Saxons, Vikings and Normans battle to promote ultra
Battle of Britain Challenge is set for take off in September
Saxons, Vikings and Normans (SVN) are among the most prolific and enterprising of ultra-marathon promoters, with at least 50 uniquely-themed long-distance races in their portfolio (in normal times).
One of the most popular venues – with a compelling historical background – is Samphire Hoe (pictured above) where Battle of Britain Challenge is due to take off on Sunday 27 September. The venue itself is extraordinary, as it is entirely man-made from 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk marl from the Channel Tunnel excavations. It sits directly beneath the famous White Cliffs of Dover, which are very real indeed but can have an ethereal, film-set feeling from below.
Competitors in Battle of Britain Challenge won't just be looking up at the towering cliffs above, they'll be running up them! Each 8.76 mile loop – to be run as many times as you wish within the six-hour time limit – will have around 650' of ascent. Looking on the bright side, it will also have around 650' of descent, but that might not be quite so welcome after six punishing hours!
Battle of Britain Challenge is held annually to commemorate 'The Few' who fought so courageously as the Battle of Britain raged in the skies above England from July to October 1940. All finishers will be rewarded with bespoke 'Their Finest Hour' medals and the good feeling that £5 from every entry goes to Samphire Hoe nature reserve to maintain the lovely, peaceful environment for future generations to enjoy the freedoms gained by their forebears.
The spectacular course follows a figure-of-eight circuit on the trails and Cycle Way of Samphire Hoe and the North Downs Way, with a steep tunnel section to the top of the cliffs.
SVN has a vibrant club section with a membership rewards programme. Of the 1,279 runners who have raced more than 100 miles in SVN events, Sam Brown is head and shoulders above the pack with 7,850.75 miles under his belt! Sam has added 429.15 miles to his total this year and has competed in 277 SVN events to date. You can pretty much guarantee his attendance at Battle of Britain Challenge, where he ran 5:40:29 for 26.2 miles last year.
The winners of the Battle of Britain Challenge 2019 were Andy Jones (5:24:01 for 32.75 miles) and Claire Foley (5:01:39 for 26.2 miles).
Full detail of all SVN events here
Image courtesy Samphire Hoe official Facebook