100 years since one of the biggest battles in history
The Battle of the Somme commenced on 1st July 1916 and not only was one of the biggest battles of the First World War it was one of the biggest in history. The 1st July 1916 marked the worst day in the history of the British Army, where depending on which account you read the British suffered between 58000 and 70000 causalities, with over 19000 killed. Most of these killed were Kitchener Army recruits, the cream of the British and Commonwealth volunteers.
Although much debate and criticism has been levelled against the leadership at the cost of lives lost at this battle more than probably any other it must not be forgotten that the sacrifice made on that day, and many others, is the reason that the Allied Forces triumphed in the First World War. I recall reading a book of military disasters in the First World War which detailed seemingly endless catastrophic loss of life for no gain, which with the benefit of hindsight seem ridiculous, The Battle of the Somme was in there, but what I recall mostly was the preface which told the reader to read the book in the context of 1) The Allied Forces won. 2) You're reading this in English.
We've been very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold an event at Samphire Hoe to commemorate this 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, The Somme Centenary Challenge Run. You'll be running under the White Cliffs of Dover within sight of France if the weather is good and most of those who fought and died for the British Army would have sailed from Dover.
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to Samphire Hoe in a positive fashion and as such £5 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the nature reserve to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
The event will be a six hour timed challenge event. Complete as many loops as you wish within the time limit. We're aiming to start at 07:30, early we know, but significant as that was the "over the top" time on the 1st July 1916...
This will be a one off event, and the huge commemorative dated medal will reflect that, it will be of our usual high standards along with our usual goody bag of the essential "C" requirements of runners. Chocolate, cookies, crisps, cheddars and cider (or beer!).
The medal is 150mm x 105mm
The course is a mix of very high quality gently rolling trail and a nice dead flat sea wall, quite literally all within the shadow of the famous White Cliffs of Dover, 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!