An achievable 100 mile run- with added spooky!
We've been very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold a 100 mile ultra event at Samphire Hoe. On Halloween. With a Full Moon... so there will be some added spooky overtones and the night will be long... and we're going to be both over and under, and through the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to Samphire Hoe in a positive fashion and as such £5-£20 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the nature reserve to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
We want runners to achieve incredible things. The main event will be a 100 mile endurance run of 5 x 8.87 mile loops around Samphire Hoe, up through the tunnel and along the top of the cliffs and then 15 times 3.71 mile loops just through the lower part of Samphire Hoe. In addition we'll hold 24 hour, 6 hour timed challenges on Saturday along with the usual Pacer Challenge.
The course is a mix of very high quality gently rolling trail, bike paths and a nice dead flat sea wall, quite literally all within the shadow of the famous White Cliffs of Dover, the part up the cliffs isn't ridiculously steep and you do get the benefit of a nice downhill on the way back! There is some wild life to keep an eye out for, you'll be able to see what's going on at both Dover and Folkestone Harbours, there will no doubt be some ships to see and some trains to spot too for good measure! If its clear you can even see France!
We want runners to achieve incredible things and so we've set up this 100 mile run to be as achievable as possible. This event is ideal for first time 100 mile runners as we take away many of the issues with the bigger point to point 100 milers such as navigation or tricky terrain or for more experienced ultra runners looking for a quicker 100 mile time, or to hone ultra skills or simply to earn an ace buckle, medal and top quality 100 mile finisher shirt. The key features are
1) A 32 hour time limit. Start is 0800 on Saturday.. Cut off is 1600 on Sunday (That allows an average pace of over 19 minutes per mile)
2) No navigation. It's two simple loop/out and back loops , the sea wall is solid and flat, the trail is high quality and slightly rolling to give the legs a bit of a different work out. We'd estimate the total elevation gain for the 100 miles to be about 5600' probably less than most folk imagine looking up at those cliffs!
3) No compulsory kit aside from lights required when dark
4) No large gaps between aid stations. You'll be able to get fluids/food/access your gear every 3.71 miles on the short loop and on the longer one it's a figure of 8 type course with the aid station in the middle.
5) Get out of jail card. We appreciate that the reality of 100 milers is that not everyone finishes. You'll be able to drop down to the 24 hour event any time before 0800 on Sunday and receive an official finish, medal and goody bag.
6) For 100 mile finishers there will be a new kick-ass buckle and finishers shirt. And although we doubt you'll fancy it at the finish, a goody bag of course!
7) We always feel pacers get a raw deal at ultras, nobody ever knew they were there, we want to change that! For people supporting 100 Mile runners we have the Pacer Challenge. They can keep their runner company for as much or as little as they wish after 1800 on the Saturday, one lap and they are an official finisher, eight laps and they'll receive an official ultra finish. (We'll also have a 7 laps plus a small loop for folk who "just" want to run a marathon distance.) Thus they can keep runners company, be very much part of the event, they'll have their laps recorded, receive an official finish, receive a Samphire Challenge medal and a goody bag. (Please note that you cannot drive in to Samphire Hoe between 1700 Saturday night and 0700 Sunday morning, so please plan any pacers accordingly.)
8) There are no qualification requirements, we'll have on site medics and its simple logistics!
Please have a careful read through the FAQ section and consider joining us to earn what we hope will be the most impressive buckle you are able to earn in this side of the Atlantic.
Please note that this race falls outside of our "Fair Runner Policy" due to the far larger financial commitments we are having to take. Please read the cancellation section in the FAQ before signing up.
8.87 Mile Loop
The lap is an out and back around Samphire Hoe, then through the wasteland area, up through the tunnel and then an out and back along a brand new upgraded cycle path along the top of the cliffs (it's mostly nowhere near the edge, only getting fairly near by the sound mirror (there is a fence)) and then straight back to base camp.
You can view the route on MapMyRun here
3.71 Mile Loop
The course runs around the Samphire Hoe nature reserve and then along the sea wall in 3.71 mile loop and out and backs. The trail is very high quality, there is one little hill near the sea wall and another not too far from the start of each loop. The sea wall is concrete and flat.
You can view the route on MapMyRun here
100 Mile Distance
The 100 mile distance is 5 x 8.87 miles = 15 x 3.71 miles loops = 100.0 miles.
The total elevation gain is about 100' per 3.71 mile loop, 825' per 8.87 mile loop about 5600' for the 100 miles.
7 Laps is 25.97 miles which is cruelly close to a marathon but not quite and we do appreciate that some folk coming along for the timed challenges won't necessarily want to do a 29.68 mile ultra. So if you "just" want to do a marathon after 7 laps pick up a flag and go out on a short lap, this short lap is out as normal but turning right after the "zig zag" section. You'll be credited with a 26.5 mile marathon finish in the results. This will not be signed on the course to avoid the risk of confusion and this short lap option obviously only available after 7 laps and once taken you'll have to ring out afterwards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Race Briefing: Mandatory for 100 mile entrants at 07.50.
Entrant limit: 50 for the 100 mile event.
What do I get?
Halloween 100 - Finishers
1) A Halloween 100 finishers buckle.
2) A Halloween 100 finishers shirt
3) A Halloween 100 finishers medal.
4) A goody bag 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..
Samphire 100 - DNF
1) One of our usual standards of goody bags. Handshake for chaps, a hug for girls.
Samphire Challenge 6/24/Pacer - Completion of at least one 3.71 mile loops.
1) A Halloween Challenge finishers medal. (Even if you complete 100 miles in the 24 hours you'll still only receive the medal. Buckles are solely for those entering and completing the 100 mile event.)
2) One of our usual standards of goody bags.
Where do I park?
100 mile runners/24 hour challenge runners please park following the blue arrows. 6 hour runners supporters and crews please park following the red arrows. Please only park in the main car park if the other areas are full. The car park and toilets opens at 0700. Samphire Hoe, A20 Folkestone to Dover road, CT17 9FL (Map). There is a charge of £2 per day for parking. For entrants to the 24 hour or 100 mile event we'll have printed parking permits available for £5 to cover the entire duration of your stay, cash only and these must be displayed in the windscreen of your car. 100% of this is donated to the Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve.
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from the race base camp.
Are there time limits?
For all events the absolute cut off is 1600 on Sunday. It's a hard cut off. Nothing counts after this.
For the 6/24 Hour Challenges you must be inside your last loop at 6/24 hours after you started (subject to the absolute 1600 Sunday cut off) even if you finish your final loop after the respective time limits, any laps after the time limit won't count. i.e. if you start a six hour challenge on Saturday you can start an extra lap up to 5:59:59 after you started.
Any runner completing 7 laps + a mini lap will have completed an official marathon (by 100 Marathon Club standards.), 8 laps is an official ultra finish. 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.
A DNF will occur at the 100 mile event if you started a loop after 0800 on the Sunday and subsequently fail to finish or are timed out which then unfortunately counts for nothing. So for 100 mile runners if you start a lap after 0800 on the Sunday you are deemed to be continuing in the 100 mile event and the option to drop down to the 24 hour event has gone, if you then subsequently withdraw or are timed out then that's a DNF. Before that point you can drop down to the 24 hour event and receive an official finish.
How do the 6/24/Pacer hour Challenges work?
These are three separate events.
The 24 Hour Challenge starts at 0800 on the Saturday with the 100 Mile starters
The Saturday 6 Hour Challenge starts at 1000 on the Saturday.
The Pacer Challenge start time is flexible and you can start at any point after 1800 on the Saturday, in a change from previous years you must start Saturday evening/night. (Please bear in mind that you cannot access the site after 1800 at night until 0700 in the morning. You can drive out, but not in.)
Unofficial pacing isn't permitted with the exception of crew/supports are welcome to join 100 mile finishers on their final lap.
This event will be set up so that having a crew won't be necessary however if runners wish to have a crew/supporters then of course then can. However crew/supporters aren't allowed to hang out in the aid station/base camp area simply as there won't be the space. This is for runners and race event people only. Crewing will only be allowed in the green zone.
What are the toilet facilities?
There are male and female toilets in the circular structure you can see in the photo above, it's just a few steps off the racing line and we'll have additional portable toilets in the crewing area.
No camping, tents, gazebos etc are allowed on site. Nor will there be any sleeping facilities at the start/finish/base camp area. Though you're always welcome to catch forty winks in your car if you wish to.
What time is Sunrise? Moonrise?
Sun rise is 0647, Sun set is 16:30
Moonrise is 0616, Moonset is 16:49 and a full moon!!!
How are laps 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. So basically at the end of each lap, get your card punched, or ring the bell!
You'll have to tell us when you're finished, not the other way around. As it's a timed event, if you wish you can stop, have a rest and continue, eat cake, go have a cup of tea in the cafe or you can just stop!
We'll have an “official finishers bell” for this purpose, (Rachel will be the keeper!) when you're done for the day, ring the bell and the goodies will be yours!
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. 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?
Road shoes should be fine. Its 99% on perfect surfaces, you might have a couple of pebbles to step around, but otherwise all on sealed tarmac/concrete/gravel and a couple of wooden bridges. Gaitors would be wise.
About 75% of the trail is like this... and there is the main hill. The rest is pretty decent too.
The sea wall is like this, it has a marginal camber to throw sea water back in to the sea but its not much. It's quite grey and dull, but you can see France on a clear day and quite a few ships, on a murky day you can see, well, murk.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are on a public nature reserve. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land, there may be fisherman on the sea wall part and dog walkers, ramblers or cyclists on any part of the course. Please don't litter. We'll have a bin at the base camp, please use this and there are several bins on the route too.
What will base camp be like?
We're hiring the education centre for the weekend. This will be used for registration, the aid station and for supporting runners in general.
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. We will feature more "ultra" centric food than usual. To minimise waste we will not be providing bottles of water, just cups and unlimited water to fill bottles or bladders.
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
Yes there are toilets (open from 07:00 Saturday) by the car park near the start/finish. There is also some information about the reserve and a small cafe.
What about hot food?
There is a cafe in the start/finish/base camp area where drinks and snacks can be purchased (they do awesome bacon baps!) and we've agreed with the venue that whilst this is open that we'll not offer any hot food or drink offerings. Outside of these hours we'll have tea/coffee/hot chocolate and simple hot things such as noodles for folk who'd like something warm in the night or early hours.
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 traffic, people, children on bikes, wildlife and so on.
The nearest train station is Dover Priory and that's 2.7 miles away.
This event falls outside our usual "Fair Runners Policy"
Withdraw prior to 1st August and we'll either credit you with three "race credits" for alternative SVN Events or refund 50% of the entry fee.
Outside of these limits unfortunately we'll have to be far stricter than usual. Our financial commitment to this race is probably a factor of five more than our regular events.
Why is the event expensive?
Firstly we're making a big financial investment in the event, we're committing to a donation to the venue for the use of it in the thousands rather than the hundreds. Secondly we're going to have kick ass buckles, medals and shirts. We're only going to have limited numbers of runners and we don't have the economies of scale we'd like to be able to get this low cost. Running 100 miles is awesome, you deserve top notch stuff. When you finish that 100 miles you'll be glad of it.
Can you point me to some advice about running 100 miles?
Yes please! If you're free to help out then please get in touch. We'll offer a "race credit" for each six hour time slot you give to the event to use at our regular SVN events to use yourself or gift to others, these race credits have no expiry and are freely transferable.