Race Report: Sevenoaks Circular

Reports

I had an interesting day on Sunday 17th March. Although disappointed to miss the Club’s Road Champs, I decided to celebrate St Patrick’s Day by running the Sevenoaks Circular. This was the third year I’d run it and yet again it was a different route. As before, there were three options – 15, 22 and 30 miles. 

Although I knew the route headed out towards Knockholt and returned via Brasted and Ide Hill, I am not very familiar with these trails. Being adverse to following very detailed route descriptions, I therefore downloaded the GPX file and set off just after 9:15am.

After 6 miles, and slightly concerned that I had yet to overtake any of the walkers, I found myself approaching Ide Hill! I’d only run the route the wrong way round! Retracing my steps, I met up with two fellow Harriers who, doing the 22 mile route, had made the same mistake! Together we cut along another path to rejoin the route – now going in the correct direction. Unfortunately, this added about 5 miles to the challenge. So the 8 miles to the first CP now became 13 miles. 

To make matters worse, the first CP closed at 11:30am. With 3 miles to go, it was just after 11:00am. I think I ran these miles just a few minutes slower than I’d run the parkrun the day before! Arriving at the CP I breathlessly asked the marshalls If I’d made it in time. Looking at me slightly perplexed, they replied that they would have waited for me! 

The second section was a 7.5 mile loop finishing back at the same CP – I overtook several walkers so knew I was on track!

With all the recent rain, there was copious amounts of mud. It took me 7hours 20 minutes to complete 35 miles – 5 minutes of which was removing my shoes before I could enter the hall to check in! All good endurance training for my upcoming 100!

Jane and June also completed the 22 mile route. Slightly more navigationally proficient, they managed not to add any extra mileage.