Saxons, Vikings & Normans

We're using, 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 marathon type distance would have around 1600' of climb. It's really very, very nice here, which is why we're holding a mid-week event in March here as its so popular its about the only time of year the Parks people are happy with us being here as otherwise its just too full of people! It's all lovely woodland, decent trails and hills which will make for a very pleasant trail run.

We're not hitting the Book Day day exactly, but we're close, as we're limited for dates but we're using this for a theme mainly as we had the concept for the medal and so created this challenge to tie in with this. I've always loved books and I know folk like a bit of fancy dress, so that is very much encouraged, though absolutely not compulsory, but if you're looking for an excuse to dress up as one of your favourite characters then here is a reason!

The event will be a six hour timed challenge event. Complete as many loops as you wish within the time limit. Run one lap, a half marathon, a marathon, an ultra!

The Book Day Challenge

March

The Book Day Challenge

A continuation of our food themed runs! We have Cakeathons, Chocathons, Fudgeathons and now we have the Cookiethon! I like cookies, biscuits, shortbread and all those sorts of moorishly addictive goodies, perhaps not quite as much as cake, but not far off and have fueled many an ultra basically on cookies! Perhaps not the text book method, but what works some days!

Following the huge sucess of our runs in Kent we are now having to expand to cope with the demand and the number one request we've had is can there be more outside of Kent, so here it is. Middle of England, Northampton! We've very kindly been offered to take over the route from the excellent Madeyarun folk and jumped at the opportunity to add an SVN twist to this excellent route and venue!

So this a run to indulge a little and we'll have a cookie themed medal and goody bag of course! Run a lap, eat some cookies, run a lap, eat some cookies, you see the theme?

There will be cookies, and we encourage participants to bring their own cookie creations. There will be a trophies for the best cookies of the day.

Cookiethon Challenge

April

Cookiethon Challenge

Following the huge sucess of our Cakeathon runs in Kent we are now having to expand to cope with the demand and the number one request we've had is can there be one outside of Kent, so here it is. Middle of England, Northampton!

Northampton Cakeathon

April

Northampton Cakeathon

We love chocolate almost as much as we love cake! We love chocolate things. We're not so keen on the calories, which is why many of us run, so we can indulge and at this running event, you can indulge! Run a lap, eat some chocolate, run a lap, eat some chocolate, you see the theme? And when you finish you'll receive a very special chocolate themed medal (not edible! lol) and a hefty chocolate themed goody bag!

Following the huge sucess of our runs in Kent we are now having to expand to cope with the demand and the number one request we've had is can there be more outside of Kent, so here it is. Middle of England, Northampton! We've very kindly been offered to take over the route from the excellent Madeyarun folk and jumped at the opportunity to add an SVN twist to this excellent route and venue!

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 50' of climb per lap.

The event will have a six hour time limit for you to run as many, or as few laps as you wish. With a timed event, as long as you complete one lap, you are an official finisher!

Northampton Chocathon

April

Northampton Chocathon

2015 marked the 150th Anniversary of the initial publishing of one of the world's best loved books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and to celebrate this we're holding a variation of the Caucus Race as was first mentioned in the famous book 150 years ago! Our 2015 event was such an overwhelming success that it returned in 2016 & 2017 and is now an annual fixture!

The principle is that you run as far as you like, and everyone is a winner! Fancy dress is encouraged and of course there'll be a Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the aid station! Complete as many 3.85 mile loops (on the Folkestone to Dover road) as you wish in a 6hr time limit.

Wonderland Caucus Race

April

Wonderland Caucus Race

We never seem to celebrate St Georges Day the same way that the other nations do that form the United Kingdom. So to do our little bit to rectify this and so that we can all celebrate being English or celebrate the English way of life we're going to have a very small "English" marathon where we can show a bit of English pride!

The theme is going to be red and white and we encourage all runners and helpers to wear these colours (its not compulsory but would be appreciated), military, St George, Dragons, Knights Templars, that kind of thing. English! Fancy dress, an England shirt, anything like that! We're going to have an English style aid station, (in addition to the usual goodies that we provide!!) and a medal that is going to be the pride of your collection! It's going to be huge and functional...

St George’s Day Marathon

April

St George’s Day Marathon

Each event is a six hour Challenge Event. Run as many or as few laps as you wish in the time limit. With a timed event, as long as you complete one lap, then you are an official finisher!

The course runs around the tarmac cycle track but at no point crosses it so there are no traffic concerns to worry about. The surface is a high quality gravel surface in the main with the odd patch of potentially muddy bits if they're wet but overall it's an excellent running surface and should produce some fast times.

There are slopes rather than hills, so its not totally flat, each loop has maybe 100 feet of elevation rise, but there are some lovely woods to run through, ponds, grasslands, wet lands and some wild life to spot too! If its wet there might be a chance of some mud but the trails are high quality and drain well.

SVN Charity Challenge

May

SVN Charity Challenge

Following the huge sucess of our Cakeathon runs we are now having the first one at our Cyclopark location on the May Bank Holiday Monday!

A modest sized bit of cake we are thinking per lap! The event will have a six hour time limit for you to run as many, or as few laps as you wish. With a timed event, as long as you complete one lap, you are an official finisher!

Cakeathon May Bank Holiday Challenge

May

Cakeathon May Bank Holiday Challenge

Following the huge sucess of the first Spring Cakeathons we just have to have the event again next Spring Bank Holiday Monday! What better way to spend the day than eating a bit of cake and running around at the lovely Jeskyns Community Woodland. (A minute from the A2 just south of Gravesend in Kent)

Cakeathon Spring Challenge

May

Cakeathon Spring Challenge

We've been very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold a 100 mile ultra event out of Brooks Farm, Reculver Kent. The kind farmers there allow us to use their land and facilities to hold a running event and 98% of the route is on their land which does make for some lovely running! (And a huge barn makes a brilliant base camp!) The main event will be a 100 mile endurance run of 15 times 6.67 mile loops. In addition we'll hold a 24 hour Challenge Event, a 6 hour timed challenge on both the Saturday and Sunday and a Pacer Challenge to complete as many 6.67 mile loops as possible in the time limit chosen.

Viking 100 Endurance Run

May

Viking 100 Endurance Run

We're moving the event forward a little more to try and catch the poppy peak which seems to be arriving earlier and earlier each year! On the Saturday we'll have the "classic" Ranscombe Loop which hopefully takes in the best of the summer flowers and on Sunday a slightly different loop for a "Teddy Bears Picnic " which has a different medal and a slightly flatter route!

Ranscombe Summer Challenge

June

Ranscombe Summer Challenge

Between Thanet and Sandwich lays Pegwell Bay, famous for the Viking Ship, The Hugin, that rests there in all its recently restored glory. This event will have a 6 hour time limit for you to run as many, or as few laps as you wish. We're going to be flexible with the route, mainly as it will depend on conditions on the day. Loops of 3.75 miles miles and will be a mixture of terrain. Sundown is 7.30pm so you'll be partially in light, then twilight and then finally deep night, all being well on a lovely early Autumnal evening.

Black Hugin Challenge

August

Black Hugin Challenge

This event is Tolkien themed, the event date falling so close to several famous Hobbits' birthdays! There will be a somewhat 'foodie theme, so of course there will be breakfast, second breakfast, elevensis, lunch and perhaps even a spot of afternoon tea! The 3.75 mile loop course is a mix of gently rolling trail and flat sea wall, all within the shadow of the White Cliffs of Dover. 6hr time limit.

The Tolkien Run

September

The Tolkien Run

The nice folk at Ashdown Forest have given us special permission to run around Ashdown Forest around the very locations that inspired Christopher Robin & AA Milne to write the famous loveable bear books.

Winnie The Pooh

October

Winnie The Pooh

In fact the course is so pretty we thought we'd give you the opportunity to savour it for even longer this event has a time limit of eight hours to run as many of the 3.75 mile loops as you wish! It'll be late October so hopefully it will be dry and the colours in their autumn finest!

It's a challenging trail run on the North Downs (in fact a part of the route is on the North Downs Way) on a mixture of single track, wide double track through fields and woodland. There are some lovely views and whilst there are some hills there are also some very runnable downhills also!

Ranscombe Autumn Challenge

October

Ranscombe Autumn Challenge

There has been a marathon on the tarmac track at Cyclopark Gravesend every year since 2012, firstly by the wonderful TZ Runs events and then latterly Inspire Races, unfortunately these events have now ended and it seems such a shame to let the venue be marathon free for a year! Whilst we appreciate that 17 laps around a cycle track in the DMZ between the old A2 and the new M2 isn't the world's most exciting run there are lots of logistical advantages, its a lovely venue and a cracking facility and once a year it isn't too bad!

Ghost of Cyclopark Marathon

October

Ghost of Cyclopark Marathon

We've had the nice wide cycle track at Betteshanger Country Park officially measured so that its a now a certified road marathon course and we thought that it would be nice to have one marathon a year that is specifically aimed at those runners who aren't the quickest and can't make usual road marathon times, are intimidated by quicker road marathons or simply prefer the smaller, friendly type events rather than more competitive ones.

We want to see people achieve things. To use us as a bridge to bigger and greater things or simply to stay in the game that one year longer. To do things that they thought that they never could or could do no more. The reality is that some folk are a bit slower, a bit older, a bit less confident than others. This is their marathon. It's about as straightforward as it possibly can be, it's not easy. No marathon is easy, its always 26 miles 385 yards, it's a long way. But the Betteshanger Marathon has an aid station every 2 miles, a line painted on the track to follow if you're worried about navigation, is pretty flat and has a near perfect wide tarmac surface.

Betteshanger Marathon

October

Betteshanger Marathon

A high quality trail run on the Kent Coast between Thanet and Sandwich lays a big bay called Pegwell Bay which is famous for two reasons, firstly because of the nationally important Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve and secondly for the Viking Ship, The Hugin, that rests there in all its recently restored glory. We've been fortunate enough to have been given permission to hold an event on part of this area known as the Pegwell Bay Country Park.

The Hugin holds a special fondness for myself as it was one of the favourite places that my late father would take me to as a child, in the dim and distant past you could climb on the ship, eat your ice cream and be a Viking! Sadly these days clamboring over such things isn't allowed, but it has been nicely restored in the last decade or so and is well worth a look, a good few times in fact as the route will go past it twice on each lap! The event will have a six hour time limit for you to run as many, or as few laps as you wish. With a timed event, as long as you complete one lap, then you are an official finisher!

The Hugin Challenge

November

The Hugin Challenge

30th November is St Andrews day and although we're in one of the furthest possible points of the UK from Scotland and we're about as Scottish as something that's really not very Scottish at all I do like shortbread and we do have a number of Scottish exiles who run with us quite often and would be rude not to mark the date as we have an event on it!

St Andrews Day Challenge

November

St Andrews Day Challenge

This is going to be the first event on a new route for us at Ramsgate, using a stretch of the Viking Coastal path and a bit of park and not much sea wall ,which might be a welcome break for some runners! There is a bit of a hill, well, a cliff, to run through, yes through (there is a tunnel) and it'll be a little bit convoluted to get the distance right, but it will be well signed and its on nice wide tarmac paths in the main. The course is 100% good surfaces with perhaps about 500' of climb for a marathon distance run, so slightly hillier than our usual coastal routes but nothing too severe. 4.42 mile loops.

Advent Challenge

December

Advent Challenge

The reality of long distance running though means that the scene changes from year to year, runners come in, runners slow down, do less events, others do more, some move to ultras, some get injured, some lose motivation and I recall well all the people I ran a lot with three or four years ago who we don't see so much these days, if at all. Which is sad, as there is little to remember them by.

What we thought would be great is if we had one event a year where these usual suspects are identified and immortalised! How you ask?

Well, we're going to make the medal unique, very unique in that all the runners names are going to be on it! Actually inscribed on the medal and we feel that would be a lovely way to commemorate the "Class of 2018" so to speak. So basically all the entrants will be on the medal and in years to come you'd be able to look back at this and remember all the folks who in that year were the "usual suspects" and perhaps over the years to come they'll be a changing scene and the names will change, but the spirit will remain.

The medal therefore will be awesome, because basically it's made by the runners! It'll be huge, unique and brilliant! Ah, you're thinking, what about if I'm injured and can't run? Well firstly its a challenge event, just one lap earns you the medal, but in this case as the medal is personalised and so unique, if you don't run for some reason, we'll still get the medal to you, one way or another. As its as much a souvenir of the scene in 2018 as it is of this particular run.

The Usual Suspects Challenge

December

The Usual Suspects Challenge

Having completed lots of marathons and ultras we believe we know what it takes to put on an enjoyable event for the fit, the dedicated and the hardcore long distance runners. And for those, like myself, who fit none of those categories, we'll do our best to get you round!

Come and join us in December for a jaunt along the Saxon Shore Way where it winds its way up the coast at Deal. The Saxon Shore Marathon will be running for the 8th consecutive year along the sea front. The course is very flat, with a few tiny undulations, the surface is very good indeed, all hard surfaces and will be mud free and even the most navigationally challenged amongst us will be able to get around the course without getting lost. Promise!

Saxon Shore Marathon

December

Saxon Shore Marathon

A marathon at the lovely seaside town of Ramsgate
The coastal path known as the Viking Coastal Trail runs around Thanet and a section runs along the seafront at Ramsgate which forms part of a popular route that we have here.

The route is 4.37 miles and runs both along the top and bottom of the cliffs on gentle slopes, don't worry the cliff isn't too high! The upper and lower sections are joined by a little "grotto" which meanders through the cliff.

This will be a marathon only event for the lovely Viking Coastal Marathon medal. Six laps will make up the 26.2 mile course!

Viking Coastal Marathon – December

December

Viking Coastal Marathon – December

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