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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > September 2018 > KLICKS AND STONES

KLICKS AND STONES

EDITOR AND RELUCTANT ULTRARUNNER ISAAC WILLIAMS SHUFFLES BACK IN TIME FOR RACE TO THE STONES, A 100K ULTRA ALONG BRITAIN’S OLDEST TRAIL

At some 5,000 years old, The Ridgeway has borne witness to Roman generals, Viking armies, Medieval knights and now me, adding to the path’s rich history by somehow making a 100K race look even harder than it actually is.

I’m treading this hallowed trail for Race to the Stones, a 100K ultramarathon that’s consistently voted as Britain’s best. My friend’s Rick (of former Men’s Running editorship fame) and Nick convinced me to sign up on the premise that it would “be a laugh.” Running 100K isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but having completed and thoroughly enjoyed its sister event last year – the 53-mile Race to the King – I couldn’t help but agree. For such a high-profile event (in ultrarunning’s typically low-profile terms), the start is surprisingly low-key. On gathering in a large field just off the M1, the early 7:45 wave – of which I am one – is summoned to the start line and, after a briefing of the usual race rules (shut gates behind you, don’t get an Uber to the finish, etc) we’re plodding off into the distance – with the first 20K or so offering a prime example of trail running’s unique appeal.

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About Men's Running

Men's Running special edition - 25 races to do before you die. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: it's a phrase that many of us runners can attribute to our running exploits. It's so easy to do the same events every year and never branch out, and yet life outside our personal bubbles is big, bold and exciting. As a former editor of this esteemed publication, I have been afforded the chance to race all over the world. I have done this not because I expected to be any good at the events I attended - quite the opposite in fact - but because it propelled me out of my running rut and towards a goal that was simply about finishing and enjoying the race. I have never had a bucket list of races I wanted to tick off, but, if I did, I imagine that many of them would be included in this Men's Running special. We've literally scoured the world of running to bring you some of the finest, most spectacular, most interesting and sometimes most unusual of events. It's been a journey that has taken us from the icy temperatures of Arctic Sweden to reggae-infused Jamaica, with a few obstacles and even some horses thrown in. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.