Saturday 6 June 2015

Viking Coastal

#94  Viking Coastal Marathon Kent

Reculver castle

This was part of the Saxon-Shore race series which I now officially love. All the races are in Kent which is about 2hrs away from the house, which is just about commutable on the day. Today's race started at 7am which meant a very early start.

The race was the Clontarf of the South of England on a very exposed coastal out and back course (with no beach section). The difficulty is totally dependent on the weather. Today we had an absolutely stunning day (upto 19 degrees) with a very stiff upto 20mph wind sweeping down the course.

Viking Coastal Trail
Start area
The course itself I have to say was pretty bland with not much to see to take the mind off things. It basically followed the sea from Minnis Bay to Reculver Castle just outside Birchington, nr Margate along the marked Viking Trail. It consisted of 4 x 5.27km out and backs to make up marathon distance. So we became very familiar with the route. Unusually you could see the castle (turn around point) from the far end of the course no matter when you looked up.

The 100 mc was well represented today with 1000 marathon man Brian Mills there and a couple of big names like Danny Kay also taking part. There were lots of "Blue and Yellow" shirts.

It was a sunny day so Sun Screen was mandatory though I seen a
few who forgot and they suffered. The wind however kept everyone cool and it was very strong into the face on legs 1,3,5 and 7. Similar to Clontarf this made it difficult enough even though there was zero elevation on the course.

Beautiful day
Todays race was part of a back to back with a lot returning Sunday to try it all again.

I was up at 3:45am (seriously) for the 2hr drive to the start. It was uneventful and I arrived at 6:15am in plenty of time. Most others were there early as well. There was a 100 celebration today (Joe Hawkins) and Paul Sahota let everyone know it was also his 98th (tomorrow being 99). He ran by himself today strangely.

At 7am we were off. Immediately I knew that Derry last week had a bigger toll on me that I had hoped and there was nothing in the legs. I decided since it was 5.27km out and backs it would be good practice for next week in Portumna so decided to try and do all the out and backs in under 30 minutes. The odd laps were tougher as the wind was dead in the face.

The field of 100 spread out quickly and was all over the course. One guy really seamed to be going for it and developed a big lead through 15 miles. Then he seamed to spectacularly blow up and walked the rest. I settled in around 20th spot and kept my place in the race from early.

It was a pretty uneventful race as I knocked off the laps. Firstly into the wind and then with the wind. The splits were 27:44,27:50,29:04,28:15,29:55,29:44,32:16,30:32  , So even though I slowed a little it wasn't too bad and these were all well over 5K. Same again next week in Portumna will be Ok.

Fantastic Medal
I was delighted to come in well under 4hrs on a tough enough day and hopefully the extra days rest before Portumna will pay dividends. I ended up in 21st spot.

As usual there was a fantastic medal and goodie bag and I even got to join the Saxon-Shore 100 mile club today having run in excess of 100 miles with them. What a good idea.

I was done and dusted by 11am and back in the house in time for lunch.

Results here:

Click here for Polar RC3 stats for the day

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