Sevenoaks Circular 30 mile – 27 April 2014

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It was a lovely, muddy, slow, day of running and eating. At least it didn’t rain. We got lost about 4 times. And for good measure – we managed to get lost in the car on the way to the starting point.

So, it was in a slightly frantic state that we arrived at the Sevenoaks Rugby club for the start of the Sevenoaks Circular 30 mile event organised by the Kent LDWA.

If you haven’t come across LDWA events before – they are characterised by three things.

1) Copious amounts of food, cordial and tea
2) friendly checkpoints
3) very detailed, abbreviated instructions
4) very good value (usually £10 or less) entry fees.

A friend of mine – Barbara, and I were doing this one together. Another pal of ours couldn’t make it because of illness. We have done a few other LDWA events before. I have done Gatliff, Punchbowl, Whitecliffs and this would be my fourth.

We set out at 8.10am, slightly after the official start at 8am. We had some special instructions for the start – apparently a gate was shut – so we rounded the swimming pool, and then we found ourselves running through a Triathlon transition area. We got tonnes of cheers – and genuinely i think some of the public thought that we were the first in the pack!

Once out of the melee of the tri, we pressed on through knole park. It wasn’t too long before we ran past some of the walkers. We seemed to be passing people every few minutes. Some of those walkers really can motor along.

As is usual for these events – we managed to get lost. We managed to persuade ourselves that the instructions and the surroundings managed to fit together – when in fact they didn’t. We did that four times. All part of the fun though.

For once, I managed to stay upright. I was wearing my More Mile Cheviots for the event. I usually end up on my backside!
In general, I feel that I did a much better job of navigating than some of my other efforts. We managed to do a couple of extra miles – so we finished in a few minutes short of eight hours twenty mins. That of course included plenty of time eating quiche lorraine, sausage rolls and jam sandwiches at the checkpoints.

The best point of the event was coming past a church near Sevenoaks high street and finding ourselves at the back of a st georges day parade. We edged ourselves past the groups of scouts and bands, and ran ahead of them along a crowd lined high street. It felt like the end of a big marathon. Lovely! Great fun!! People were in the road taking photos.

I should remember to listen to my body. At one point – around 3 miles in – I felt some small stones in my trail shoes. I resolved to remove them at the first checkpoint – but basically couldn’t be bothered. So, my feet were quite the mixture of blood and mud at the end. Nevermind. Lesson learned!

I am already planning which other LDWA events I am going to enter. I am thinking of doing Wealden Waters, and White Cliff challenge.

Which ones have you done before?

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