News North Downs Run 30K–Sunday 24th June 2018 Race Report North Downs Run 30K–Sunday 24th June 2018 Race Report

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Report by Richard Allan
2018-06-26 16:12:31

North Downs Run 30K–Sunday 24th June 2018 Race Report

North Downs Run 30K–Sunday 24th June 2018 Race Report

A good turnout from Thanet Roadrunners at this popular race hosted by Istead& Ifield Harriers saw some very strong performances from the Thanet Roadrunners taking part on the day.Of note, Steve Hobbs with what is probably the fastest time that any TRAC runner has finished this race was 5th overall and 2ndin a very competitive V40 class, and Dave Winch won the V70 category, fantastic performances!

Place

First Name

Last Name

Bib Number

Chip Time

Gun Time

Team Name

Age Group

5

Stephen

Hobbs

629

2:04:25

2:04:25

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 40 to 49

94

David

Winch

44

2:39:44

2:39:52

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 70+

101

Richard

Allan

340

2:41:03

2:41:24

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 40 to 49

125

Stephen

Suttle

41

2:46:15

2:46:22

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 60 to 69

209

Michael

Philpot

634

3:02:45

3:03:07

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 50 to 59

221

Stephen

Forshaw

511

3:05:22

3:05:43

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 40 to 49

327

Mark

Hadden

431

3:25:04

3:25:39

Thanet Roadrunners AC

M 50 to 59

 

Full race results are available here: http://www.chiptiminguk.co.uk/north-downs-run

The race was part of the Kent Championships and was also the British Masters Athletics Federation BMAF 30K Trail Running Championships so there was a strong turnout from many of the clubs around Kent as well as runners from further afield. A total of 531 runners took part on what was a very hot and sunny day for racing, however the sections of the race that went through the woods offered some very welcome shade and the water stations approximately 5K apart were well stocked by friendly volunteers with water, squash and sponges to help us to cool down.

The well organised race HQ was at Cascades Leisure Centre near Gravesend and after leaving the start area, the route quickly joined the trails to go across corn fields with great views across the Thames and then the up and downhills began in earnest! The route affords some incredible views across the North Downs and those views certainly helped to distract when running this challenging course. The course included some tough hills, including a seemingly relentless climb(159m over about a 6km distance) from Lower Bush (the lowest point on the course) to the top of Holly Hill (the highest point on the course), after which the steep downhill was challenging on jelly legs and Cricket Pitch Hill at the 19km point was just brutal! The total climbing was around 575m over the 30K route so definitely a tough course to race with some of the hills seemingly never-ending, but what goes up, must go down.

Running on trails (90% of the course is off-road on trails and paths) may seem a challenge for those of us more used to road running but it didn’t take long to get used to the difference and just enjoy the views whilst running. The course was very well marked with tape and marshals in place at key positions so the runners stayed on course even though it was going through the countryside.

Fortunately, the recent dry weather meant that all the trails were dry although some were of course uneven underfoot which meant everyone had to keep their wits about them all the time. The course varied between fields (often with crops on either side of the trail) and wooded areas with plenty of hills to negotiate both up and down, some of which were quite technical and there seemed to be a number of approaches (often mimicking an aeroplane with our arms) being used to try to balance out during the steep downhills and prevent falls. The race organisers had done a mammoth job of checking the course and marking out potential trip hazards with bright orange spray paint to try to reduce the number of tumbles during the race. A fewrunners still managed to test gravity during the race and I can personally confirm that gravity was indeed working on the North Downs on Sunday… In addition to the challenges of the hills and negotiating the uneven trails there were multiple kissing gates and stiles throughout the course, the challenge of climbing over stiles with tired legs should not be underestimated!

The race was very well organised, with volunteers and marshals who never stopped with their friendly encouragement throughout the course and the homemade cakes at the end of the race were very welcome to regain a little energy! The combination of a fantastic (but challenging) course, a very good finisher’s bag (nice chunky medal, T-shirt, neck gaiter, snacks etc.,) and great organisation make the race a bargain and a must do in my opinion.

Istead& Ifield Harriers have organised a greatrace (one of my favourite races that I’ve done) that I would recommend putting on your to do list of races, although because of the nature of the route - trails with uneven terrain underfoot and the hills, be prepared to train in advance for a tough race!

Photos from North Downs Run Facebook Page (https://en-gb.facebook.com/northdownsrun.istead/) – credit to Dawn Granger Photography and Neil Copeman


 

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