Route: Capital Ring (London, UK)

Location
United Kingdom
Description

sanderson posted the route:

The Capital Ring is a 78 mile (126km) path around London, linking up parks and green places. It officially starts at Woolwich Foot Tunnel but the circular nature of the path means that it can be started and finished at any place. I have researched an FKT for this path but as yet have been unable to find any record of an attempt. 

Mick Warwick posted about a possible FKT:

Found some notes and photos by a guy called Sark Kenny he claims to have done the entire run in 20 hours and 40 minutes (supported) [Oct. 19-20, 2013]
Photo evidence enough? His captions are more of a history of London and less of a run log. - www.adventuresinbetween.com/capital-ring-run-photos?lightbox=imageqae

Images

Comments

My friend Rob Dougall and I ran this for my Birthday last year. We had to go around some of the parks that were either not open or closed when we passed through but in all instances we took a longer rather than a shorter path. Here's a Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/1028291459. Here it is on Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1787023699. Our duration for the whole run was 17:40 but 18 minutes was running to and from the trailhead - so let's go with 17:22.

There are photos on my Strava track. It was a fun way to spend the day and see some of London I would have never seen otherwise - but I enjoyed running around Mount Rainier much more in terms of scenery. It's a pretty urban slog. I think beating this FKT would be relatively easy for someone who is in good shape and has a nice summer day to spend circumnavigating the capital - our pace was not super fast. Summer is better as paths are dry and days are long - this trail can get super muddy in the wet weather.

Hi Matthew. Thank you for all the details, it’s been really helpful in my planning (and inspirational!). I’m giving this a go in a couple of weeks time, so will let you know how I get on. 

I've posted on the old site, was hoping to do this last year but didn't get chance. I'm aiming to have a go at the record this Thursday 28th June starting around 6am.

Rob and Matthew's time is a hard act to follow especially during a heatwave!

I've completed a full recce of the Capital Ring. I'm expecting to have to detour off the Greenway and around Highgate woods but will ensure I take a longer route than the main one for these sections.

I'm running self supported, i've asked a couple of people to witness me as proof but they won't be providing assistance.

I tried out a spot tracker but found it unreliable so i'm recording the run with my Suunto Ambit. Hoping that Runkeeper also holds out on my phone but phone battery may not hold out the full duration. I'll try and use Runkeeper Live - this should be the link to follow my progress but couldn't get it working on a test: http://runkeeper.com/user/superstorr or it might be http://runkeeper.com/user/superstorr/activitylist

I'll be tweeting my progress at @superstorr and posting to instagram at superstorr with the hashtag captialringfkt

Fingers crossed!

On my 28th June attempt, starting at Green Lanes by Finsbury Park, I managed 19hrs 05min solo self supported so a little way off the latest FKT.  

My Runkeeper livetrack worked until about Harrow then froze up. I have full .GPX files from my Sunnto & Runkeeper phone app.

Amazing day and just about recovered now. 

I'll post a bit more detail about the run here when I get chance in case its helpful for anyone ready to have a go.

Hats off to Rob & Mathew, their time is impressive.

Great attempt Superstorr - fantastic time! I’m trying this next month, hoping cooler weather may help! What part did you find most challenging?

Thanks! Sorry for the slow reply, not looked on here for a while. The hardest part was 79 miles close to the end up by East Finchley. I'd checked the route run by the record holders and it looked like I could get back onto the Ring route after a detour but actually couldn't. I ended up doing extra distance when my feet were really hurting. Other than that I found it tough after around 60 miles after Brentford. The terrain wasn't challenging, it was just hard to stick to a run/jog rather than a walk after so many miles.

Did you manage an attempt? Interested to know how it went if you did.

Great time David.   Going it alone is undoubtedly tougher than either supported or as a pair.  

I’d be very interested in a more detailed report, specifically about parts which are not accessible during certain hours.   I’ve been keen to do this complete route for the last 18 months and run know about 50miles  of the route.   I’d be starting a few hundred metres from my house in Crystal Palace and yet to decide on which direction.  

Any advice would be appreciated.

Peter 

Hi Peter,

If you click on my time above on the FKT listing there's a link to more detail and a race report at the bottom if that helps.

The closures I experienced were Clissold park, Abney park Cemetery, Highgate Woods and the path above Cherry Tree Wood after East Finchley tube.

Given you're starting the opposite side from me if you go for an early start you'll experience quite different park closures to me I think.

If you go anticlockwise you'll likely find Richmond Park closed which would mean a substantial detour.

I recce'd the last 15 miles which I knew i'd be doing in the dark so I could figure out where i'd have to detour & also what it was like in certain bits with a headtorch in the dark. I'd suggest doing that depending on which way you decide to go to make sure you know the closures and good detours for that last bit. Also helps to have done the last stretch so you know what to expect when you're exhausted near the end! 

If you do go clockwise and start early you'll be in the dark beyond Gallions Reach round to the Woolwich tunnel which might feel quite isolated at night. Worth a recce to get familiar with this - not sure if they close the path over the lock gates at night here.

Happy to advise further if I can help. Feel free to email me at superstorr@hotmail.com

Cheers

David

Thanks for good advice from all above. I'm planning on running this on 16th March this year. I've recce'd it all so far and feel confident with the route. Got some friends joining me for sections of it.

Good luck! - interested to see how you go. Well worth a recce even though it's signposted well.

Hi folks. I made my own attempt on the Capital Ring last night (7.4.19), setting off from the Viewtube in Stratford at 4am (1 mile walk from Stratford station with an all night service and buses).

In 2017, I ran the route in two days, and I have been building up to complete it in one shot ever since!

I completed a self supported attempt in 17hrs 02min 32sec overall (stopping at shops, cafes and water fountains on route for hydration and nuitrition- just me and a trail vest!).

The following parks were closed, so I had to run around them:

Beckton District Park

Maryon Park

Hornfair Park

Abney Cemetery

And I've added my Strava data here: https://www.strava.com/activities/2273422911

Garmin connect:
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3535764268

If anyone is looking to try it themselves, I'd be happy to answer questions about logistics!