Rachel's Birthday Bash in Northampton!
The Holiday Inn at Northampton is open again, we've physically checked! The course is all as it always has been and we're ready for events there again. The downside of this is that we're already super birthday-themedcommitted in 2024 and looking at available dates we came up with one, in August and this one, Rachel's Birthday on 18th May, and then that was it, the only free dates we have in 2024 before we retire. So Rachel has kindly donated her birthday to the SVN cause and in return we're going to have a birthday themed event and medal for her.
The caveat is that we're only going to get 56 of the medals, so only the first 56 folks entering will get the Rachel's Birthday Bash medal, we really don't want to do the usual thing of getting in 150 medals six months in advance, having a field of 92 and then there is no chance of us ever being able to use the medals again so we're going to make them very limited edition indeed. There is no significance whatsoever in the number 56. Obviously, Rachel is 21, 23 tops... folks entering after the initial 56 will receive a choice of excellent SVN medals!
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 Yeti bling!
The course is a mix of very high quality bike paths and grassy trails along the River Nene and around several flood reservoirs, so plenty of wildlife and views to be seen. It's pretty flat, only about 40' of climb per lap.
Please explore the race and consider joining us!
The course runs from the Northampton Holiday Inn in a 5.17 mile loop along the River Nene and around several flood storage reservoirs. It's 100% off road. 45% tarmac, 55% grassy trails. For those who want to complete a marathon distance we'll have a 0.35 mile out and back near the base camp to make up the full 26.2 mile distance. (If you want to complete a half marathon then it's two full laps and a 2.78 mile short lap which you can view here.)
You can view the route on MapMyRun here
If you want to complete a half marathon then it's two full laps and a 2.78 mile short lap as below which you can view here.
The total elevation gain is about 40' per loop.
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 start, which has goodies in, not a bunch of adverts.
Where do I park?
There is a large car park a few yards from the start/finish. Parking is free and included as part of your entry fee. Please only park in the rear and side car parks, there is a small one right by base camp but please don't park here as this is to be kept free for locals and isn't part of the hotel's parking. Holiday Inn Northampton (Website), Bedford Rd, Northampton NN4 7YF (Map)
You need to register your car number plate in hotel reception. They're using a new "magic eye" parking system and whilst the parking is paid for as part of your entry you need to register when you arrive!
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from a meeting room in the hotel, there are only two, just past reception, we'll be in one of those although if the weather is fine we'll have registration outside at base camp. It's all very compact so we won't be hard to find!
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 6.00 after race start (even if you finish that final lap after the six hours it'll count, you just have to have left for the final lap 6:00 after the start, and these time limits are hard, 6:00:01 and that's too late as is the custom with ultra endurance events (which this technically is, though there is absolutely no requirement to run an ultra!)).
Any runner completing 26.2 miles will have completed an official marathon (by 100 Marathon Club standards) of about 26.2 miles, 27+ miles will have 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.
How are laps counted?
At race registration you'll be given a lap counting card. Attach this to yourself with a safety pin or cable tie. At the end of each lap get this punched by one of the card punchers, this keeps track of the distance that you've done so keep it safe!. So basically at the end of each lap, either get your card punched, or ring the bell! Ringing the bell signifies you are "ringing out" and have stopped running for the day.
Do I have to run for the whole time?
No! You can stop at any time you wish, just as long as you complete one lap you are an official finisher, ring the finishers bell and you're done, medal and goody bag will be yours!
Can I stop at marathon distance?
Yes. If you complete 26.2 miles it will count as a marathon finish by 100 Marathon Club standards and we'll even give you a little badge to pin to your medal ribbon to signify the distance you ran! (There is an ultra badge too if you complete 27+ miles)
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 if its dry. Otherwise possibly trail or hybrid as a fair bit is on tarmac, and also a fair bit on grassy trails.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are on a public nature reserve and bike paths. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land, there may be 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.
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
Yes there are toilets inside the hotel, a bar and restaurant.
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 Northampton and is 2.8 miles away.