We're using for the inaugural Mega Challenge the very pleasant King's Wood which is in the heart of Kent between Ashford and Canterbury. It'll be a moderately challenging trail run as its not a flat place but there are some lovely downhills to make up for the ups. A half marathon type distance would have around 800' of climb. It's really very, very nice here, very quiet and peaceful despite being quite close to civilisation! Having only been here mid-week up till now the nice folk at the Forestry Commission are letting us come along for a weekend!
Now the Mega Challenge is going to be a Challenge Event with a difference! Basically the distance you run will detirmine the medal you receive... and there is a risk factor involved of possibly not receiving a medal!
1 Lap - 4.37 miles - Goody Bag + Concern that you're OK.
2 Laps - 8.75 miles - Goody Bag + Encouragement to do another lap!
3 Laps - 13.1 miles - Goody Bag + Half Marathon Mega Challenge Medal
4 Laps - 17.5 miles - Goody Bag + Half Marathon Mega Challenge Medal + Are you sure?
5 Laps - 21.8 miles - Goody Bag + Half Marathon Mega Challenge Medal + One more!!!
6 Laps - 26.2 miles - Goody Bag + Full Marathon Mega Challenge Medal
7 Laps+ - 30.5 miles - Goody Bag + Ultra Marathon Mega Challenge Medal
The event will be a six hour timed challenge event. Complete as many loops as you wish within the time limit. Run a half marathon, a marathon, an ultra and earn some Mega bling!
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to King's Wood in a positive fashion and as such £5 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the Forestry Commission to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
Please explore the race and consider joining us!
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!
Do I have to be a Mega Marathoner to take part?
No, the event is open to everyone! Member or not. Affiliated runner or not!
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from the race base camp on race morning.
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, even if you finish after the event time threshold. Any runner completing 5 laps will have completed marathon distance and will count as a marathon finish for the purposes of the 100 Marathon Club, if you complete 6 or more laps 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 good, if it's wet then maybe err towards trail.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using King's Wood which is part of a network of local footpaths, cycle paths and trails and is shared with ramblers, dogwalkers, horseriders and cyclists. 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 so please deposit any rubbish in here.
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...
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.
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
We'll bring in some portable toilets for the event, otherwise, you're basically in a wood, there is a noticeboard and a lot of trees. Oh and a bench, and I seem to recall a bit of a rock as well. It's certainly not big enough to be called a boulder anyway and a bit bigger than a stone. So basically, not much.
The entry fee is a little more than normal – why is that?
We are holding this event by kind permission of the Forestry Commission. £5 of every entry fee will be donated to the Park to assist in the maintenance and development of this location.
The course runson well defined trails around King's Wood and is 100% off road and traffic free.
The 4.37 mile loops route is viewable on MapMyRun here.
We're going to use a 4.37 mile loop for this event. (Although depending on the prevailing conditions of the day we may have to change this depending on the advice of the rangers who may wish us to avoid ground nesting bird areas or anything exceptionally muddy)
There are slopes rather than hills, so its not totally flat, each loop has maybe 350 feet of elevation rise, but there are some lovely woods to run, a few "art" installations and generally speaking you're well away from the world and in the depths of nature.
The route is suitable for either road or trail shoes if its dry, if its wet then we'd err towards trail shoes.
Photos below are from the route run in a clockwise direction...