The final SVN 100 Miler!
We've been very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold a long limit ultra event at Samphire Hoe. This will be the very final long distance run that SVN host as we're retiring the very next weekend no less. At this event, we will finally reveal the big secret behind the SVN name. (Narrators voice over, "It really wasn't that big a secret, but it has kept Tills amused for a decade.")
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to Samphire Hoe in a positive fashion and as such £6-£30 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the nature reserve to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
We're going to organise this event a little bit differently from our normal 100 mile events as we're sailing off in to the sunset very shortly afterwards and want to make sure as many people as possible get the final SVN shirt. I know what it's going to be like, and will be different shall we say from many of the designs we have produced and loved seeing out in the wild over the years.
1) One lap or more - The final SVN shirt, the shirt for this event is going to be a participation one rather than a finishers shirt. So as many people as possible will be able to say, I was there, and here is the shirt to prove it. (And it won't say "Finisher" on it)
2) Anything short of 100 Miles you'll get a medal of your choosing from what we have, especially Norman Challenge, Kent 50 etc, i.e. something!
3) For folks that complete the 100 miles there will be a cool 100 Mile Finishers medal
We intend to keep the designs for the shirt and medal under wraps until the event as to not spoil the surprise, they will as always, be awesome!
We're going to use a hybrid course - first you'll do 4 x 9.375 mile loops "up the cliffs" (i.e. the first 37.5 miles) and then 18 x 3.47 mile loops inside Samphire Hoe (the remaining 62.5 miles).
Everyone is going to do the 4 up the cliffs loops, we won't have a cut off for being unable to go up on the cliffs as we'd imagine most folks would be able to get those done before the middle of the night. (Trust me from experience when we have different people doing different numbers of up loops an down loops by 30 hours in is extremely confusing for everyone involved.)
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 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, tight time limits or tricky terrain or for more experienced ultra runners looking for a quicker 100 mile time.
The key features are
1) A 32 hour time limit for all distances. Start is 0830 on Saturday. Cut off is 1630 on Sunday. There are no inner cut offs.
2) No tricky 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 100 miles to be about 5200' probably less than most folk imagine looking up at those cliffs! There won't be any mud and it's solid underfoot the whole way.
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 3.5 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 long distance events is that not everyone finishes. You'll be able to drop down at any time before 1630 on Sunday and receive the shirt, medal and goody bag as long as you've completed one loop.
6) We always feel pacers get a raw deal at ultras, nobody ever knew they were there, we want to change that! For people supporting runners we have the Pacer Challenge. They can keep their runner company for as much or as little as they wish after 1730 on the Saturday, one lap and they are an official finisher, eight laps and they'll receive an official ultra finish. 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 medal and a goody bag. (Please note that you cannot drive in to Samphire Hoe between 1830 Saturday night and 0700 Sunday morning, so please plan any pacers accordingly.)
7) 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 for what will be an epic weekend
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.
9.375 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
3.47 Mile Loop
The course runs through the Samphire Hoe nature reserve and then along the sea wall in 5k 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Race Briefing: Mandatory at 08.20.
Entrant limit: 75 for the main event
Where do I park?
100s runners please park following the blue arrows. 6 hour/pacer 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 main 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 1630 on Sunday. It's a hard cut off. Nothing counts after this.
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 0653, Sun set is 1837
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 April 2024 and we'll credit you with 3 x Regular SVN Event Credits
Withdraw after 1st April 2024 and the place is lost, there are no transfers, credits or deferrals allowed after this date as everything will be ordered and paid for.
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 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.