Frequently Asked Questions
What do I get?
You will receive each day...
1) A really special finishers medal, custom made and designed, not a generic one.
2) A goody bag at the finish, which has goodies in, not a bunch of adverts. There will be nothing healthy in our goody bags, things they contain for example, chocolate, crisps, cider.
3) A well stocked base camp with plenty of nibbles and refreshments for post race replenishment. Again there is nothing healthy here, no isotonic drinks or fruit. But cookies, crisps, nuts, pringles, M&Ms and those sorts of things!
Where do I park?
There is lots of free unrestricted street parking right near the start on The Parade. There is also "paid parking" slightly closer, at the time of writing it's £4 per day. We'd expect everyone to be able to easily park within 300 yards of the start and for the sake of walking a 100 extra yards we'd suggest just parking along The Parade as there are well over 100 car parking spots there. Post code for Sat Navs is CT7 9QP (Google Maps)
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from the race base camp.
Why such early starts?
We like them! But mainly because the footpath/cyclepath that is used for the event is also open to the public and if the weather is nice then its quite popular with dogwalkers, ramblers and cyclists. With the early start then we'll be out of their way not long after lunch time when it starts to get busy. For the quicker runners this means they'll be done and dusted by late morning, just in time for well deserved hearty lunch and the rest of the day is yours!
Are there time limits?
Yes, a soft six hour limit for the Viking Coastal Marathon. For the Dambusters Challenge the only cut off is having left the Birchington end aid station 4:30 after the event start. (If you are looking at running a marathon that means 16.9 miles in 4:30)
Do you have secure baggage facilities
No. But you're free to leave bags at the start/finish. There will always be someone around but we can't guarantee their security, in the event of rain we can't guarantee things won't get wet.
Can I leave my own drinks/food at the aid station?
Yes no problem at all, we have a dedicated table for runners own supplies if they have anything special that they'd like to bring along..
Trail shoes? Road Shoes?
Road shoes. Its 99+% on decent tarmac/concrete or very high quality trails.
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using the Viking Coastal Path which is part of a cycle route and is a nice enough walk alongside the coast. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land, especially near the start/finish area which is a popular area for people walking their dogs, so beware of animals and leads. Please don't litter. We'll have a bin at the base camp.
What on course facilities do you provide?
Water, squash, nibbles, starter, timekeeper and encouragement every lap! Base station will be well stocked for all runners. This is a typical example of the picnics, sorry aid station, we have...
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
Aside from base camp, no. There are public toilets at the edge of the paid car parking behind the cafe and bike hire shop, and a cafe nearby too. Please be aware that the official opening time for these is 0800. There are also toilets behind Reculver in the car park, so you'd have to go a bit long on a lap if necessary but there if you're in need, I'd say it's about 300 yards past the gate.
On the Reculver Marathon route you'll pass within a few yards of both these sets of toilets.
How far apart are the aid stations?
Viking Coastal Marathon - You'll be back at the base camp at 6.55 miles, 13.1 miles, 19.65 miles.
Dambusters Challenge - You'll be back at the base camp at 3.9 miles, 7.8 miles , 16.9 miles and there will be a simple water/cookies aid station at 13.3 and 21.5 miles.
Can I use an ipod or mp3 player on the course?
Yes. Though please be aware that you are running on public footpaths with the general public so make sure that you pay attention to cyclists, people, children on bikes, wildlife and so on.
Birchington-on-sea has a train station, about a mile from the start/finish.
Could a supporter meet me at Reculver?
Absolutely, its well worth a visit for a little while. There is paid parking there and a visitor centre, a pub and some ruins. Its a short walk down to the route from the ruins.
What are the nearby hotels?
There are lots of B&Bs in Birchington, the Trip Advisor list of reviews starts here.