A team of athletes will run 135 miles in five days, from London to The National Running Show in Birmingham

Organisers of The National Running Show have announced details of the Towpath Challenge, which will take place in the lead-up to the inaugural show in January 2018.

The Towpath Challenge will see a team of endurance athletes run 135 miles in five days from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London to the NEC in Birmingham, starting on Sunday January 14 and finishing on Thursday January 18.

The runners will cover an average of 27 miles a day during daylight hours and are inviting running enthusiasts to join them for sections along the route (email [email protected] for more information). Their progress will be trackable via nationalrunningshow.com

The Towpath Challenge sections are:

Day 1, Sunday January 14: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to West Hyde
Day 2, Monday January 15: West Hyde to Leighton Buzzard
Day 3, Tuesday January 16: Leighton Buzzard to Blisworth
Day 4, Wednesday January 17: Blisworth to Stockton
Day 5, Thursday January 18: Stockton to NEC Birmingham

The Towpath Challenge participants will carry their own winter running essentials as well as their own food during the day, and are due to camp each night.

Confirmed runners include accomplished British adventurer, endurance athlete and presenter Russell Smith, who will also be the run leader; Jamie Ramsay, who ran 17,000km unsupported from Vancouver to Buenos Aires; Luke Tyburski, who has completed a unique 2000km, 12-day solo triathlon from Morocco to Monaco; minimalist runner Aleks Kashefi, known as Barefoot Aleks, who is the first person to have run the entire length of the European continent; Ben Smith, who completed 401 marathons in 401 days; and Elise Downing, who ran the coast of Britain solo and unsupported. Twice the Health will also be taking on the Towpath Challenge, with nutritionist Emily and PT Hannah both experienced runners of multiple 50km races.

The Towpath Challenge_lowres

Mike Seaman, founder of The National Running Show and an experienced ultra runner, will be joining the team all the way to the NEC as well as Raoul Monks, an ambassador of the show and finisher of multiple ultra-marathons.

The National Running Show will be opened at 9:00 on Saturday January 20, 2018, by Dame Kelly Holmes, who will go on to head up the first-class programme of speakers also including Jo Pavey.

Towpath Challenge participants Russell Smith, Jamie Ramsey, Luke Tyburski, Aleks Kashefi, Ben Smith and Elise Downing will also be speaking at The National Running Show. The full programme is available at nationalrunningshow.com

The National Running Show takes place on January 20-21 and will see race organisers, sports retailers, sports brands, nutrition experts, official sporting bodies and communities gather under one roof like never before. Over 14,000 runners have already registered for tickets to this innovative show.

“We are excited to unveil the details of the Towpath Challenge, which we have created as an exciting and challenging build-up journey to the opening of our inaugural show,” said Seaman.

“I am looking forward to running all the way from London to the NEC in Birmingham with a team of high-profile and well-respected endurance runners, who will then be swapping the towpath for the speakers’ stage.

“I am sure this is going to attract the attention of many runners and non runners, and we are looking forward to sharing stories from the Towpath Challenge at the show.”