|Photo: Nelson Howe|
|Before the start|
|(TiT == Ten in Ten)|
The series itself was individual events that you could sign up for independently and around 100-150 ran everyday. By doing all 10 you completed the series. Around 70 signed up for all 10. This meant that there were always plenty of fresh legs around. Everyone had their own strategy and what they wanted to do. This went from 10x10K's, 10x half marathons, 10 x marathons (some very fast Averaging <3:30) and 10 x Ultra's. There were many combinations in-between.
|The marvelous Twinnies and Enda|
The first couple of days were at Samphire Hoe, beneath the white cliffs of Dover. It was the normal course and the weather day 1 was perfect and just a little blowey on day 2. It was the normal 3.8 mile loop on the sea wall.
|After Hugin Ultra|
the 50K's. Lots of people were stopping at marathon and Kris similar to me deciding to stay on the course every day until being hauled off. Lee also set out his stall early to just run and run and run. Nick of course chasing world records was on a 50K schedule daily. Lorraine steadily got through her 10 in 10. Dawn decided to go fast and long and for most of the series and kept it up. She however had some off days and near the end suffered bad (like most of us) from shin issues. Somei looking a little under prepared but stuck it out for a great series in the end and was a source of constant inspiration. The running couple Mylene and Pete eased through every day and just got stronger. Louise and Steve paired up and would run marathon every day and just got quicker and quicker. Debra, Paul and Sharon did an amazingly fast marathon series and Keith was consistently fast. It was all very impressive.
Kat doing what Kat does consistently came in marathon distance just over 6hrs every day. Neil ran with a variety of women everyday and not just Kat. Gary who was suffering from Achilles issues managed a few days before pulling out. Elaine always looking strong did steady marathons every day (including a park run on the second Saturday in Pegwell bay). The Twins were just magnificent and powered by wine sailed through the challenge.
There were many other who I didnt know all did fantastic. There were also many many 100 celebrations, flake runs, 52 in 52's , 300's and 250's throughout the week and we were well fed on cake.
|Freezing in Deal|
It was interesting that there was a 50K option. It arose because Nick was chasing his world records and Guinness only accepted 50K or more as an Ultra. They became very popular and I managed 7 in total.
After Samphire Hoe we had a change of accommodation to a wonderful Air BNB in Margate center and that became Cru central for the next week. Day 3 also saw a change in venue to Deal. I thought I hadn't done this course before but when I arrived I realised that I had done it twice before at the Leap Day marathon and the Marathon Day marathon. Both were sub 4's so it had good memories. It was straight out and back into and through Deal before returning to the start line. There was light winds and nothing too wild and it ended up being a comfortable run for most. An extra lap and a short extra bit brought in 50K. Paul had an amazing cake at the end for his 100th. Today's medal is one of my favorites from the series and is the traditional Saxon Shore marathon medal.
|The mighty Quinner|
Staying in Margate meant the next 4 runs were fairly close with Day 5 and 6 within 2 miles of the house on Margate sea front. The weather however decided to turn on us and a howling gale came in throwing heavy seas into the mix. This meant the 6.7 mile loop became a loop of wind in the back and a gale in the face. It was a tough tough day. I have little memories of the day except keeping the head down and getting on with it. I still went long enough with a 50K run.
|Brenda and Kris getting the vest|
|All over Phew!|
Brenda and Sean arrived and everything was right with the world again and a new life was injected into the series. A nice night out in Margate if that isnt an oxymoron where we even seen "guns" Jon drinking Guinness before his 9th consecutive sub 3:25 and we were off for the last 2 days to Bettshanger park. Given my leg was hanging off and knowing the hilly course that was ahead of us I had no aspirations for an ultra today. But the running gods were with me and access road works meant we were on a new shorter loop with no normal ultra cut off time. The 2.4 mile loop meant that after marathon distance I had plenty of time to get out for the all important extra loop to make short ultra no 9. Brenda and Kris both had great runs and we all went back to Margate happy campers. Lucky for me as I would not have made the ultra cut off otherwise. Highlight of the day was Kris getting inducted into the Irish 100 marathon club. Sophie also became the youngest ever 100 marathon achiever at the tender age of 20.
News came through that the original (or nearly the original) course had been reinstated at Bettsanger for the last day as had the normal cut off. That was my dream of 10 in 10 Ultras in ruins as I knew that I just wasn't up for it and it was due to be a painful hobble for me. I was joined in the pain train by Somei, Dawn and Neil all of whom seemed to have the same shin issue interestingly on the same shin. Resigned to this we all headed off in very dodgy weather on a long a painful run. Some people did amazing with Jon and Pete in particular having their fastest run of the series. Brenda was on her 299th marathon and I was delighted to be there to witness this.
Finishing in near dusk we picked up the last medal and said out goodbyes and it was off straight to the airport. What an experience! I could have written a novel about this series but have decided to cut it short in the spirit of sparing boredom. I'm sure I have missed some amazing accomplishments in this write up for which I apologise and promise to edit and update it as they come to me.
A big thank you to Traviss and Rachel of course and all the helpers who clipped and fed and looked after us. You were all amazing.
Photos: Nelson Howe, Philip Rand and Sharon Daw
Stats for all the days