The happiest of running events - A Smileathon!

For anyone who has been at an SVN event in the last 5 or 6 years will most likely have met the awesome (if rather hairy) runner that is Paul Commons. Now Paul is an epic level runner, has run more with SVN than anyone and is known for being a very happy runner... and his famous catchphrase of "When your miling you're smiling" so we thought it would be nice to have an event to encourage the smiling and as a tribute to the mighty Paul!

Spring is a lovely season at Ranscombe and all being well the woods will be heavy with bluebells and many other spring flowers

The course isn't flat but when you experience running round this beautiful rural reserve on rolling chalk downland trail amidst an array of wildflowers, wildlife and views over North Kent and the Medway (it's a minute from the M2 Google Map) you'll understand why it's worth the climbs.

There are hills, the North Downs Way crosses part of the reserve, and being totally on trail there is the chance of a bit of mud but the well stocked aid station, a unique custom made medal and a goody bag that actually contains goodies will make the undulations and any mud more than worth it. (But it is on chalk downlands so does drain pretty well!)

Having completed lots of marathons we believe we know what it takes to put on an enjoyable marathon for the fit, the dedicated and the hardcore long distance runners. And for those, like ourselves, who fit none of those categories, we'll do our best to get you round! We put on marathons run exactly the way we wish they were all run - low key, friendly and with most of the entry fee being spent on the runners.

For this race we're the guests of the Ranscombe Farm Reserve, who exist to maintain this corner of England as a haven for wild flowers to flourish in. They are the flagship reserve for the charity Plantlife International, speaking up for wild plants!

It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to the Trust in a positive fashion and as such £5 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the Trust to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.

Please explore the race and consider joining us!

Course Information

The course follows the trails and footpaths of the Ranscombe Farm Reserve. (Cuxton Rochester, Kent ME2 1LA - Google Map) Offering a variety of single track woodland trail, open fields and rolling grassland, woodland rides and an ancient avenue lined on each side with large hornbeam trees – and an abundance of flora and fauna to look out for!

We have several variants for each course, this is our base route but we may adjust slightly on the day to account for the conditions and ranger requests.

3.74 - 4.4 Mile "Green" Loop

Each lap is approximately 3.74 mile long, with approximately 380' of elevation gain and will be well marked with tape and arrows. With two railway lines, a road, fencing and a river edging the reserve on all sides you'll quickly know if you've gone astray! You can do as many laps as you can or wish within the 8 hour time limit.

The route can be viewed here on MapMyRun

For this run you'll be following the Green SVN signs only. If you come to a post with both Red and Green signs - follow the Green ones!

3.74 - 4.4 Mile "Red" Loop

This alternative route is slightly flatter than the Classic loop, but not by much, about 350' per lap! It'll be around a 3.74 mile loop and will involve more meadows and slightly less woodland.

The route can be viewed here on MapMyRun

For this run If you come to a post with both Red and Green signs - follow the Red ones, if it just has green ones, then follow those!

Course Photos


You can view more information about the Ranscombe Farm Reserve through this link to a PDF brochure

Please note the exact route is subject to change and on the day will be clearly marked! The link also shows you points of interest and the wildlife you may see on the way round!

The course is all on public footpath and there will be other users, including walkers, dogwalkers, horseriders and cyclists. We do not have right of way over these other users and we ask that you be considerate at all times.

Litter bins will be provided at the aid station and on entry back into the woods . Please do not litter the course – it is a most beautiful place and we want it to stay that way!

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.
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!

Where do I park? - How do I get there?

Please refer to the Ranscombe Informational Page here

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?
Yes, eight hours to run as many laps as you can. You can finish at any time within the time limit and your final distance will be recorded along with your finishing time. Only complete laps within the 8 hours will be recorded or you must have left the aid station for your last lap by 7.00 hours after the start. Any runner completing over 26 miles will have completed marathon distance and will count as a marathon finish for the purposes of the 100 Marathon Club, if you complete over 27 miles 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.

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.

Trail shoes? Road Shoes?
Trail shoes! Though even in February after the rain in winter, the majority of the paths were very runnable in road shoes, with the exception of a few patches where trail shoes would have kept me stable on the more slippy parts!

Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using the Ranscombe Farm Reserve which is part of a network of local footpaths 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.

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.

Can I leave personal drinks at the drinks station?
Yes, you may want to label it and we will not be responsible for folks drinking the wrong drinks!

Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
There are toilets at the race base camp for you to use.

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 farm vehicles, cyclists, people, dogs, horseriders, wildlife and so on.

What are the nearby hotels?

The closest Travelodge is at Rochester (1 Mile). Medway M2 (7 miles), Maidstone Central (8 miles)

The closest Premier Inns are at Rochester (1 mile), Gravesend Central (8 miles), Gillingham Business Park (8 miles).

The closest Holiday Inn hotels is at Holiday Inn Rochester (6 miles)

There are lots of B&Bs in the Rochester area, the Trip Advisor list of reviews starts here.

The entry fee is a little more than normal – why is that?
We are holding this event by kind permission of the Ranscombe Farm Reserve. £5 of every entry fee will be donated to the Ranscombe Farm Reserve for their latest project to provide litter bins around the Reserve to help keep it clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. To find out more about the work of Ranscombe Farm Reserve please go to

General SVN FAQ

Can be read here


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