29.06.2009 – 20:10:33 h – Rajeev Patel (USA / DNF bei Meile 183):
Anthony and Dick,
Let me first congratulate you both on a spectacularly organized and executed event. Your Race Directing skills are simply superb. You had the chutzpah to not only dream big but to deliver on your promise!
Let me also thank the amazing team of volunteers who stayed up until all kinds of hours to welcome us into checkpoints with warm smiles and ever helping hands. Special thanks to Kathy who was kind enough to drive me back to STreatley after I dropped from the race.
Congratulations to all of you runners who started this race. It takes a lot of courage to do battle with an opponent one is not sure one can best and you all showed exemplary courage.
To those who made it to the Finish - you folks Rock!!! I can only imagine what you must have gone through in those long miles towards the end. Gosh! What an achievement.
To those who stopped along the way (that includes me) let me offer the sage words of Neal Donald Walsch, forwarded to me by my dearest friend Anu, "The voice of caution knows nothing of real joy. What joy is there in doing what there was no doubt you could do? Try something you could fail at..that just could be living".
Finally to my newest friends Neal Kapoor, Jonathan Kinder, Alicja Barahona, Brigid Browne, Carl Sommer, Christian Hottas and Javed Bhatti - thank you for priceless memories, ones that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You are amazing runners and human beings.
I will post race pictures once I upload them to my computer back home in the US.
Hugs to you all.
29.06.2009 – 22:43:54 h – Paul Mott (GBR / DNF):
I would like to echo Rajeev's sentiment and add my sincere congratulations to all the finishers; a truely amazing acheivement.
I would also like to thank everyone for making my first experience of a non-stop such an enjoyable one. Everyone I met on the trail was so positive, which really helped me. I didn't complete but frankly that is not always what it's all about; sometimes you learn more by not completeting.
As for the organisation; first class. I don't know everyones name but I do recognise selflessness and you were all brilliant, thank you so much for taking such good care of me, it really makes such a huge difference. I have never experienced such great support at checkpoints; I will have to see if the girlfriend can be so efficient when I get in from the pub at 1am!!
I look forward to running with you all some day in the near future.
Thanks Anthoney and Dick - a great event.
All the best.
02.07.2009 – 15:05:14 h – Alicja Barahona (USA / Gesamt-Dritter und Frauensiegerin):
2009 Thames Ring 250 miler is history but history is not forgotten by those who were part of it. I would like to express my gratitude to the great race directors Anthony and Dick, who were able to put on such a fantastic event. The route was spectacular. I vividly recall the smell of the flowers and hear the birds singing in the middle of the night. I am under enormous impression of the Windsor Castle and cannot comprehend that this belongs to one family! What an excess!
The volunteers at each check point were phenomenal. They waited for hours for a runner coming in and like in a Formula One car race pit stop, they help us to heal our body and prepare for the next stage in a matter of minutes. Reaching a checkpoint it was like coming home, a great feeling. We left the checkpoints with full tummy, rested and with a bunch of words of encouragement that carried us to another CP! To each volunteer I would like to say “Thank you. We couldn’t do this race without you”.
I ran with incredible runners. As Raj wrote, we made new friends and hopefully with some I will meet on a running path. I wish I could spend time with each of you at least one stage between checkpoints. You all are amazing group of runners. I wish you all the best. Meantime relax and hit the trail with an extra strength that you encountered during the Thames Ring 250!
To Anthony and Dick, I hope the success of this race inspires you to organize next year.
Many thanks and big hugs to each of you,
02.07.2009 – 15:53:12 h – Brigid Browne (GBR / DNF):
Second all that Alicja..:-)tried to donate via your Sahara site but encountered a problem so perhaps you could lets us know where I can sponsor you on "completing" the event..lets all do it for the pink bows!
As a non finisher I would def like to return in 2011 and try and complete the course.
Meanwhile thanks to:
Ant and Dick as always...apologies for dragging you out to find me when I was actually so close to check point 6 dohh! & lovely hot chocolate!!
Joan Clarke for stopping me getting a chill on wet grass...grassy arse mate!X and for lovely hot chocolate!
Lucy Gettings loan of her car for a bit of restless leg twitching and making lovely hot chocolate
Lady who was on Wessex 100 who I always want to call Wendy for waking me up in tent and the lovely hot chocolate
Other check point chappies who were so attentive and lovely. You made me feel like a "real" lady..no one waits on the "Griblet" usually!! & lovely hot chocolate
Pete J & Jav (Jarvis) for putting up with my severe flatulence which was most unlady like and not at all like me...honest!!
Love to all those others that, like me did not make it...we'll be back err...wont we??
As for you who made it...I am in awe. I'd be envious but am pretty green to all this anyway. I am simply thrilled to have met real life Super Heroes!! "Ultra Man (Lady)"...they go on and on and on and on and on.
02.07.2009 – 16:41:50 h – Javed Bhatti (GBR / Elfter):
Can I add to Rajeev and Alicja's fine words.
Simply fabulous event - I seem to have spent it all socialising and eating.
I came home 1kg heavier and my address book much fuller. Whoever talked about the loneliness of long distance running - or those that use running to lose weight - cannot have experienced the camaraderie or amazing support at events like Thames Ring.
Anthony and Dick - for services to the field of ultra-running we award you honorary knighthoods ............ well perhaps you will have to settle for half a squidgy Mars Bar and a pint ........ that is until HRH takes up distance running. Every checkpoint was an oasis - albeit in some pretty
unlikely locations. Well done and count me in for more of the same.
Hope to see you all at the next big one !!
PS. Legs ok ............ just waiting for the blisters to heal.
02.07.2009 – 18:29:04 h – Stuart Gillett (GBR / Gesamt-Zweiter): I think most things have been said - But,
Thanks to Dick and Anthony. Without you ultrarunning in the UK would have a pretty meagre and dull calender.
To all who helped at the checkpoints - thankyou for your time, help and kindness.
To Pat - Thankyou for your support and the lift back to the station. To give up your rest time and drive back from Poole was greatly appreciated.
To John - A fantastic victory. You are a true inspiration, but next time I will catch you!
To all the competitors - It is you who make ultrarunning such a truly special sport that I am proud to be part of.
03.07.2009 – 13:56:46 h – Stephen Thompson (GBR / Gesamt-Dreizehnter):
Anthony and Dick, thanks for your commitment to the great vision. Please also pass on many thanks to Joan and the other helpers at the checkpoints.
Javed, thanks for the fish and chips.
To the unknown passing cyclist who woke me up after several hours involuntary kip the other side of Abingdon, many thanks for keeping me in the race, just about.
Stuart S, thanks for listening to my sleep deprived nonsense. Not sure whether I was awake or dreaming after Abingdon.
Lucy G, how wonderful to see you towards the end. (Actually, I'd be very grateful if someone could forward this message to Lucy. I have her cap- freshly washed of course!).
A classic example of great British adventure (and eccentricity, well in my case at least), and so great to see faces from around the world.
All the best.
06.07.2009 – 14:12:46 h – Christian Hottas (GER / Gesamt-Zehnter):Dear All,
There have been so many fine words about the 1st Thames Ring Race, organized by Dick and Anthony, but in fact it’s impossible to describe all the impressions, the adventure and the great people (RDs, volunteers and runners) involved in this fantastic event. As for most (if not: all) of the runners this race had been the longest distance I ever run in one non-stop event and as you know the course wasn’t easy to run in all of its sections.
But I did it, I succeeded and enjoyed all of it (maybe except some hallucinations because of extreme sleep deprivation) and it was always a real pleasure to come to the next checkpoint and again to meet all the friendly and caring people. It mostly felt like coming home. So special thanks not only to Dick and Anthony for the idea and realisation of this unique race but also to Lucy G and Joan, to Christine Usher (it was a surprise to meet you again after our first come-together at the legendary South Downs Way Run 1995!), to Kim J and to all the marshals whose names I don’t know. Thanks also to the fellow-runners I was privileged to run with like Javed, Steve, Paddy, Stuart S, Rajeev. It was great to meet you and to travel with you on the canal-side! All the best!