Updated: Feb 4
The Capital Ring is like a footpath version of the M25 - it goes all the way round London in a continuous loop. for some 78 miles. Although, it’s a lot harder to follow than the M25! With us both living very close to the path and having raced on it (badly) in the early days we’d always had the thought of doing the whole thing in a oner. With Autumn 100 (daz) and Albi 24 Hour World Championships (bone) coming up and the need for a long training run that had some kind of meaning, we decided to take a crack at setting a new “FKT” (Fastest Known Time) for the route.
FKTs are quite a new concept for us but they’ve been around in the ultra-world for a long time and are getting increasingly popular. Big multi-day attempts on famous routes by pro athletes attract a lot of attention, and money. This one would be, er, somewhat lower key. We checked out the information on the current records at: https://fastestknowntime.com/route/capital-ring-london-uk and found there were two records held by Sam Anderson (Supported in 14:36) and Alexander Steer (Self-Supported in 15:43). Not sure exactly what category we’d fall into running as a pair we figured we’d start off at a pace that might see us near Sam’s time and just see how it went. The main purpose was the training run and any thoughts of new marks was a secondary concern. We contacted Sam and Alex to let them know anyway and they were both super supportive, thanks guys.
We set off at 05:35 on Friday the 20th of September from the canal bridge at White Post Lane, near the Olympic Park:
We’d picked this start time and location to maximise daylight running and try to ensure we didn’t encounter any locked parks (a lot of the route goes through public parks). The first few miles along the Jubilee path went easily and smoothly and the park opening plan almost worked, we had to climb over a couple of spiky gates, just as daz almost crippled himself on one of them the park warden appeared with a bunch of keys to open up! From there on in the park opening plan worked well, until we almost got stuck in a graveyard.
The recent weather had been very hot for September and this day was no exception. We enjoyed some glorious early sunny hours and some surprisingly unspoilt almost rural trail through parks of east and south London. There was a novelty factor in crossing the Thames via the Woolwich Foot Tunnel and soon we were on the long westbound section of the path that would take us all th