50/50 marathons

19. SVN Mods and Rockers Marathon

16th February 2020

SVN Mods and rockers marathon

The Mods and Rockers Marathon was one of the first marathons I booked when I started on this journey. This was before I realised how rubbish lapped marathons are. February was a difficult month to fill, so I was chuffed when I discovered the Saxons, Vikings and Norman’s runners. They’re a group of running nutters based in the Kent area who put on an event pretty much every weekend. I did their Festive Frolic before Christmas last year. It’s basically a bunch of ultra runners and marathon runners, many of them 100 marathon club members. Today proved to me that it’s all the usual suspects who enter the races, lots of the same faces. So it’s quite a tight knit and supportive group, which makes the events more enjoyable, because they all seem to be multi lap events. Which for me is the only downside as I can’t see the point in running around in circles just to complete a marathon. That being said, today I started to see the appeal.

Today’s event was somewhat hampered by a large storm called Dennis. I had been watching the status of the IOW ferries to see if my 4:30 sailing would be cancelled. It was and I started to get cosy at home figuring I’d just go out on Sunday and run my own marathon, but a quick last minute check showed that the 4:30 was on and everything after was cancelled. So my plans of sitting in and watching ET were scuppered.

After a rather rocky sailing I then had the joy of a 3 hour drive in the howling wing and rain, followed by a cosy night in the van. Trouble is, the electric hook up at the site wasn’t working so my cosy night became a chilly night.

On arrival the following morning at Betteshanger Country Park for the marathon, I found a handful of people sat in a small shed looking a bit miserable. More people turned up, but not many, I would say a maximum of 30 people did this. At race brief we were told that the normal 6 lap trail route had been changed  to a 13 lap tarmac route around the park… great!

For the first half of the marathon we were bombarded by everything storm Dennis could throw at us. My idea of wearing an Elvis quiff was clearly not going to work in these conditions, it was really a case of just getting my head down and ploughing on. By lap 7 the wind had subsided a bit, but the rain was pretty relentless. I was soaked through and very cold. This is where the laps actually started to work for me, mentally. The thought of only being 14 miles in was quite disappointing, but I could handle the idea of the 6 laps left. It was easier to accept. So I focused on the laps and ignored the miles and was able to keep going at an ok pace to try and keep warm. I couldn’t see anything anymore as the rain had covered my glasses, so there was nothing visually to enjoy anyway.

Lap 13 couldn’t come quick enough. I was tempted to lie at lap 12 and say that was my last lap, but I felt ok, and couldn’t really see the point in doing that.

One thing about the SVN runners, they sure know how to make a good medal. This one was brilliant. I’d selected the rocker medal as it had skulls and flames on it! But along with that you also get a goody bag full of chocolate, nothing healthy, no crappy leaflets, just chocolate. Shame I don’t eat chocolate!

I finished this one in my usual hypothermic state, sat in the back of the van shivering. But I didn’t have long before I was back on the road for the 3 hour drive back to Southampton in the rain.

Another one down. It’s still not getting any easier. Next week looks like it’ll give the Portland Coastal a run for its money as the hardest one so far. The Lenham Cross trail marathon, 27.5 miles and over 4000 ft of climbing.  Can’t wait!

If you’d be interested in running any of the Saxons, Vikings and Normans events, take a look at saxon-shore.com

SVN Mods and rockers marathon


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I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.