Reports – 2018

Event Reports

17/06/2018 – Saxon Shore Half Marathon

Saxon Shore Half Marathon – Report by Darren Bowley

‘We all like to be beside the seaside’ goes the old saying… that may be true but I am not sure that applied to the hoards of coasties as they approached the 3rd hill at the Whitstable turn around in this year’s Saxon Shore half marathon.

Before we get to those hills though, there is only one place to start this report and that is by glowing about the sheer volume of Coastal Striders that took part in one way or the other, whether running, cheering on or trying to capture everyone’s best sides and commit to facebook, the turnout was simply outstanding, it was a Coastie takeover once again, an increasingly regular occurrence this year.

So, onto the action, and after the obligatory and hastily pulled together pre race photo (it really is like trying to control children… or cattle) it was time to get us underway. Everyone lined up near the front, maybe a little bit optimistic, but as the usual headphone messages were read out there was certainly a lot of fun, some banter and no shortage of optimism amongst the gathered mass ranks;

Questions were already being asked…

Would Simon be able to break the 1 hour 30?

Could Daz catch him?

Who is Pob?

Is Darren looking at me or someone else?

So, into the race and after a fast start, we hit the first hill, it is only about a third of a mile in and pretty short, but it gives everyone a wakeup call, and a taste of things to come, but it’s ok, everyone is fresh and the cheers as we head back through the gardens and the first clicks of camera’s gets everyone back on track, it’s ok we all still look good, we got this…

The first few miles disappears and apart from a brief deviation up a long but pretty flat incline hill, we are swept back to the right, down a short drop and back onto the flat promenade, this is where the real race begins, the crowds thin out and it starts to feel a bit tougher, especially when Andy Lewis casually motors around you at what feels like about 6 minute mile pace and not even breaking a sweat, well done Andy, honestly it is great that you are so fast, no seriously it is!

So, back to that hills, namely the sod at the Whitstable turn around point, it was just tough, well for the mere mortals anyway, just sapped the legs and removed so much energy, it felt like that hill changed the race for a lot of Coasties, the promise of a fast flat course with room for PB’s seemed like an infringement of literary license.

Anyway, once everyone had finally climbed down from the dreaded hill, it was just the last few miles ahead, no more hills just a straight forward jog / run / crawl home, flanked by screaming crowds of adoring well wishers and of course the odd pedestrian and dog that did not understand that after 11 miles it may be a little bit easier if they could just move over.

So, one by one everyone made it across the line, Simon predictably but deservedly the first one, followed by Daz, the old one two, this was followed by the new flying man of the club in Andrew Lewis.. I have had a rumour that Andy was promptly taken away any asked to provide a sample, fortunately he only tested positive to being a great runner and a nice guy, although there were traces of Ovaltine. (Andy just give the fiver next time you see me!).

For fear of losing you all, I won’t reel off the complete list of Coasties and their finish times suffice to say though each and every one of you did a great job, it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park, it wasn’t even a stroll along the seafront, it was gruelling test of personal determination.

So, well done to all those who walked away with a medal, to those who were embarking on their first half marathon, well done Kerri Baker, Matt ‘Pob’ Wakefield, Ros and David Davidge, also to Louise Reid who returned for her first half marathon in 4 years. You all smashed it, and finally, once again also a real thank you to the support team, whether providing a much needed shout out or capturing pics, it really does make a difference!

Until next time then….

09/06/2017-10/06/2017 – Endure24

Endure24 – Report by Netty Nut Nut Miles

So where to start……..

Myself, Sarah and Jodie (non CS) team twisted blister – a small (literally) F3-5 team and we did it the hard way with just the 3 of us.

None of us had the best prep leading up to event and I didn’t really have a chance to get excited or take in the challenge ahead. TBH the reality of doing this event did not kick in until I started running my first lap!!!

After the road trip there and seeing amusing pubs such as the Butt inn we soon started to get excited. Sarah and I packed for a week but had every essential we needed. Jodie was in charge of setting up our camp site as I really didn’t have a clue.

Our evening prep consisted of dancing, one alcoholic bevy and bants. Best prep I say as we were very relaxed and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

After an average nights sleep we got our butts to yoga to stretch out ready for the madness ahead.

Start time was midday!!!!! We set up a mini base camp by the changeover point with foam roller, snacks, sun block and changes of clothes.

LAP 1 – I went first!!! Running into the unknown not knowing if I can do this or not. Then I looked at my red band on my wrist (teams used this to pass over to each runner) and knew I could do this with the best team mates. The first 4 miles I felt uncomfortable and irritated but after that I settled down and felt great. The route was hard but team twisted blister love a hill. Glad there were hills as they actually help your legs stretch out over a long distance. Definitely was not a course for those who like flat ground and even the downhill bits were tough with tree roots and rocks.

LAP 2-4 – Were a bit of a blur for me. I found it hard having loads of runners fly passed me all the time. I just had to remember that most of them were in large teams and were going for top spots. I just took in the amazing views and thought to myself I am doing a good job even when walking.

Boiling sunshine made it tough, then it rained and then we had mist but suddenly it was sunset which was just awesome and surreal.

We stopped and had a midnight dinner together as we needed a proper meal and because we hadn’t been a 3 for a while. After this I felt really good so wanted to go out again especially in the dark.

LAP 5 – I loved the lap in the pitch dark through the woods. How some of the runners were hammering it through the night I don’t know. Embrace the spooky. The footing was testing in the dark but the sensible hat just had to go on. Fairy lights helped around us round, with epic volunteers at different point such as the VDUB guys and everyone’s head torches lighting up the night were amazing.

LAP 6 – This was the hardest lap mentally for me. Sleep deprivation was trying to bite me on the arse. I walked slowly this whole lap. Feeling very spaced out and not with it, but the encouragement of all the runners was amazing. I still enjoyed it and took it the great atmosphere.

Once I had finished my last lap Sarah went out for her 6th lap. Jodie went for a re-charge and then came back for her 7th lap. These 2 ladies are so amazing and inspirational. I would not have done this

event without them. I was done after 6 laps, a 7th would have been silly. 6 laps for me meant my first ultra was in the bag!!!!

This event went so quickly but I really enjoyed it. It was very well organised and there was always good music and lots of food. Even though there were solo runners, pairs, small teams and large teams by the later part of the event it felt like we were all a team together. All the encouragement and support were brilliant. That kept us going as well as a combination of crisps, peanut butter, music, adult humour and baby wipes. And we weren’t last…we were up there with the best of them – 95 miles done!

What an epic event with the greatest of friends. I would 100% recommend this event ?

10/06/2017 – The Tour de Sandwich

Tour de Sandwich – Report by Kerry Bolton

Sandwich was buzzing this morning and it was lovely to see so many people taking part. For me this was a challenge to ensure that I cycled every hill – there has always been 1 that beats me (normally at the end). The first 17 miles were fine, a few small hills but nothing too taxing. I was more concerned that I’d get us lost as I did in the KM Bike ride and added another 10km to the 50 we were supposed to do!

Adrian Smith went on ahead but Lawrie, Sarah and I continued at a slightly slower pace. The fuel stop was a welcome sight and the Jaffa cakes offered didn’t touch the sides! Obviously cycling this far on one dodgy old banana before the start wasn’t going to get me through the event! Then it happened. We came out of the pit stop straight into a hill that felt like it had no end. I was going so slowly at one point I thought I’d stopped! The other 2 faired slightly better.

At the top of the hill there were a few of us collecting our breath before we headed off. A few more hills and no other incidents until we were in Ash. A cyclist in front stopped suddenly resulting in me crashing off my bike. Luckily the banana in my back pocket broke my fall ?! We carried on with no more dramas!! Lovely cycling back into Sandwich and the day was topped off perfectly with a lovely medal (and a pint of cider).

Tour De Sandwich – 75k – Report by Ian Dodds

What better way to start a nearly 50 mile bike ride, than to cycle a extra 7 miles from home down to the start line? Well.. having both your brakes fall out of alignment and mean you have to spend the first 10 minutes of the day with your bike upside down, furiously wiggling levels and tightening/loosening screws wouldn’t be my first choice.. but there we go!

Having made us all late; we finally got underway and only just missed Le Grande Depart (cycling for ‘the start’).. The Tour De Sandwich is a friendly, untimed sportive that runs as part of the French cultural festival, Le Weekend, that’s been going on for a little bit now… this was my first time doing the middle distance, having done the 50 last year and Steve’s promise of ‘two hills of death.. but the rest are OK’ pretty much set the tone for the day!

Helen, Fran and I were using this as a final warm up before the Lakesman half Ironman) and with her first Olympic distance triathlon (750m swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run) coming up, Kelly was getting a last big ride in too. Steve is a newer strider and a very keen cyclist and passed on some great advice over the course of the afternoon.

The weather was a little overcast and on the cool side – but having the stunning Kent country side to admire more than made up for this. The route takes you out towards Canterbury and loops back round, giving mercifully quiet roads (on the whole) and the aforementioned two ‘hills of death’. One of these had a gradient of 18%… I’m no mathematician and don’t have a protractor handy.. but basically I’m never going to complain about having to run up Nero’s hill again. All of us, Steve excluded, had to call it quits and walk up the last bit of it… which I personally found a bit disappointing (in myself, obviously – everyone should always do what they’re comfortable with).. but this also gives me a nice challenge for next year and shows me that I need to do a few more hill reps!

Despite being out for almost 5 hours; it all felt like it was over too soon. We were back in Sandwich for our medals, coffee and cake (thanks Steve!) and we’d managed to get away with no punctures, no further mechanical issues and just the one (controlled) fall in to a bush. Which, all in all, makes for a fairly successful day out in my eyes?

03/06/2017 – The Dambusters Challenge

Dambusters – Report by Chris Knight

On Sunday 3rd June a number of Coastal Striders took part in the SVN Dambusters Challenge. This was my first SVN event and I entered as I had heard much about them in the few months I’ve been running with the Coastal Striders. It didn’t disappoint – well organised, a friendly atmosphere and the best medal I have had the pleasure of receiving!

The course consisted of two laps of about 4 miles in length followed by a 9 mile lap, to also be completed twice for the marathon distance. It was generally very flat, but the hill from Reculver up to the car park on the other side of the country park seemed never-ending. Having completed the Paris Marathon in April I wasn’t sure I would be able to do the full distance again, but in spite of soaring temperatures and spurred on by fellow coasts and SVN runners, I completed the full marathon distance. It was a struggle after 17 miles, but as I learned during this run it is not always about pace/speed – but proving something to yourself – whether that be four miles or forty!

I am already eyeing up a couple of other SVN events and have set myself a goal of five marathons this year – something I didn’t even imagine was possible a year ago!!

Well done to all the Coastal Striders who took part.

James Patterson 35.5 miles

Simon Ballard 26.2 miles

Darren Sayer 26.2 miles

Chris Knight 26.2 miles

Paul Preston 26.2 miles

Gary Channing 26.2 miles

Helen Tremble 26.2 miles

Rebecca Glasgow 16.9 miles

Richard Boyd 16.9 miles

Dambusters – Bonus Report by Paul Preston

Sunday the 3rd June I along with many other Coastal Striders took part in the Dambusters Challenge organised by SVN. This was my second SVN event and was as always professionally organised and very friendly. I have been running for two and a half years now and originally had no intention to run a marathon distance until March 2018 when I joined the Coastal Striders. On the day of the Dambusters challenge it was not ideal conditions for running let alone a marathon distance.

The challenge consisted of 2 x 3.82 mile loops followed by 2 x 9.28 loops for the marathon distance. I started the run looking to complete 16.92 miles, but as soon as I started I ran with Gary Channing and Helen Tremble and their encouragement help and advice helped me massively. After the 7.64 miles I began the large 9.28 stretch and started talking to a gent Neil Harris who has incredibly completed over 100 marathons in 3 years. Neil gave me some good tips and words of wisdom which spurred me on no end. After completing lap 3 I had to walk lap 4 as the legs had given up. I completed the marathon in 5 hours 40 Mins.

The thing that I will remember more than anything else is all the fellow Striders including some that are not even running on the day cheering and clapping all the Strider runners over the line at the finish. This shows what a fantastic club Coastal Striders is, and I don’t think I would have completed a marathon without the support and help from the Striders. Thank you all and will I run another marathon now, you bet I will.

Cheers Paul

27/05/2018 – The Folkestone 10k

Folkestone 10k – Report by Mark Baker

Sunday 27th May was the date for this year’s Folkestone 10k with the run starting on the seafront heading towards Hythe and back and with approximately 550 runners taking part we had a number of Coastal Striders running.

While there was thunder storms forecast and possible rain, this did not happen as the weather was glorious for sitting on the beach and not ideal for running. The temperatures reached 26°c with 66% humidity!

Nevertheless the run started on time and our Coasties romped home in the following order:

1) Robin Wood 49.04
2) Richard Boyd 49.23
3) Gary Longley 58.33
4) Sarah Watson 1.01.43
5) Kelly Murphy 1.03.14
6) Philip Sheppard 1.06.09
7) Jenny Baker 1.20.27
8) Mark Baker 1.20.27

Big shout out to Sarah Hart who wisely chose to support rather than run with an injury and a big well done to everyone that took part!

25/05/2018 – Samphire Hoe – Series 1

Samphire Hoe – Report by Sarah Watson

Just little old me from Striders enjoyed a lovely run out at Samphire Hoe in the evening sunshine. Had forgotten how fun going from the sea wall to the gravel hill on the nature reserve was but enjoyed the little hills and overtaking those it surprised! Not my fastest but a nice Friday evening 5k with a good crowd of runners. Looking forward to next month’s! I was happy with my position of 5th overall female.

20/05/2018 – Hythe Bay Triathlon

Hythe Bay Triathlon – Report by Ian Dodds

Ah, triathlon….the endurance sport that allows you to be mediocre at three disciplines; instead of just one! All whilst getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning so you can start the race before the roads get busy!

Most of our first triathlon of the season was this Sunday down in Hythe; it was a super sprint so we’d be doing a 250m pool swim before jumping on our bikes and riding up to Folkestone train station (15k in total) before switching shoes and heading out and back along the seawall for a 5k run.

The problem I have with pool swims is that if you get stuck behind the person in front, you have to wait until the end of the length before overtaking; which can lead to chunks of time being lost. On the flipside; it’s not a lake so you aren’t getting hit in the face by waves or running the risk of ingesting duck poo – so swings and roundabouts… I digress…

As you can’t have a mass start where everyone starts at the same time in a pool; it’s one at a time with roughly 30 seconds between each swimmer. Les and Kelly set off first, shortly followed by Tina and Nicky with Helen, Cali, Fran, Gary and I being about 10 minutes behind that. We were well supported by Nathan and Sarah and it was nice to see some other local tri-friends down there too.

It was a cool morning which meant there wasn’t much in the way of spectators and that leaving the nice warm pool and running out to Transition (where you change your gear over) wasn’t the most fun! I’d set off first out of our pack so would have to wait until my way back before seeing how the others were doing – on went my helmet and cleats (no time to get out of the wet stuff – it’s what a tri suit is for!), quick swig of water and I was away.

The roads were mercifully quiet but the potholes made for a less than efficient route and a few kilometres in you get to Sandgate Hill; which is what presents the major challenge of this event – it’s long and gets quite steep, so you have to dig in to get up it… someone always seems to put the steepest part of the hill right at the top, presumably just to make me unhappy so even when you’re at the top it can take a good while to get your breath back!

I caught up with Tina and Nicky on the run up to Folkestone station and after yelping out some encouragement, started to speed up; knowing that I was on my way back and it was ‘only a Parkrun’ at the end of it! This also meant I crossed paths with the everyone that had started after me and although they’d clearly had as much fun as me on the climb, were looking really strong so after getting to the top of the hill I tucked in, let go of the brakes and flew back down as quickly as I dared to pay it back for being so steep.

The part of triathlon I find the hardest is coming out of T2 and starting the run – your legs pump so hard on the bike, they don’t really know what to do when you get off; so I was grateful for the nice, flat run course up the seafront and used the timeless combination of a tailwind and the famous Coasties cheering section to power through to the finish line and somehow run my 2nd quickest mile – the first tri of the season was polished off in a respectable 1hr 5mins.

Kelly and Les has already finished and we had a steady stream of orange vests getting back in for medals, biscuits and the grim realisation that we still had to repack our transition bags and collect our bikes.

Outstanding effort from everyone! This was Les’ first triathlon and Nicky and Tina’s first time doing this distance. Kelly and Cali will be tackling an Olympic distance later in the summer whilst Fran, Helen and I are attempting a half ironman in a few weeks!

First Striders home were: Me, Gary and Helen.

20/05/2018 – UKC Canterbury 10k

Canterbury 10k – Report by Tony Ansell

I booked this two days prior to the race so did not know if any of the club were running, as it turned out there were five of us, Darren and Jack Bowley, Tim Howes, Richard Boyd (who had already this weekend done the Harbour Wallbanger, and Whitstable GOTri) and me.

I arrived early so had parking near the start at the pavilion, registration was very efficient, and while waiting for the start I met up with the other Coasties, and we did a team photo.

The weather was fairly ideal, and we set of right on time, the course was a mixture of grass, tarmac and trail, starting on grass around the sports field, then on to tarmac, for those that know the Canterbury parkrun course, we up and down their fabulous hills, then carried on along tracks and narrow paths, across roads, excellent marshals looking after traffic, and finally on to the trail paths through Clowes Woods to the turning point at Gypsy Corner, this was the 5km mark and the water station, now we just had to run back, a similar mix of road and trail and the fabulous hills in reverse, there was a sting in the tail, that instead of entering the field and having a straight sprint to the finish, we had a long tiring slog around it to the funnel.

Another nice run which ended with an after race team photo, all happy but tired.

18/05/2018 – Ashford 5k Summer Series Race 1

Ashford 5k – Report by Sarah Watson

Friday 18th May 7:30pm: First of the Nice Works Podplus Ashford summer series held at Victoria Park and just the two of us Coastie girlies ran the 5k race. A lovely two lap race (held at same time as the 10k) around the park with a sneaky incline to test our legs. Always a tough one getting legs to go fast on a Friday night but Netty Miles surprised herself with a SB and placed 3rd lady getting a nice bottle of wine and I managed a SB too (not hard since I’ve not run a 5k this year!). Lovely evening with free massages from podplus and biccies and bling. Well worth checking out the next month’s races if you want to improve your speed.

07/05/2018 – The Whitstable 10k

The Whitstable 10k – Report by Tony Ansell

This was the first running event I entered when I started running in 2013 as training for a half marathon on the Isle of Barra, having not done any running since school some 35 years previous, I did not know whether I could even finish, well I did in roughly 56 minutes, which considering how hot it was I was pleased with, fast forward 5 years and now with 180 odd parkruns under my belt and having joined our fabulous running club, I booked into run the event again.

So how did it go, well the weather was the same, too hot. I arrived reasonably early, the car park was filling, and the queues for the meters were across the car park so I decided to find a side road to park in. A fair walk to registration to get race number and the nice event shirt, then another walk up to the start area where I met up with our other club runners, and as start time approached and everyone had arrived we had a team photo, from the results page, I see we had 6 female and 10 male finishers out of 627, so a good turnout, plus added to this we had a very vocal cheer squad around the course to give us encouragement, especially at the finish, thanks too them all, it really does help to have your name called out when you are struggling.

The course was mainly road and concrete promenade, we started with a slight incline then down along the road at Tankerton, cutting inland at Swalecliffe, via holiday home site back to the coastal grass section, then into Studd Hill, along to the turning point at Hampton, here was the drinks station, which with the hot weather was much needed, then the return leg along the prom, around the path at Long Rock and then back onto the long prom section to the finish near Beach Walk Whitstable, where the great Coasties banner and the bulk of the cheer squad were.

This was my eighth race in a club shirt since I started at the beginning of the year, but my first with other Coasties attending, all I can say is you all create a great atmosphere and are a really friendly club.

29/04/2018 – #finishformatt

Finish for Matt – Report by Kim Galt

On the 22nd of April 2018, 40000 hopeful runners crossed the start line of the London Marathon. Sadly one person never made it home.
Matt Campbell, none of us knew you, and I doubt you’d heard of us, but somehow your passing touched a chord within us all. You were young, fit and seemingly healthy, it could have happened to anyone.

Throughout this week runners, walkers, family, friends and supporters from all walks of life, from all across the world finished those last 3.7 miles for you. The last miles you’d trained so hard for, so cruelly taken away when you tragically collapsed at mile 22 and a half. We completed them for you.

The outpouring of donations for the Brathay Trust, the charity that Matt was running for has since been phenomenal. His original target of £2,500 is now in excess of £300,000. What a beautiful legacy you’ve left behind.

You’ve inspired people to run, to walk that otherwise may not have done, those that were injured determined to finish those miles, those coming back after a long break put on their running shoes and did it for you. Those who had fallen out of love with running inspired once more. Children pushing their mums and dads out the door. Let’s hope that continues.

We at Coastal Striders are so humbled to have been part of your finish Matt and so honoured and proud to be part of the running community that came together as one to pay their respects to one of our fallen.

Wake up and be thankful for the ability to put one foot in front of the other and make the most of everyday. Simply because we can.

Be kind for tomorrow is not promised.

Our sincere condolences to Matt’s family.


22/04/2018 – London Marathon

London Marathon – Report by Kim Galt

Some 20 years ago when I was 16, I distinctly remember pritt sticking the London Marathon results in my scrapbook. (this was back when the The Times used to print every single result) My uncle had ran it that year in a time of 3.32.07. It was at this precise moment that I decided I’d like to do this one day.

Fast forward quite a few years and I had developed a healthy aversion to exercise and running of any sort couldn’t be further from my mind. Then 4 years ago I joined a running club and a year from that ran my first marathon in Brighton and that spark of running London was slowly reignited.

Then our  beautiful club – Coastal Striders was born in May 2017, and luckily for us got allocated a London Marathon spot. A dozen or so hopeful members put their name in a hat and I was so lucky to be picked out. Being completely honest I had mixed reactions of fear, dismay with a tiny bit of excitement thrown in. Only the day before I had asked Emma our club Secretary to take my name out of the draw as I thought I just couldn’t do it. I still can’t believe I got picked. My London Marathon dream was to finally become reality since that first inkling in 1997. What an amazing opportunity to be able to represent Coastal Striders in our first club spot. I had to do this!

After months of training, in snow, ice, rain, zero degrees, early morning runs, physio, self doubt, tight muscles, weak bladder, self doubt, carb loading (yes I may have started this a tad early!) more self doubt, the day of the marathon was finally here! A total of 5 coasties were to embark on a journey of a lifetime.

The winter training really prepared us well for what ended up being the hottest London Marathon of all time, nearly 24 degrees! But actually this was a complete lie it was closer to 40 degrees…..and that was in the shade!

I met up with my friend Mark who was also running, so glad I could share this experience with someone as every one else was starting in red start. After 2 portaloo stops and an extra one for luck, I headed to Pen 8 of blue start. I was so close to the back that I thought this has to be the perfect opportunity to start a Mexican wave, I called a steward over and told her my plan. She went over to the start of pen 8 and after a couple of poor attempts, a Mexican wave happened, granted a few hundred people in the middle missed it but hey I’ll take it!

So after what felt like several years (half an hour) of no movement it was finally our time to start heading towards the start, this was it! It was actually happening! I whizzed out of the line for 1 last toilet stop, had a quick selfie with a rhino and got on our merry way heading over the start at 10.41 am. It was at this moment when I thought wow, it’s hot. People had started walking almost immediately, my quads were niggling and I was sweating like never before. This didn’t bode well! However the first 5k seemed to fly by, because I definitely started too fast.

Mark was trying to slow me down,it just seemed so slow! After that I desperately tried to stick between 11-12 minute miles, I was in quite a bit of pain already and didn’t want to massively mess things up! The next few miles were so hard and so hot I just wasn’t prepared. I took on water at every stop and although I didn’t want to, for fear of chafing I poured the rest over myself. It was just unbearable.

All the way I kept thinking I can’t believe I’m doing this! The crowds for most of the way really were amazing, singing, dancing, clapping, cheering, screaming calling out people’s names, handing out jelly babies, jaffa cakes, orange slices….oh my god the Orange slices – absolute heavenly goodness! On some parts the crowd were quite quiet and it was at these parts that I just had to dig deep and push through the pain, the heat and the overwhelming desire to stop and walk. Cutty Sark appeared before not too long, and truth be told I almost missed it as we were too busy trying to get in front of the camera!

The next few miles were a kind of blur I just wanted to get to Tower Bridge, almost half way and to where I knew Rick, Lee, Rachel and Catherine were waiting. By this time my feet were burning underneath, I just couldn’t believe how much I was suffering before halfway. Thank the Lord along the way were a few showers at the side of the road, these were such a welcome relief from the sweltering sun. To hell with chafing, give me the water!

Tower bridge loomed up ahead and that was a magical moment so loud, so exhilarating, the buzz was electrifying! Turned the corner and saw Rick and Lee was so worried I had missed them gave them very moist hugs – it was water not sweat honest! It was so uplifting seeing friendly faces, it really did spur me on. Only a few moments down the road was Rachel and Catherine, with Orange slices, I don’t think I’d tasted anything as perfect! Was so good to see the girls – a double whammy of friendly faces in such a short space of time!

Onwards to halfway, definitely no turning back now! It’s at this point that you can see all the other runners on the other side of the road on about mile 22. A lot looked very strong, a lot were walking, the unrelenting sun taking it’s toll. By this time we’d been reduced to run walking. I was struggling too much, I didn’t want to jeopardise a finish, saw too many people on the side of the road being seen to by medics. It was heart breaking, in my head I willed them on to finish, in my heart I knew a lot wouldn’t.

The next few miles were a bit of a blur, we ran, walked for a bit, set ourselves targets to run to. Every one around us was struggling. I passed several rhinos, a few had to take their costumes off and were being doused by the spectators. I didn’t envy them one bit. At some water stations they had completely ran out of water, I resorted to picking up bottles off the floor many others were doing the same. The Lucozade stands didn’t run out but drinking that sweet stuff when all you wanted was water was starting to make me ill, in fact if I never see another Orange Lucozade it will be too soon. Thankfully a couple of times on the course, the firemen had their hoses out, so good, so refreshing! loved it!

The next target for me was to see my girls and Simon waiting for me at mile 24. I had to phone Simon as I thought I’d  missed them but I hadn’t, in the distance I could see Coastie Orange and blue –  there they were! Had a quick hug and Simon said “Go!” and Amy screamed “Run” so off I went. My legs at this point felt ok, was still run walking but the running bits were faster, I could almost taste the finish! Just half a mile down the road was Marks wife and son, more welcome faces! It was around mile 25 that I saw Kerry, Kathryn and a few others who I’d seen earlier on in the race but i can’t remember where! Again another fantastic boost!

Only a mile and a bit to go, turning the corner towards Big Ben was magical, deafening, it seemed everyone was screaming my name, they probably weren’t but who cares! It was so epic down that way, just got louder and louder until we got so close to the Mall, where I saw Fran, she told me to keep going, it’s just around the corner, and unlike the twerp telling me at mile 1 it actually was, the finish was around the corner!

Had a short walk had to save a semi sprint finish for the Mall. 365 yards to go, this is it go go go! I started to run, I was beaming so hard, the finish was there! I had tears in my eyes, all the pain went, all those months of training for this moment! I lifted my hands and crossed that finish line, I’d only gone and done it sub 6 too 5 hours 44 mins 22 seconds. So so pleased. And so proud for completing it, for my Striders, my Club, my wonderful friends who I choose to run with every week! You gave me so much support and love you’ll never know how much you touched me. I’m eternally grateful.

As my running buddy and I went our separate ways I  said “same time next year?!” And I really would do it again in a heartbeat, well I say heartbeat, probably a month because currently I’m stuck on the couch and literally can’t move! Can’t wait to see who gets the next marathon spot, roll on January!

A massive well done to the other Coastal Striders that shared this experience with me.

Ryan Carter running Asthma UK who finished in 4 hours 4 minutes and 25 seconds, first marathon, first Coastie home. Epic!

Michelle Foreman, running for fire fighters charity, finished in 5 hours 31 minutes and 43 seconds! Outstanding!

Mark Huttley who ran for the Stroke association. First marathon, finishing time of 5 hours 53 minutes and 30 seconds. Fantastic!

And lastly but by no means least a relatively new member of our club Laura Wharlley running for Sense who by using the run walk method finished in 7 hours 8 minutes 31 seconds. Inspirational!

How amazing running the London Marathon and raising thousands for charity too! Absolutely Awesome.

15/04/2018 – Brighton Marathon and 10k

Brighton Marathon and 10k – Report by David Davidge

April the 15th and welcome Brighton marathon! Its an overcast morning but a humid day.

With Coasties travelling down and staying overnight in Brighton, everyone met up outside the Travelodge opposite Preston Park for the obligatory pre-marathon and 10k selfie that Julie Sharp missed. Even at 8.30 the support crowd were out in force with Kelly Murphy’s posse and Richards rabble marching down the road with their awesome support banners.

First up, the 10k run with Lorna Munday, Netty Nutjob, Phil Sheppard and Kerry Bolton running for Coastal Striders, but with Simon Ballard contemplating running the 10k before the marathon because he’s not human and has a few marbles missing in his brain……..

This was my first big marathon event and my 4th marathon within a year of joining the Coastal Striders and exactly one year to the date I ran my first ever race. It was also Ian Dodds’ first ever marathon. It was great to have Simon for company on the drive down at 5.30am to show me the ropes on what I needed to be doing with the baggage lorries.

As we all headed for our coloured pens for the start of the 2018 Brighton Marathon everyone was chatting and cheerful ready for the start. 20 minutes passed and we were finally on our way and out on the new route. After the first corner and first hill, which wasn’t too bad and we were met by Glenn Missions and family giving their best support. Next it was down past the park and through the town and I could already tell how humid it was, back past the Travelodge and back past the Coastal Striders support team and further down the road where Colin Sharp and family were cheering on the runners. Just through the town and heading out, Sophie Clayton and co. appeared with another epic banner which was a lovely surprise to see her there cheering on Coasties with her dad Dave Clayton.

By this time Darren Sayer had passed and left me, the sun had arrived and humidity increased somewhat just as the next hill approached and the roads became longer. At this point Sarah Watson had to pull out with an illness that got her a ride in an ambulance to the medical tent. Fortunately it was nothing too bad and she lives to fight the Brighton Marathon gremlins again which I’m sure she will without a doubt!

The crowd support was amazing on the day with bands playing by the water treatment works and DJ’s and sound systems playing every few miles, to the thousands of people shouting encouragement and giving out oranges and jelly babies. It really does help with morale and motivation, the last 6-7 miles of the course is the loneliest with the crowds not making it down this far through the industrial estate.

With cramp setting in and Dave Clayton catching up, I was pleased to see his familiar face and he managed to convince me to get a move on as I was still on for a good time. I lifted my head up to push on down these long stretches of road to the finish.

New PB’s and new achievements were accomplished on the day with some running their first marathons.

  1. Simon Ballard – 3.13 (PB and club record)
  2. Jay Bailey – 3.22
  3. Darren Sayer – 3.35
  4. Deano Evans – 3.41 (PB)
  5. Dave Clayton- 4.15
  6. David Davidge- 4.19
  7. Ian Dodds – 4.49 (and first marathon)
  8. Julie Sharp – 4.52 (first marathon as a Coastal Strider and a PB)
  9. Steve Simmons – 5.07
  10. Lillja Olafsdottir – 5.14
  11. Gary Channing – 5.17
  12. Helen Tremble – 5.24
  13. Becky Missions- 5.25 (and first marathon)
  14. Billy Counter – 5.26
  15. Andy Hiller – 5.37
  16. Tracy Boyes – 5.39
  17. Tim Howes – 5.41 (first marathon)
  18. Les Brown – 5.51 (was still daylight and the crowds had not left this year)
  19. Curtis Cleaver- 6.31 (and first marathon)
  20. Francesca Laws – 6.46
  21. Gaynor Shellvey – 7.37

A few Coastal Striders have signed up for next year already. So until next year, where I’ll definitely be competing again – Good luck to all!


30/03/2018 – Folkestone 10 mile race

Folkestone 10 mile – Report by Lee Field

Friday 30st March 2018 saw the 35th Folkestone 10M race from Hythe to Folkestone and back along the seafront. A large number of Coastal Striders took part despite the challenging weather conditions.

The two hours that followed the start of the race saw some pretty wild weather and we think it’s fair to say that the true hero’s of the day were the supporting crew who not only travelled down, but stood out and braved the cold wind and the torrential rain. These hardy hero’s were: David Davidge & kids, Tim Bray, Stacey Beswick, Jenny Baker and Mark Baker, Mollie Ramsden, Rosie Ramsden, Michael and George.

The starting gun fired and approx 700 runners charged forward. Rob Gray zoomed out in front and lead the pack as first coastie up till about the 9th mile. He was then only just caught by Lee Field at the end.

Personal bests also came thick and fast from Paul Preston, Kelly Murphy, Elvis Cooper, Ros Davidge, Ian Dodds, and Sarah Watson. A truly outstanding set of results by all especially Ian Dodds who despite being out till the early hours the night before pulled off a 5k, 10k and 10mile PB providing clear evidence that alcohol makes you run faster :).

25/03/2018 – London Landmarks Half Marathon

London Landmarks Half Marathon – Report by Tim Bray

Race Conditions good with a temperature of 8°c and rather overcast

My race time was scheduled for 09:37 however with the volume of runners I was away for 09:55. Getting away, trying to find room for space and get on with my race also making up lost time, I found it hard getting past masses of people but once past I was happy with my pace, I found that each wave being released 7 minutes apart made people bunch up and slowed the faster runners down, getting stuck behind fun-runners etc.

Once through one group of people I encountered another large group this was a common thing throughout the race.

I found that the atmosphere was electric and the crowd support was phenomenal, high-fiving the kids at the side of the road made my heart swell with pride as seeing their smiling faces lifted my spirits. My first 5 miles were a blur as I was being carried along with the entertainment and support.

Race settled soon after and I felt comfortable and strong I was happy with the breeze once coming along the open  sections of the route, as I felt hot.

The encouragement from the live bands and support groups/charity cheers boosted my confidence also learning more about our great capital like the quirky facts and historical information turned my race into an education. As I got to the 10mile I past Sarah Watson and Chell Foreman I didn’t realise I had past them until I heard Michelle shout! I turned round and waved to the lovely ladies.

Heading towards the tunnel under Black Friars Bridge, I encountered something new to my running which was double vision I didn’t like this at all and so glad that it didn’t last long, when i exited the tunnel my vision fixed itself.

I saw the sign for 11 miles and knew that I was nearing the end; I decided to treat the last 2miles like Park Run and push hoping for that PB.

Passing the Tommy’s support ladies was fantastic they cheered my name and created lots of motivation for me to finish strong.

Coming to the end of the 13.1 mile run and seeing the Finish line I felt mixed emotions, knowing I had achieved a PB, raising over £400 for charity and happy that my race had gone according to plan with correct Hydration and Nutrition, I didn’t have to refuel or hydrate throughout the run.

William Adams added that he would like to do the run again and improve on his performance and time, completing his race in 02:06:35

Warren Chambers added that he loved the feel of the race and felt supported throughout, he liked the fact his partner could see him, the start was hectic and he would do it again, completing his race in 02:09:06

Claire Morgan & Lilja Olafsdottir added that they stayed together for an easy run and not aiming for PB’s but just to enjoy themselves. They were joint 3rd for Coastal Striders and joint 1st females for the club; they enjoyed the route and seeing the sights. Completing their race together in 02:14:07

Michelle Foreman & Sarah Watson added that they took it easy loved the route and the crowd support and send their thanks. Completing their race together in 02:22:08

Les Brown added the fact that he wanted a finishing selfie and on taking it he wasn’t quite ready overall happy with the day. Completing his race in 02:22:51

Vanessa Penn added that she hated every minute of the race and struggled from mile 8, Vanessa found the route difficult and harder than thought, she still done amazingly well and got a great time. Completing her race in 02:27:53

Nathan Wilson added that he enjoyed the race and the atmosphere. Completing his race in 02:33:35

Helen Tremble added that she enjoyed the race completing it in 02:33:39

Jenny Baker added that it was amazing overall just not happy with too few porta loos on route but we know that she smashed 18minutes 41 seconds of her Previous Half Marathon in Hastings. Completing her race in 02:55:35

Mark Baker added that he and his wife had a great day and that they are happy with their times and cannot wait for the next race. Completing his race in 02:56:19

Gaynor Shelvey added that she had a fantastic day out but was disappointed with some of the road surfaces however that couldn’t have been helped with all the bad weather lately. Completing her race in 03:16:08    

Some of the Coastal Striders raised money for certain charities because we believe in giving back.

Tim raised money for Tommy’s

Warren raised money for Cancer Research

Sarah raised money for Mind

Vanessa raised money for Macmillan Cancer Care

Helen raised money for Bone Cancer Research Trust

Jenny raised money for Stroke Association

Mark raised money for Prostate Cancer UK

Gaynor raised money for Breast Cancer Care

Well done to everyone and thank you all for the support and donations.

24/03/2018 – The SVN Betteshanger Challenge

The SVN Betteshanger Challenge – Report by Darren Sayer

It was another quiet still morning at Betteshanger Country Park, a perfect day for the SVN Betteshanger Challenge. One by one the team arrived James, Simon, Darren, Billy and Dave,

Traviss Started his Race briefing with some special announcements one of which was our very own James Patterson. Firstly James was presented with his very own elite running name as he has managed to clock up 1500 SVN Miles, this was also James’ 50th Marathon all of which have been SVN events and to his surprise because of this he was awarded with his very own ‘James’ SVN Hoodie.

The Race Briefing continued……. Traviss then dropped the bombshell that we would be running the course the opposite way, the sound of groans filled the air, we then all preceded up the big hill to the little house on the Prairie for race start.

Simon, James, Darren and another Runner Craig lead the runners out for this epic event .

By the end of the first lap we was all looking strong and was greeted by our very own Race Marshall Tim and Photographer Stacey

Dave was flying around – Darren wasn’t sure where to go…

Billy was as cool as a cucumber – and Simon just kept on running and running!

End Results were:-

Simon 42.65 miles in a time of 6:17:55 with an overall event win for time and distance!

James 29.5 miles in a time of 4:32:50

Darren 29.5 miles in a time of 4:42:59

Dave 19.7 miles in a time of 3:31:06

Billy 19.7 miles in a time of 4:04:22

Well done all, and thank you to all the SVN team for putting on yet another great event.

18/03/2018 – Canterbury Riverside 10k

Canterbury Riverside 10k – Report by Matt Wakefield

In attendance for Coastal Striders – Janine Deniz, Emma Hinkley and Matt Wakefield.

Weather conditions 0 degrees C and considerably less with the windchill. The course started with a lap of a very boggy field and then onto a cycle path that headed towards Canterbury. There were a number of obstacles on the way including icy wooden bridges, muddy puddles and cattle grids, one of which caused Emma to fall at 1k leading to a human domino effect, luckily she wasn’t injured and was able to go on an record a PB.

On the advice on Tim I tried to put myself in the front four rows at the start, I found myself in with a strong group of runners and got a little excited and went off far quicker than I had planned. I reached 3k and realised I couldn’t keep this pace up for the whole 10k so tried to settle into a more conservative pace.

The head wind was strong and cold for the first 5k and I was relieved to make the turn and get the wind on my back for the last 5k. Shorty after the 5k turn I saw Janine, who looked strong, Emma was long gone.

Reaching the 9k mark I tried to up the pace but didn’t have much left, as I rounded the corner to see the finish I managed to up the pace and finish strong. It was great to see Emma waiting at the finish and after getting my breath back we waited to cheer Janine across the line.

I loved my first race and was really pleased with my 51:11 time. Emma and Janine both got PB’s with 48:54 and 55:47 respectively.

11/03/2018 – Lydd 20 mile and Half marathon

Lydd 20 mile and Half marathon – Report by Gary Marks

Torrential rain on the journey over to Lydd , and the thought of running 20 miles in it made me want to turn back and go home, luckily for me Billy was with me, thankfully the rain stopped but it was so cold we all couldn’t stop shivering or maybe it was just me, it felt as though we waited ages for the race to start, i was glad when we did cos listening to rockin all over the world was doing my head in. We all ran together for a while and then found our own pace, unlike last year I didn’t fall over, thankfully the crowds started to disperse and the weather improved, my running companion for the whole race was Rick, we got half way round and we both felt ok, by mile 11 though my thighs had had enough but I still continued, mile 14 my calfs went, we were both knackered by mile 15 at mile 17 we saw Ian Dodds fly past us, mile 19.5 we saw Dave Clayton and Jacqui who verbally pushed us to the finish line. Throughout the whole race I saw plenty of sheep no cows and loads of puddles, it was boring mentally tough and challenging would I do it again? No, but I said that last year so you never know, well done to all Coasties half Marathoners and 20 milers, and thankyou once again for the amazing Coasties support

10/03/2018 – S.V.N. Viking 100 mile challenge

Viking 100 – Report by Simon Ballard

So here we go my Viking 100 mile:

6:30am – Our chauffeur for the morning Darren Sayer arrived to drive myself and James Patterson to Brooks Farm ready for an 8am start and I have to say at this point kinda just felt like any other race day morning. I think we were probably both more excited/anxious to get started than worrying about the task ahead. On arriving at the farm we unpacked our supplies and kit and set up our camp for the next day or possibly more. Soon all the other runners started to arrive and the barn very quickly turned into a camp site to my surprise we had a pacer arrive first thing Mr Charlie White! (we went a little quick so he ran with Mark foster) race time was approaching we were booked in and numbers attached, we were ready to go. Before i go any further I have to say a massive thank you to Traviss Willcox and Rachel Smith and the team for another fantastical event and for all the support they gave throughout.

James and I set of together for the first lap and quickly adopted the strategy of walking hills and taking full advantage of the aid stations. Due to different stop strategies we separated at the end of lap 1 as i turned and went straight back out. The support from Coastal Striders and other friends was amazing we were already aware that Netty Nutnut Miles would be marshalling from early evening through the night but we had additional support from (hope i don’t miss anyone) Kim Galt, Amy Wright, Sophie Wright, Mark Galt, Neil Galt, David J Davidge, Ros Davidge, Rob Gray, Chell Foreman, Debbie Foreman, Julie Sharp, Emma Dickerson, Tim Bray, Ian Dodds, Charlie White, Shirley White and Les Brown. 2 hours into the event our Coast challenge team arrived to set off on their event, Kim Galt, Helen Tremble, Gary Channing, Lorna Munday, Popeye Hut and Darren Ryan.

After a few hours the farm track we had to cross at the beginning and end of each lap had become an absolute nightmare and we were lucky to manage 20 minute mile pace across it but other than that the weather was still holding out for us. Our challenge team were all pretty awesome Kim, Popeye and Lorna all completed 19 miles! pb distance for Lorna Munday, Helen and Gary both rocked out an impressive 31.25 miles Pb for both of them and Darren Ryan finished on 37.5 miles! At this time with the exception of a bit of magic tape for james knee we were both still running strong. Graham Ó Síodhacháin was on course with his camera to snap some memories for us (thanks graham) and Emma Dickerson and Kim Galt arrived to fuel us with chicken nuggets (yum) We also had a surprise visit from Deano Vanbeano Evans and Ryan Carter who had diverted their long run to say hello to us all.

I passed the half way point in around 8hrs 15 minutes and was still feeling very strong. I have to say a massive thank you to All who helped at Jelly Baby especially Sharon Foster and Derek Sackett who checked up on me and gave me advice every single time i passed. 8pm and Darren Sayer arrived to pace for us, he ran his first 2 laps with me (sometimes getting a little carried away with the pace with his fresh legs) then he swapped and paced for James Patterson. 3 laps and a short out and back to go 20.75 miles in total and Nathan Wilson took over the job of pacing for me….. Half way through the first lap with Nathan we had just walked a hill and my head started to really not feel good i was at 85 miles and was soon realising that it was probably going to be a 15 mile Death march to the end. we got to the end of lap 14 and I felt like crap and was on the verge of quitting, could not eat, head was all over the place and legs were all but gone but Kim Galt reminded me that i had said that when i say i’m done man up and get on with it. So with support from Nathan I set back out on lap 15 after a much needed hot chocolate from Sharon Foster I actually started to feel a little better and even started to pick up this pace a little but a couple of miles later was back to feeling like death and literally running on empty regardless got back to camp and just 1 lap and 2 miles to go. Nathan had called ahead with what kit i needed for final lap and Darren Sayer took over the job of making sure i didn’t die before the end it was to be the longest hardest 8.25 miles ever but I was now far too close to not finish.

Unfortunately there were no hallucinations as may have been easier if there had been unicorns or flying waffles on the final lap to keep me occupied lol. Well thats about it 20 hours and 38 minutes later I completed 100 miles!

Massive thanks to all of you for your support i may not have had my phone on but i was getting your messages read to me and they really helped a lot. Huge thanks to Kim Galt and the girls who were there for support for god knows how many hours, Darren Sayer and Nathan Wilson could not have got through the last couple of laps without you guys, James paterson my fellow coastie 100 miler when i was feeling crap even though he was finding the end tough too the hugs on passing helped, James Maybourn great to finally meet you and share some of the run with you well done on completing and finally all of the other competitors you guys are all total legends looking forward to seeing you all again soon.

Im sure I’ve probably missed thanking some but still not really slept yet thats my excuse and i’m sticking to it ?

25/02/2018 – Grand Brighton Half Marathon

Brighton Half Marathon – Report by Deano Evans

2018/02/25 10:30:17
It was a sunny morning but a really fresh start as the Beast from the East started to take hold with temperatures hovering around 2° and a wind chill of -2. It was the morning of the Grand Brighton half marathon and everyone in the Coastal Muff Bus (Deano Evans, Claire Morgan, Lilja Otatsdottir, Michelle Foreman, and Nannette Miles) had an early start apart from me (Deano) who overslept and made everyone late. This meant when the muff bus crew eventually made it to Brighton we had to start the race 10 minutes late and had to start from the back of the field. Bethany Mccrossan, Robert Gray and Sarah Watson had made their own way to Brighton and started the race on time. It was a slow start to the race starting from the back of the field so the first two miles were not that impressive. I settled in on mile 3 and pushed on to the end to finish in a race time of 1:35:26, a new PB but I look back at this now and think if I was prepared right and started at the right time how different this could have been!

Deano Evans 1:35:26
Robert Gray 1:35:33
Claire Morgan 2:03:30
Nannette Miles 2:08:29
Lilja Otatsdottir 2:11:09
Sarah Watson 2:18:00
Michelle Foreman 2:21:05
Bethany Mccrossan 2:34:20

Well done Coasties on a great day out by all! Its good to see Claire back running again injury free! Congrats Bethany on your 1st Half Marathon! Robert Gray what an epic time! Thanks Muff bus girls for not leaving me behind in the morning! ? I have had an awesome day and can’t wait for our next Coastal adventure!

Men’s Captain Deano.

26/02/2018 – Marathon Day Marathon

Marathon Day Marathon – Report by Tim Bray

Walmer 08:30 race start. Weather conditions -0.5c Heavy Gales and blizzards in parts. Representing Coastal Striders just myself.

Myself and the rest of the SVN crew set off on what we knew was going to be a tough race due to the heavy gales blowing us sideways and the further we got into the early mileage the conditions just got worse. Arriving at Sandown we was met with freezing icy blizzards which you couldn’t escape from and there was a headwind there and back to the start/finish. After a while I settled into the race and started to enjoy my race but did struggle with a negative mindset at the 8th mile simply because fellow runners decided to quit and withdraw from the race and on hearing that it made me question myself. Pushing that aside I cracked on with it and found myself hitting the 17th mile feeling strong in my body but dealing with mind games again and helped a guy out with cramping and then helped another guy doing his 1st Marathon who was struggling with dehydration at the 23rd mile. Heading for home on the last lap was hard work with the head wind but I got the job done.

04/02/2018 – Girlings Solicitors Ashford and District 10k

Girlings Solicitors Ashford and District 10k – Report by Tim Bray

In attendance for Coastal Striders Tim Bray, Bethany McCrossan, Nicky Biddall, Tina Alan Amos, Rebecca Bunn.

Weather conditions -1c Snowing to start with and very wet and muddy underfoot. On the hearing of the claxon I was underway. I managed to ease my way through a little bit however I was still in the thick of the pack in the 300 people mark so I tried not let it discourage my work on trying to make the ground up. Visibility from the sleet was horrid however i just cracked on with it and soon seen myself cutting through the field and settled myself in and started to enjoy my race. At the 4k mark i was met with a slap in the face of a snow storm which was something new to contend with and I just upped the pace and battled my way through it and became warm from pushing myself. All the way through the race it was puddles and mud, puddles and mud. Arriving at the 7k mark I was pleased with my time and general feel of my body with nothing troubling by way of niggles. And then it was the climb up the hill which seemed rather long and a requiring of digging deep was needed but once at the top I knew it was a downhill surge too home and I started to sprint it out and open my gait and I was pleased to pass a few runners.

At the bottom was a nice fast bend and on turning that I heard the encouragement of Stacey and that gave me that incentive for the final push seeing me cross the line in 49:49 Beth McCrossan 1.09.05 Nicky Biddall 1.11.51 Tina Alan Amos 1.11.52 Rebecca Bunn 1.16.21.

21/01/2018 – The Canterbury 10 mile

The Canterbury 10 mile – Report by Darren Sayer

Another rather fresh Sunday morning for the Canterbury 10, but this did not deter our team of 10-strong Coastal Striders. This year saw a field of 1,390 runners taking part in this very popular event. The weather did look like it was going to hold off until we all took our places on the start line, then a few spots of rain were felt followed by a little bit of snow later on! The race was a mixture of road and farmers paths, some of which were quite muddy at times with a few inclines thrown in just for fun. Lee Field was our first male home with a time of 1:09:36, Emma Hinkley was our first female home with a time of 1:35:43 and there were some great efforts by our other Coasties gaining some new PB’s along the way despite the conditions. A huge well done to everyone that took part and thanks to all the marshals involved (they all looked rather soggy & cold as we all passed)!

14/01/2018 – S.V.N. Chocathon

S.V.N. Chocathon – Report by Tim Bray

171 Starters

Representing Coastal Striders are Tim Bray, Victoria Waldie, Kate Barwell and Netty Miles.

Sunny but cold conditions and slippy under foot from Saturday’s downpour and Cakeathon’s traffic which happened on Saturday (poor them).

The track layout was a revised route which everybody was happy with and wants Traviss Willcox to keep; each loop was 3.28miles 4x loops for a half marathon distance and 8x loops for a full marathon distance.

Everyone started well and were happy; the aid station was full to the brim of delicious Chocolate and other yummy snacks.

Myself and the ladies Victoria & Kate started off together chatting away as you do, then I left the ladies to it and started to gain speed.

Netty started late into the run as she was helping marshal and clip peoples tags.

I didn’t see the ladies much after this but managed to run with other people and encourage each other on. When I did happen to see the ladies I gave them a big smile and a thumbs up.

The 3 ladies completed a half marathon each Victoria & Kate coming in at 2.32.18 and Netty coming in at 3.54.04 (don’t forget she started late)

Each lap I completed I didn’t feel the need to stop until after lap 6 at this point I had been running for 3hrs 15mins and was on 20miles, my right leg was killing me but I was pleasantly surprised of my achievements and couldn’t stop yet knowing I only had two more laps to go before completing my 1st marathon, In my mind I was shouting “Don’t Quit” because I’d come so far.

Lap 8 was by far the worst for me as my leg felt very weak but with the support from a gentleman named Jonathan Ryan whom was running for Vegan Runners and who was also fatigued gave me the encouragement I needed for the beginning 2 miles of lap 8, I adjusted my pace and changed my stride then luckily I felt some strength come back to my leg, I knew at this point I was within touching distance of completing the 26.2miles my first ever marathon.

It was such an amazing feeling completing the distance and having the support of my partner Stacey there with me throughout was incredible, I ran straight over to the bell at the end of lap 8 and rang it although I could’ve shouted from the top of the hill lol. Received my goodie bag and my shiny Medal with my badges on.

My marathon time stands at 5.01.27 (easy benchmark for my next marathon which takes place 26.02.18)

02/09/2017 – The Black Hugin Challenge

The Black Hugin Challenge – Report by Simon Ballard

From daylight to dusk to darkness…..

It was a sunny afternoon in early September, September 2nd to be precise and runners from far and wide including 22 of our very own Coastal Striders were making their way to the Pegwell Bay Country park to take part in the 3rd annual Black Hugin Challenge.

All who had come to run had their own motive for the challenge. Some had come for time, some for distance and ultimately some just for the bling.

The event began with the normal witty race briefing from SVN’s Traviss Willcox. 5pm had come, the sun was still shining and it was time for us to set off. So here us how the Coasties did.

Lap 1.

First home claiming her bling, our club secretary Emma Dickerson. 3.25m in 43 minutes.

Lap 2.

Second lap saw Stacey Beswick complete 6.5 miles in 1hr 41 to claim her medal.

Lap 3.

3rd lap four runners completing 9.85 miles.

Charlie White 1 hour 37

Debbie Else 2 hours 13

Gaynor Shelvey 2 hours 17 and

Catherine Tremble 2 hours 29 and a new longest run! Well done!

Lap 4.

Half marathon, 4 more Coasties home, first returning from injury, Claire Morgan in 2 hours 30. Second Nathan Wilson completing his second half in 2 hours 44 then Curtis Cleaver And Lorna Munday both competing their first half marathon. Curtis in 2 hours 48 and Lorna in 3 hours 50. Congratulations to you all!

Lap 5.

The sun had gone down, the temperature dropped and the dastardly mozzies had come out to play. We still had 13 runners out on the course. 13 was about to drop to 6 with 7 Coasties calling it a day at 16.4 miles. New distance PB’s for Billy, Dave and Tim.

Lap 5 times were:-

Tim Bray 2 hours 47, David Davidge 3 hours 16, Helen Tremble and Michelle Foreman 3 hours 26, Billy Counter 3 hours 31, Gary Marks 3 hours 37 and Netty Miles 3 hours 43. Awesome achievements!

There were no finishers on lap 6 or 7.

Lap 8.


Coastie favourite and post toucher extraordinaire Gary Channing completed his second marathon in 5 hours 40.

Then the 2 huge shocks of the day. Michelle Bevan and Victoria Waldie, neither had run further than 6 miles before but today they both proved that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and completed 26.2 miles and joined the marathon club! Absolutely amazing what an inspiration!

Lap 9.

Simon, Darren and James still out and staying out!

Lap 10.

Last lap for our final 3 Coasties 32.5 miles completed! Simon Ballard and Darren Sayer become ultra runners Finishing in 5 hours 27 mins.

And finally James Patterson in 6 hours 46 minutes.

Finally we’d like to throw some thanks out, firstly to Traviss Willcox and his SVN tram for an add one event and well stocked aid station. And to our support and photography crew.

Total Coastie Laps = 120

Total Coasties Miles =392.5

09/07/2017 – The Les Golding Memorial 10K

The Les Golding Memorial 10K

Well the sun definitely shone for the Coastal Striders in Herne Bay today (July 9th 2017) perhaps too brightly for some as it turned out to be an absolutely scorching hot day. Race day saw a group of 20+ strong Coasties head to the start line. Including 2 of our junior girls, Mercedes and Jess who took part in the U15 1500m race. Both girls did fantastic with Mercedes placing 3rd girl. Well done to you both! At 10am the rest of the runner…s started the 10k, 400 runners in total took part today so competition was fierce. With the sun beating down and little to no breeze coming off the sea this was certainly a test of strength.

Lee Field and Kerry Boyd stormed home to take 1st male and female for the Coastal Striders with times of 41.11 and 55.07 respectively. Cracking times indeed! Simon Ballard placed 2nd male with a time of 43.08, a 27 mile bike ride prior to the race did not seem to hinder his performance. 2nd Female home was Sarah Watson with a great time of 1.04.08 closely followed by Sara Kristensen with a time of 1.04.40 to take 3rd Coastie female past the finish line. 3rd Male destroying the finish line today was Charlie White who put in an epic performance. Racing home in a mere 47.19! I’m sure you’ll agree Charlie put our young whippersnappers to shame today. Congratulations to you and to all our runners!; Special mention to Beverley Mason and Melanie Pittman who both took part in their first 10k Race! The first of many we hope.
Considering the heat of the day a few Coasties took full advantage of the cooling sea by taking an after race dip…and why not!
As always we’d like to thank our Herne Bay friends, our supporters and marshals and race organisers for a fantastic event. Did I mention it was hot?!

Another special mention goes to Tim Bray who represented us at the London 10k. Despite the blistering temperatures, he managed to achieve a personal best of 47.32. His race report follows. Much kudos to you Tim.

Tim’s report

Amazing warmup, absolutely fantastically organised by Virgin Sport. The race itself was a hard and tough one in parts especially at the 3.2 mile mark (looked at my watch) a few climbs which required digging deep and pushing myself to the best of my ability. The heat was insane and couldn’t escape from it I was very grateful of the jet sprays that emitted refreshing mist on to us runners. Crowd support was electric and entertainment along the way helped me. Met a lovely German couple and my bright running colours helped him along the route and the 200m stretch to home Gary Marks deserves a mention because his words in my head from a conversation a few weeks back ie in getting past people really helped me charge to the finish.

 02/07/2017 – Man On The Run

Man On The Run

After a slightly damp start to the morning the sun came out as 11 male runners from Coastal Striders came together at Hampton Pier in Herne Bay. The event was Man on the Run, a charity 5k run along the promenade between Herne Bay and Long Rock. In it’s 13th year, Man on the Run is the male version of Race for Life and aims to raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK.

A little after 11am a throng of men and boys started the race. There was a slight cooling headwind and with a completely flat route, conditions were perfect for a good time for our boys. Almost immediately Deano “Van Beano” Evans took the lead and managed to maintain this, bringing home a fantastic win! A blistering time of 18 mins 31 secs meant Deano secured another personal best under his belt. Massive congratulations Deano! Rob Gray was second Coastie passed the line with a time of bang on 20 mins. Following closely behind was Simon Ballard with a time of 20 mins 25 secs. Both of whom came in the top 10 finishers of the race. A few of our runners got Personal Bests today. Well done to all of you and to everyone that took part. It was a lovely morning.

Once more it was nice to see some of our friends from Herne Bay. Thank you to all our supporters that came along and to the event organisers.

25/06/2017 – The Sandwich 10K

The Sandwich 10K

On Sunday 25th June a total of 24 Coastal Striders plus supporters descended upon the historic town of Sandwich to partake in the Sandwich 10K race. It was a cloudy morning, a welcome respite from the heatwave of the last few days. The course that faced our runners was relatively flat thus making it a good day for personal bests. And PB’s there were aplenty! Many of the Coasties smashed their 10K time well done to all of you.

Congratulations to our first man Lee Field who stormed home with an impressive time of 40 mins 33 seconds ,First Lady was Kerry Boyd with a very respectable time of 54 mins 32 seconds. Second Male and Female Coasties past the line were Deano “ Van Beano” Evans and Lucy Lungley with times of 40 mins 52 seconds and 59 mins 37 seconds respectively. Third girl to the finish was Ellen Thatcher in her first race since the Brighton Marathon coming in at 1hr 1 min and 37 seconds. Third place for our boys was extremely close between Simon Ballard and Sorin Sazbo, although Simon passed the finish line first, Sorin’s chip time of 43 min 16 beat Simon’s by a mere 5 seconds!

As the rest of our Coastal Striders finished the race, we kept up our tradition of running back and supporting the rest of our team. At the end of the race it was nice to see the sun shining and it was also lovely to see a few of our Herne Bay Strider friends. It was a great day for all, fantastic atmosphere, the first of many events to come for Coastal Striders.

Many thanks to Sporting Events UK and all marshals involved for a great day.