Saxon Shore Seaside Series 2021 - 10 Challenge Events in 10 days on the Kent Coast
From 26th November to 5th December 2021 we're going to hold a series of 10 consecutive challenges based out of Samphire Hoe, near to Dover, Kent. It will be a tough challenge, mentally and physically to do all ten, but we know lots of folk who can do this, even if they don't know it themselves. Yet. In fact this will be the toughest 10x10 in the world, you're looking at upwards of 25000' of climb for 10 Marathons, 30000' of climb if you're thinking of ultras.
The plan is to have four different courses - half inside Samphire Hoe - half inside and outside Samphire Hoe. Four events (weather permitting!) will be on the standard 3.28 mile sea wall loop, one event will be on the back up 3.28 non-sea wall loop. And five will be on two alternative routes that involve going up on to the top of the cliffs! Folks may have noticed that the bike path on top of the cliffs has been upgraded of late in to a wonderful running surface and we intend to make use of it! These routes will be either 6.55 or 8.74 mile loops.
The routes, all being well with the weather (a big if!) are set up so that there will be 5 days involving the sea wall, 5 days not. With no more than two consecutive days on it, as we do appreciate for some this isn't their favourite part of Samphire Hoe. So five days with plenty of climb on to the cliffs, five days reasonably flat. Two of the routes are weather independant so even if the weather is dreadful for the whole event, there willl be five inside Samphire Hoe, five outside... it's going to be a tough challenge.
This page is just some extra information about the Saxon Shore Seaside Series, each of the events is totally separate.
Remember that each day is a Challenge Event. You can ring the bell after one lap if you wish.
We'll have a distance as close to a full marathon as we can each day, one extra lap will be an ultra, we'll have half marathon and 50k options as close as possible as we can to the exact distances.
10 x 10 FAQ
Can I run 10 half/full/ultra marathons in 10 days?
It's tough, its hard work, but very achievable. It's mainly getting yourself to half/marathon/ultra type level fitness, going a bit beyond that and then having the will power. And liking the sea, and flat sea walls and hills. And grey. And chocolate. You can do it. You just have to want to do it. A lot. We've got some really dull routes, on hard surfaces, in the middle of winter. It'll be cold, possibly wet and bound to be windy. You've got to really want to do it. This is going to be the toughest 10x10 we've laid on, and the toughest in the world, ever we believe. There is going to be a lot of climb, fortunately a lot of climb on decent surfaces and also a lot of down too likewise on decent surfaces. It's achieveable. But you're going to have to earn it.
Are there time limits?
Yes. For each event you must be out on your last lap 5:59:59 after the start even if you finish that last lap after the six hour time limit. For the 8.74 mile route that'll be a 4:59:59 limit.
What's a hard cut off?
It means we mean it! 5:59:59 and you're just fine. 6:01 and you're finished for the day. We have to be fair to the helpers and volunteers and don't want them freezing for hours on end whilst folk take 8 or 9 hours for a marathon/ultra not to mention it'll be dark. Hard means hard. See below on the no crying or bitching rule! Last lap by 5:59:59 you can do that. If you can't then take a day off and rest and come back the day after.
Can I start early?
All races are going to start at 0830. There are no early starts, I don't believe in them, what event are you part of if you're wandering around by yourself at 0600 in the morning? And no we don't care that other events let their runners start hours early and wander around in 8/9/10 hours. No early starts!
Do I have to race money for charity?
You can if you want, but not compulsory. Totally up to you. £5 of each runners entry fees are going to Samphire Hoe. So if you're in for all 10 then you're already donating £50 to charity... thank you! SVN will be donating around £7000 in total as a result of this series.
Will I get 10 medals?
Will I get a sore neck from the compulsory “all ten medals around my neck” selfie on the last day?
Quite possibly. No sympathy or liability accepted for medal related injuries!
I hear your goody bags are pretty decent, do I get one each day?
Yes, liking chocolate is pretty much compulsory. You'll be getting 9 lots of it plus an advent calendar with some in.
I'm not sure that I can eat that much chocolate, what can I do?
Stand at the finish line waving bars or bags of chocolate around asking for help, you'll be amazed how quickly I will arrive.
Do you provide ice baths after each days run?
Yes we do, its called the sea. Feel free to go waddle/sit/paddle/swim in it. Don't be surprised if you're alone though. It's Winter, it'll probably be raining, windy and bloody freezing already and you want ice baths? Don't be silly or be silly and freeze!
I've heard if I don't have daily physio there is no way I can do this or else how will I be “fixed” or “put back together” at the end of each day?
At the finish of each run we'll count your legs, if you have two, then you're good to go. Just get on with it.
Am I allowed to cry?
No. There is no crying, no whining, no bitching, no sad face selfies at mile 19 and no Facebook posts saying how broken you are and don't know how you can continue.
I've seen photos of other 10x10 events and there is lots of hugging and crying why none here?
Because this is hard work not life and death. It's not an emotional roller coaster, its not the hardest thing you've ever done, no group hugs at the start, no group photos at the finish. No you don't have to wear the same shirt. If you're doing this for kudos or adulation then you've come to the wrong place, a nod and a handshake means as much from those that know than endless bloody hugs and tears. Turn up, get it done, eat some cake and chocolate, smile, repeat!
I used the word “broken” in a Facebook post and I still have two legs is there a forfeit?
Yes, an extra lap the next day.
If I'm a bit sore on day six can I have the day off?
Sure, each day is an individual event, you can have a day off and a lie in if you like and then come back the next day. Nobody will think any the less of you and in fact are amazingly impressed that you've done 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 challenges, you've not let anyone down. Anyone who says they have will get a sharp left hook from the Race Director. Or you can start late and do a lap and have a nice lie in.
Will there be a large crowd of people to cheer me on the last day and tell me how amazing I am?
No, there will be 3 sea gulls who will try to dive bomb you and old Eric and his dog Jasper. Jasper will bark a bit and think you're amazing if you give him a few chips otherwise he's not impressed.
Will there be TV crews?
Only to record the crime scene if someone posts up a heart rending selfie video on Facebook saying they are broken, can't go on, tearfully wailing they've let everyone down and then do a PB next day.
What's the best way to train for a challenge like this?
Start off with cup cakes every 6-7 miles working your way up to full blown chocolate cake and cheesecake by mile 17. Eat cookies every mile or two, scoff at folk who eat 15 gels a race.
Will you be supplying gels and isotonic drinks as otherwise I don't think I can run a marathon without them?
We'll supply cookies, cakes and a get out of the bloody aid station encouragement instead.
No awards? No prizes?
We want this to be a fun, low pressure achievable challenge. We don't want folk to feel under pressure to do all 10 if they're suffering. We don't want folk running half crippled or injured, doing actual real world damage to themselves, if you want to skip a day, then do, there is no pressure. Handshake and a well done if you're a chap, hug and a well done if you're a girl.
We're low key, just enjoy pushing yourself. If you've read down this far then you're probably the ideal person do be doing this, we like folk you because you've taken a few minutes to read what we've written and have a fair idea of what you're getting yourself into. There is a deep sense of satisfaction from knowing you've done these things, pushed your limits, you don't need the adulation, the likes, the kudos, just a lean back in a chair a long time from here and the thought that drifts across your mind. "I can't believe I did that."
And the even deeper sense of satisfaction from picking up that chocolate bar and thinking, you know, I bloody earned this!