D-Day Challenge - Charge up the Beach!
6th June 2019 will mark the 75th Anniversary of the famous D-Day landings and to mark this special occasion SVN are having a special event! Not only will we have an epic D-Day multi piece "Landing Craft" piece of bling to be earned, it's going to be low tide early on the day so we're going to start out on the sand flats as far out as we can so you can experience the running up the beach, admittedly without the Germans shooting at you!
We're going to use the "Long Reculver" route for this event, it will feature a tiny bit of navigation (but you're never more than about 50 yards from the sea so can't get that lost no matter what!) and a couple of gentle hills. This will basically be two short loops of 3.94 miles along the sea wall towards Epple Bay and then two loops along the coastal path towards the ruins of St Mary's Church (replicating the Viking Coastal Marathon route but carrying on past the turn around gate) and the Roman Fort at Reculver, around it, and then climb a couple of hills to the turn around and then lovely views of the area as you come back again down the slope, past the ruins on the 9.18 mile loop you'll do twice for those looking to do a marathon type distance.
We'll have a Half Marathon turn around for folk who want to do that distance too and enough time for quicker runners to drop in a cheeky Ultra if they're so inclined!!
The medal you'll earn at this event, a multi piece "Landing Craft"!
Having completed lots of events we believe we know what it takes to put on an enjoyable marathon for the fit, the dedicated and the hardcore long distance runners. And for those, like myself, who fit none of those categories, we'll do our best to get you round!
Come and join us for a bit of a run along the Kent Coast, we'll have a well stocked aid station, nice custom made medals and goody bags that actually contain goodies!
We put on events run exactly the way we wish they were all run. Low key, friendly and with most of the entry fee being spent on the runners. Please explore the races and consider joining us in Kent for a marathon or two.
We'll start on the promendade and walk on to the beach as far out as we can and then it's two short loops of 3.94 miles, all the way along the sea wall till it runs out and then back down to the sea wall and back to the aid station. You'll do this loop twice.
Then you'll do two loops along the coastal path towards Reculver Castle, then around the ruins, through the car park and then up the coastal path on to the cliffs for a mile or so, through a barrier, along a short tarmac path and then turn around at the little aid station we'll have there.
The view once you're through the Reculver car park - basically follow the line up the hill (its an embedded plastic grid to help cyclists)
And continue to follow the line up a couple of hills along the tops of the cliffs
Then through barrier, on to a short tarmac path until you reach a small car park where they'll be a little aid station and the turn around.
The view back down the coast towards Reculver on the way back.
You can view the long loop here - http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/737740805/
You can view the short loop here - http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/737718919/
Points of interest you will see
Reculver Towers and Fort: Romans built a fort at Reculver two thousand years ago to guard the channel separating the Isle of Thanet from Kent. More than half of the fort has been washed into the sea but the southern and eastern walls remain. The twin towers of Reculver are the remains of a medieval church.
Just before the turnaround at Reculver Castle is a working oyster farm.
Salt water lagoon: About half way along the route by a slight bend in the sea wall and a shingle ridge has created a sheltered area with a salt-water lagoon. Sea Purslane, Sea Beet and Saltmarsh Rush grow on the clay and shingle banks.
The is a train line that runs parallel to the course, its not very interesting, but the occasional train breaks up the otherwise fairly mundane coastal scenery. It really is very flat, off to sea are some wind farms, a few sea birds, doing what sea birds do and I've seen a couple of snails on the route (try not to tread on them!). I'm afraid no herds of wildebeest, mountain vistas or tropical islands are on view. Bring a friend to chat to or wear an iPod is my advice. Ah, so occasionally people DO read the course description pages then!
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I get?
You will receive each day...
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.
3) A well stocked base camp with plenty of nibbles and refreshments for post race replenishment. Again there is nothing healthy here, no isotonic drinks or fruit. But cookies, crisps, nuts, pringles, M&Ms and those sorts of things!
Where do I park?
There is lots of free unrestricted street parking right near the start on The Parade. There is also "paid parking" slightly closer, at the time of writing it's £4 per day. We'd expect everyone to be able to easily park within 300 yards of the start and for the sake of walking a 100 extra yards we'd suggest just parking along The Parade as there are well over 100 car parking spots there. Post code for Sat Navs is CT7 9QP (Google Maps)
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from the race base camp.
Why such early starts?
We like them! But mainly because the footpath/cyclepath that is used for the event is also open to the public and if the weather is nice then its quite popular with dogwalkers, ramblers and cyclists. With the early start then we'll be out of their way not long after lunch time when it starts to get busy. For the quicker runners this means they'll be done and dusted by late morning, just in time for well deserved hearty lunch and the rest of the day is yours!
Are there time limits?
The only cut off is having left the Birchington end aid station 4:30 after the event start. (If you are looking at running a marathon that means 16.9 miles in 4:30)
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.
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?
Road shoes. Its 99+% on decent tarmac/concrete or very high quality trails.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using the Viking Coastal Path which is part of a cycle route and is a nice enough walk alongside the coast. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land, especially near the start/finish area which is a popular area for people walking their dogs, so beware of animals and leads. Please don't litter. We'll have a bin at the base camp.
What on course facilities do you provide?
Water, squash, nibbles, 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...
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
Aside from base camp, no. There are public toilets at the edge of the paid car parking behind the cafe and bike hire shop, and a cafe nearby too. Please be aware that the official opening time for these is 0800. There are also toilets behind Reculver in the car park, so you'd have to go a bit long on a lap if necessary but there if you're in need, I'd say it's about 300 yards past the gate.
You'll pass within a few yards of both these sets of toilets.
How far apart are the aid stations?
Reculver Marathon - You'll be back at the base camp at 3.9 miles, 7.8 miles , 16.9 miles and there will be a simple water/cookies aid station at 13.3 and 21.5 miles.
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, children on bikes, wildlife and so on.
Birchington-on-sea has a train station, about a mile from the start/finish.
Could a supporter meet me at Reculver?
Absolutely, its well worth a visit for a little while. There is paid parking there and a visitor centre, a pub and some ruins. Its a short walk down to the route from the ruins.
What are the nearby hotels?
There are lots of B&Bs in Birchington, the Trip Advisor list of reviews starts here.