A gentle trail run in rural Kent
South East Kent was home to a rich mining heritage and one of the legacies of that was a huge spoilage area outside of what was Betteshanger Colliery. In recent years this has been totally transformed in to what is now known as Betteshanger Country Park. (It used to be known as Fowlmead Country Park and this event is the successor to the Fowlmead Challenges that we had here.)
Betteshanger Country Park, near Deal in East Kent, has a two mile tarmac cycle track, leisure paths for cycling and walking and established woodlands, wetlands and reed beds full of wildlife and perhaps most importantly for our purposes a wide gently undulating trail around the edge that is traffic free and ideal for a gentle trail run!
For 2018 we thought it was time to rebrand and re-design the medals! Each Betteshanger Challenge you complete you'll get a different coloured part of the puzzle!
The event will have a six hour time limit for you to run as many, or as few laps as you wish. With a timed event, as long as you complete one lap, then you are an official finisher!
There are slopes rather than hills, so its not totally flat, each loop has maybe 100 feet of elevation rise, but there are some lovely woods to run through, ponds, grasslands, wet lands and some wild life to spot too! If its wet there might be a chance of some mud but the trails are high quality and drain well.
As usual we'll have a well stocked aid station, a unique custom made medal and a goody bag that actually contains goodies which will make the undulations and any mud more than worth it. There is also an on site cafe, a playground for kids and all in all is a nice place to host a run!
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to the Fowlmead Country Park in a positive fashion and as such £5 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the Park to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
This event forms part of a 10 Challenges in 10 Days Challenge, each event though is totally separate and you are free to just take part in one event, two events or however many you wish!
Please explore the races and consider joining us!
The course runs around the tarmac cycle track but at no point crosses it so there are no traffic concerns to worry about. The surface is a high quality gravel surface in the main with the odd patch of potentially muddy bits if they're wet but overall it's an excellent running surface and should produce some fast times.
The Fowlmead Challenge route is viewable on MapMyRun here.
There are slopes rather than hills, so its not totally flat, each loop has maybe 100 feet of elevation rise, but there are some lovely woods to run by, ponds, grasslands, wet lands and some wild life to spot too! If its wet there might be a chance of some mud but the trails are high quality and drain well.
The route is suitable for either road or trail shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I get?
You will receive
1) A really special finishers medal, custom made and designed, not a generic one.
2) A goody bag at the finish, which has goodies in, not a bunch of adverts. There will be nothing healthy in our goody bags, things they contain for example, chocolate, crisps, cider.
3) A well stocked base camp with plenty of nibbles and refreshments for during and post race replenishment, including the legendary Rachel's Rocky Road!
Where is the event?
Betteshanger Country Park, A258, Deal, Kent CT14 0BF. Please click here for our Betteshanger Country Park information. (Please note that the venue has also been known as Fowlmead Country Park)
Please note that whilst the final phase of building work is going on they've added some temporary structures and reconfigured the parking.
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day from the race base camp. This will be at the race start/finish area (Google Map) or in the cafe depending on the weather!
Are there time limits?
Yes, six hours to run as many laps as you can. You can finish at any time within the 6 hours and your final distance will be recorded along with your finishing time. Only complete laps within the 6 hours will be recorded or you must have left the aid station for your last lap by 5.59:59 after the event start. Any runner completing over 26 miles will have completed marathon distance and will count as a marathon finish for the purposes of the 100 Marathon Club, if you complete 27 miles then you've completed an ultra. As long as you finish one lap then you'll receive an official finish time, medal and goody bag. With timed events there are no DNFs as long as you complete one lap.
Do you have secure baggage facilities
No. But you're free to leave bags at the start/finish. There will always be someone around but we can't guarantee their security, in the event of rain we can't guarantee things won't get wet. You'll be able to park close to the start/finish don't forget.
Can I leave my own drinks/food at the aid station?
Yes no problem at all, we have a dedicated table for runners own supplies if they have anything special that they'd like to bring along..
Trail shoes? Road Shoes?
Either should be fine. The running surface is very good, if it's wet then maybe err towards trail, if its dry err towards road. The site drains very well being built on shale from the old mine.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using the Betteshanger Country Park which is part of a network of local footpaths, cycle paths and trails and is shared with ramblers, dogwalkers, horseriders and cyclists. However the cyclists do have their own dedicated trails so shouldn't be too much of an issue. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land. Please don't litter, we'll have a bin at the base camp and another on the far side of the course so please deposit any rubbish in these..
What on course facilities do you provide?
Water, squash, nibbles, goodies, starter, timekeeper and encouragement every lap! Base station will be well stocked for all runners. This is a typical example of the picnics, sorry aid station, we have...
How will the laps be counted?
At race registration you'll be handed a small laminated lap counting card, attach this to yourself with a safety pin or cable tie. At the end of each loop get this punched through by one of the hole puncher chaps or chappesses.
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
There are toilets, a cafe and a kids playground.
Can I use an ipod or mp3 player on the course?
Yes. Though please be aware that you are running on public footpaths with the general public so make sure that you pay attention to cyclists, people, dogs, horseriders, wildlife and so on.
The entry fee is a little more than normal – why is that?
We are holding this event by kind permission of the Betteshanger Country Park. £5 of every entry fee will be donated to the Park to assist in the maintenance and development of this lovely area.
Please visit our Betteshanger information page for general parking, directions and local area information about public transport, hotels etc.
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