This event fell in nicely with my marathon training plan, so was an early entry in my racing diary.
Registration was done online, and a pack containing my number (and timing chip) and a clear set of instructions arrived by post in plenty of time.
i travelled down to Lydd by car as the instructions said that parking was available. The town itself is relatively small, with narrow roads but there were several marshalls out and about directing cars to a nearby park where plenty of parking was indeed available.
It was then a short walk to the race village, on the left there was a smallish hall where you could get changed which also housed the bag drop, and then round to the right port-a-loos, stalls selling last minute essentials and then the start. A few signs might not have gone a-miss but generally it was easy enough to see where you needed to be. The queue for bag drop was really long, but this seemed to be caused more by the runners themselves than those manning the bag drop who were coping well with the influx.
Toilet queues were also pretty long, and I found myself right at the back of the queue as the race was due to start, however they delayed the start a little, so there was plenty of time to jog my way round to the back of the line. There was a MC keeping everyone up to date which was fab and eased my worries while in the queue. The half and 20 mile all set off together and while there was more people than I had expected there was still plenty of room to get into the pace you wanted.
The route itself was lovely and flat, with views of the local fields broken up by the occasion tree or sheep. For additional variation there were about 3 railway lines to cross. The course was the same for both half and 20 milers until mile 6 when the 20 mile broke off and went off on a 7ish mile out and back loop.
There were several water stations along the route all manned by brillant, cheerful marshalls who were more than happy to fill up my water bottle that I carried with me, as well as supplying water in cups. Local support was sporadic as we were well into the sticks, but vocal where it was found, and there was plenty of marshalls encouraging everyone along the route. I also found the other runners to be really friendly and encouraging, I'm guessing the majority of us were at the same stage of marathon training so we were essentially enoying having some company on a long run!
The finish was was back at the start, with the MC calling out names as we went through which was a nice touch. At the finish we were handed a really nice quality medal and and there were drinks, jaffa cakes and buscuits available to help with the recovery! The local scout group were manning a bbq, with burgers and hot dogs available to purchase which seemed to be going down well.
No queues picking up the bags, and quick and easy exit from the car park.
This was a great value, well timed and friendly 20 miler, which I would definitely do again as part of marathon training.
Posted on 27.04.18
This is a brilliantly timed run for marathon training - 4-5 weeks before Brighton/London, flat as a pancake and well supported. Most things work brilliantly (registration is open until the night before, picking up numbers was easy, clear split between half-marathon and 20 mile courses) but a few things did wrankle. The bag drop process was disorganised; leading to an unneccesrily long queue (the people working it were doing their best and calm in the face of stressed, race-jittery runners) and it felt like a bit of planning could have avoided this situation. Note for next year: drop your bag off early because these things happen. There was also a marked lack of loos on the course as well - again this must be a logistical nightmare to arrange but when you're out for 3-4 hours; sometimes a bush just isn't enough! This doesn't ruin the race; but I'd have been a lot happier and more comfortable if this facility was available.
Small issues notwithstanding, this is a great, affordable race that serves a very clear purpose - the roads are quiet, the scenery is nice (as long as you like fields and trees) and the support is wonderful!
Posted on 12.03.18