Are you a "Usual Suspect?" or think you may be in 2016?
I think this expression was coined 4 or 5 years ago, quite possibly by David "Foxy" Bayley to describe the folk who kept turning up at events. And you'd respond to the question "who was there" by a "Oh, the usual suspects..."
The reality of long distance running though means that the scene changes from year to year, runners come in, runners slow down, do less events, others do more, some move to ultras, some get injured, some lose motivation and I recall well all the people I ran a lot with four or five years ago who we don't see so much these days, if at all. Which is sad, as there is little to remember them by.
What we thought would be great is if we had one weekend a year where these usual suspects are identified and immortalised! How you ask?
Well, we're going to make the medals unique, very unique in that all the runners names are going to be on them! Actually inscribed on the medal and we feel that would be a lovely way to commemorate the "Class of 2016" so to speak. So basically all the entrants will be on the medal and in years to come you'd be able to look back at this and remember all the folks who in that year were the "usual suspects" and perhaps over the years to come they'll be a changing scene and the names will change, but the spirit will remain.
If you enter both 2016 events then the style of each medal will be similar, but the names will be unique to that day, so you'll appear on both, but probably in different places. Each medal will have five "featured" runners, it's intended that these will be the top ten SVN runners (in terms of mileage) for the January to Mid-August period 2016, assuming of course that they are at the event(s). (It will become clearer when the 2015 medal is out in the wild). We'll only preview the 2016 medal though at the event.
The medal therefore will be awesome, because basically it's made by the runners! It'll be huge, unique and brilliant! Ah, you're thinking, what about if I'm injured and can't run? Well firstly its a challenge event, just one lap earns you the medal, but in this case as the medal is personalised and so unique, if you don't run for some reason, we'll still get the medal to you, one way or another. As its as much a souvenir of the scene in 2016 as it is of this particular run. As such, this event falls outside of the usual SVN Fair Runners Policy. Once you're in, you're in!
We've been very fortunate to have been granted permission to hold these events at Samphire Hoe which has easy access to the M20/A20. The course is a mix of very high quality gently rolling trail and a nice dead flat sea wall, literally all within the shadow of the famous White Cliffs of Dover, there is some wild life to keep an eye out for, you'll be able to see what's going on at both Dover and Folkestone Harbours, there will no doubt be some ships to see and some trains to spot too for good measure!
It's our aim that this event makes an impactful difference to Samphire Hoe in a positive fashion and as such £5 from each entry fee will be donated directly to the nature reserve to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
The event will be a six hour timed challenge event. Complete as many loops as you wish within the time limit.
We put on events exactly the way we wish they were all run. Low key, friendly and with most of the entry fee being spent on the runners. Please consider joining us on the Kent Coast!