The Betteshanger Marathon

Pre Event Email

We've had the nice wide cycle track at Betteshanger Country Park officially measured so that its a now a certified road marathon course and we thought that it would be nice to have one marathon a year that is specifically aimed at those runners who aren't the quickest and can't make usual road marathon times, are intimidated by quicker road marathons or simply prefer the smaller, friendly type events rather than more competitive ones.

We want to see people achieve things. To use us as a bridge to bigger and greater things or simply to stay in the game that one year longer. To do things that they thought that they never could or could do no more. The reality is that some folk are a bit slower, a bit older, a bit less confident than others. This is their marathon. It's about as straightforward as it possibly can be, it's not easy. No marathon is easy, its always 26 miles 385 yards, its a long way. But the Betteshanger Marathon has an aid station every 2 miles, a line painted on the track to follow if you're worried about navigation, is pretty flat and has a near perfect wide tarmac surface.

Betteshanger Country Park, near Deal in East Kent, has a two mile tarmac cycle track and we're going to hire this for the day to use this for The Betteshanger Marathon. Key features of the event are going to be:-

1) Regulation start at 0900.

2) Bespoke Betteshanger Marathon medal.

3) Usual Saxons, Vikings & Normans goody bag and "picnic" aid station!

4) Classified as a road marathon, will be 12.96 laps of the flat wide tarmac track

5) 100 runner limit, 8 hour time limit.

There are slopes rather than hills, so its not totally flat, each loop has maybe 50 feet of elevation rise.

It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to the Betteshanger 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.

Please explore the race and consider joining us!

Event Specific FAQ

So its just like the London Marathon then 26 miles 385 yards?
Yes, exactly the same distance. But without the crowds, the 40000 runners, the interesting things to look at or D list celebrities. But how many people can say they've run around on top of a slag heap? So yes, exactly the same. Sort of. But is a certified road marathon and the medal will say "marathon" on it.

Will the track be closed for us all day?
Yes. But to be honest if big Rick wants to have a ride around later when there are three folk left on the course then we're not going to be too worried. But essentially the track is ours all day.

So the mass start will be at 0900?
We're just going to have a start at 0900. We asked The Pope to hold a Mass start but he's running Munich that day. We can ask one of our running vicar chaps to do a Blessing if you wish, or say a few prayers if you like. So no Mass at the start. Oh, am I getting mixed up here?

What wave will I be in?
If we can get it going we'll have a Mexican Wave at the start. Or as the start and finish are about 100 yards apart then we can wave at you as you start if you like.

I'm a faster runner? Can I come along?
Sure. It's just a regulation running around on top of an old slag heap marathon. All are welcome.

Can I start late?
Yes. But
1) Latest time to start is 1100.
2) We'll write your start time on your bib and you'll get an approximate finish time to the minute and we'll round it up.
3) Don't run a PB as seriously we're rounding up to the nearest minute.
4) Don't set a world record.
5) There is a hard time limit at this event and that's 8:00 after the main start. You're subject to that limit nomatter what time you start.
6) Be reasonable. We doubt anyone is going to take 8+ or so hours for this in reality. If you start at 10:59 and finish at 16:59 and are an hour behind everyone else then yes we'll be there and yes you'll get an official finish. But you won't be winning any friends. We're allowing this so quicker runners can support slower runners later in the game by starting an hour or two late, please be reasonable!

What about personal chip timing?
This will be possible once the cafe opens. Bring your plate of chips trackside and each lap eat one chip. When they're all gone you're done and tell us your time. If its under two hours we'll assume Malcolm the Magpie has been stealing your chips.

Why have a 8 hour limit and upset people who think that's too long?
We like to be transparent. We could mask it by having early starts and not enforcing time limits but then people would still feel a bit put out as these early starts tend to be secret and not available to everyone and if you're going to have a limit and not enforce it, then it's a bit pointless really having one at all. Here you'll know exactly what's going on.

Doesn't having a 8 hour limit mean that its easy and we'll suddenly get lots of slow runners and walkers get in to the 100 Marathon Club?
There are 250+ marathons a year for quick runners, this one is for slower ones. One time a year. We look forward to welcoming our first 130 year old member in to the 100 Marathon Club.

Am I forced to go slowly and take 8 hours?
Nope you can go as fast as you like, it's just a normal marathon but we're bringing chairs and if you need to take a bit longer than the average marathon runner then we're going to be there for you. We'll start to wind down towards the end as we don't really expect people to take quite this long and we'll be packed and ready to go at the end as the Park will physically close.

What happens if I finish at 8:00:01
It's a DNF. You'd better get a move on to your car as you have 4:59 before the Park closes.

Yes, that's what a hard time limit is. We enforce time limits.

What happens if I finish at 8:06:00
The Park opens at 0800 next morning as you'll be locked in and you'll be wondering why you're all alone.

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