Race Date: 21st January

Distance: Marathon

by Neal Stayner

In my quest to do a January marathon I again took my darling wife away for a short break. My plan of doing Portland thwarted by them moving it to Febuary!! So a trip to Kent was planned.

The Ranscombe Challenge is an 8hr event doing as many or few 4.4 mile laps as you can, just one would get you the medal and 6 gives you a marathon. John Howard would of loved the 8am start and the fact it was -3!!! The race was well organised with one aid station at the start finish area so at the end of each lap you had your lap card punched, refuelled and headed out again. Laps 1-3 were frosty and the going was good but from lap 4 the ground started to thaw and went from slippery to claggy ( sticky) and with the hills started to tire the legs. There was a wide range of runners most going for the marathon distance some pushing on and some ringing the bell earlier. Ringing the bell was your way of saying you were done, which I liked and was glad to ring once I'd completed lap 6. By then the temperature had shot up to +5 , almost tropical. This was my first event run by Saxon, Viking and Norman race organisers and I'm keen to try another of their runs in the future, certainly worth the trip. Also pleased with my time of 4:24 considering the cold and conditions.