must complete the leg they have chosen, and the following team member must not start the race until the person they are handing over from has arrived at that CP, otherwise automatic disqualification will apply. Changes to the team members and/or race order can only be made up until the team has signed in on the day of the race.
Competitors must go through all check points and it is their sole responsibility to ensure that the check point attendant has recorded their race number and entry/exit time along with any injuries; failure to do so at any check point will mean the competitor has failed to complete the race and will be disqualified.
All entrants must be 20 years or over on the start day of the race.
Mandatory Kit List
Competitors must carry the following items. Random bag checks will be made on registration. Anyone found not to have the correct kit will not be allowed to start the race
Backpack or equivalent
Head Torch with spare batteries
Ordnance Survey Map 150 (Our downloadable maps are ok)
Compass or GPS device
Emergency food pack consisting of a two chocolate bars,
Basic first Aid Kit
If any competitor has to retire for whatever reason they must contact the race organisers immediately, either by advising a checkpoint attendant or by telephoning the emergency number which will be written on the race numbers of each competitor.
The organisers want to give every competitor the opportunity of completing the race and will, where reasonable practicable, allow generous opening times of CP Stations; the allowance should be within an average of 4.0 miles per hour. If you fall below the 4.0 miles per hour you will be pulled from the race without concession.
In the event of Ultra Running Ltd. having to cancel the event, an alternative date will be provided. If re-scheduling of the event isn’t possible, or a competitor cannot make the revised date. URL undertakes to refund payments received, less any out of pocket expenses which are determined at 25%.
For all other circumstances, including Competitor cancellations due to personal reasons, refunds are not allowed. But at the discretion of the organisers an entry may be transferred to the following years race providing the request is within four weeks of the event date.
Any ‘transferred races’ or ‘reduced rate races’ are not refundable or transferable in any respect.
Ultra Running Ltd. reserve all exclusive rights relating to photographic coverage of their races. By entering an event, participants agree that Ultra Running Ltd may exclusively use any photographic or textual content captured during the event for advertisement purposes.
It is imperative that entrants achieve a minimum of 4 mph (including stops etc).
If you fall below this minimum requirement you will get pulled out of the race and not be allowed to continue any further with the Thames Challenge.
This isn’t debatable.
You are now able to add a Personal Cancellation Insurance Policy at the time of your booking.
The policy is provided through Event Protect Limited.
Please review what is covered under the policy HERE.
If you choose not to take out the Personal Cancellation Insurance Policy:
You still have the option to defer your entry until the following year through the entry system for just £15.00. This option is available up to four weeks of the event. After this time no transfers or deferrals are possible as URL commits financially to various race costs at this time.
Ultra Running Limited (URL) Terms & Conditions
This document constitutes an agreement between you (the Entrant) and URL (the Organiser). Entry into any of the URL races (the Events) is strictly conditional upon the entrant agreeing to all of the terms and conditions contained within this document (the Agreement). It is all entrants responsibility to have read and accepted this agreement before entering/registering for one or more of URL events. All entrants must be aged 18 and over.
Entrants are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their personal records within the event database. Should any information change between registration and participation, it is the individual entrants’ responsibility to ensure that they contact URL to update their records accordingly.
Entry Fees must be paid in full before entry to the event will be confirmed.
All event fees are NON REFUNDABLE under any circumstance.
By entering one of URL events, all entrants have acknowledged that they have read and agree to the event terms and conditions prior to their entry in to the event being confirmed. By doing so, the entrant is unreservedly accepting all of the terms and conditions of this agreement.
Use of Personal Data
The organiser or their agents will maintain a registration database for all entrants and their chosen emergency contact. All information will be collected, stored and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.
The organiser may use the entrants contact information to keep them informed of the event or to notify them of other events organised or promoted by URL.
Entrants give permission for the organisers, their agents, or any other associated organisations to use any photographs, video tapes, motion pictures, website images, recordings, or any other record of the event. Such articles may be used or included on websites, social media publications, advertising, promotional information, or other publicly accessible sources.
Personal Ability to Participate
It is the entrants’ responsibility to ensure they train appropriately and have the requisite level of fitness to be able to complete safely.
Entrants must ensure their personal health is suitable for participating in the event. If in any doubt the entrant should consult their doctor.
It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure the organisers are informed at the point of entry of any medical conditions that could be relevant for any first-aid treatment.
If a participant believes that it is unsafe for them to continue in the event, it is their duty to notify an event official as soon as practicable.
Participants must be competent runners & confident in their ability to complete the course safely.
Participation in the Event
The event is a race. Athletes compete within their respective age and gender category. Relay Teams compete against each other as separate categories.
Prizes are awarded to podium finishers in all categories except where a low number of entrants means it is impractical to do so. This is down to the organisers discretion.
All finishers will receive the stated prize, as per each individual race.
Participants must act in accordance with the law and adhere to both the Highway Code and the Country Code, where applicable.
Participants are responsible for competing safely and with due respect for others.
Participants must comply with the instructions of the organisers and other course officials.
The majority of URL event routes are NOT signed, the onus of remaining on course rests with the athlete. Marshall’s are places in appropriate places, according to the individual event and are there for your safety.
Should circumstances dictate, or in the interest of safety, the organisers reserve the right to make such changes to the published event routes as may be deemed necessary at their absolute discretion. In the event of the landowner e.g. the Forestry Commission or National Trust deeming it necessary to close access to the public, we the organisers reserve the right to a) reschedule or if this is not possible b) cancel the event. This will, in all cases be a last resort.
The organiser reserves the right to require a participant to retire from the race where their conduct is considered to be inappropriate. If required to retire the participant must surrender their race number to an event official and take no further part in the event.
Participants have a duty to report to an event official as soon as practicable, anything that they see or hear which they reasonably believe may impact on the safety or welfare of themselves or others, connected to the event or otherwise.
Whilst appropriate risk assessments will be carried out before the event, competitors assume full and complete responsibility for any injury or accident which may occur whilst travelling to or from the event, during the event, or whilst on any premises related to the event.
Racing in public places can be dangerous, all participants in this event must agree to waive, release and forever discharge the event organisers, sponsors, promoters, and each of their agents, representatives, successors and assigns, and all other persons associated with the event, from any liabilities, claims, actions, or damages that they may have against them arising out of or in any way connected with participation in this event. This includes any claims, whether caused by negligence, the action or inaction of any of the above parties, or otherwise.
Cancellation & Refunds
Entry fees for all URL events are NON REFUNDABLE under any circumstance.
Should circumstances dictate, or in the interest of safety, the organisers reserve the right to make such changes to the published event routes as may be deemed necessary at their absolute discretion. In the event of a force majeure, we the organisers reserve the right to a) reschedule or if this is not possible b) cancel the event. This will, in all cases be a last resort.
Entry fees are only valid for the original event, for which they were purchased. Places can be deferred to the next edition of the event (an additional cost of £15 is charged), where the event is more than four weeks away. After this point, this option is no longer available. In special circumstances, the organisers may be able to transfer names of individuals to another events. This is at the organisers discretion. Transfers can be requested by email up to 4 weeks before the event in question. No runner is permitted to enter or participate using another persons details.
If, for any reason what so ever, an entrant finds themselves unable to participate, they should notify the organisers as soon as reasonably practicable of their intention to withdraw from the event. This will allow the vacancy to be reallocated to anyone who may be on the event’s reserve list.
Entrants must exercise their own experience and judgement regarding their ability, equipment and preparedness to cope with the prevailing elements before they commence.
This agreement constitutes the whole agreement between the parties and any prior agreement, oral or written, are excluded.
Any failure by any party to enforce or to exercise at any time any term or any right under this agreement shall not be deemed to be a waiver of that term or right and shall not affect that party’s right to later enforce or to exercise it.
If any term of this agreement is found to be illegal or unenforceable it shall be deemed to be omitted from the agreement and shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the agreement.
Nothing in this agreement confers any right on third parties to enforce the provisions of this agreement under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.