Saxon Shore Half

Race Date: Sunday, 13/06/2021
Race Distance: Half Marathon

This was a game of two halves. The first half was nigh on perfect. From the start at Whitstable Castle, the course went west along the coast path (Saxon Shore Way) to Reculver, then turned to finish back at Whitstable Castle. For seaside lovers it was an ideal run, with splendid views, clear blue sky and a blazing sun. Approaching the landmark Reculver Towers, I noticed the path went uphill, seriously uphill, and runners ahead were walking. This led to the event’s only water stop. In 28-degree heat this was not ideal, but the organisers couldn’t have made it clearer before the event, and advised runners to prepare accordingly. The second half was not so perfect. After the drinks station, the climb continued upward and, for the first time, I began to appreciate just how hot it was. The course then went through a residential area, before turning into a slightly downhill sideroad back to the seafront. I was trying to work out whether I should hang on to the bottle, when to take on more water, and not paying attention, then presumably hit an uneven section of pavement which sent me flying. Luckily, my knees and palms took the brunt of the fall, and I just stopped short of banging my head - although I did feel my ribs hit the deck. Anyway, I seemed to be in one piece, so onward and upwards. I can’t say I was hampered by the fall, but the heat was certainly having an effect. I felt fine at the finish, but rather pleased I didn’t have far to drive. We were staying in one of the delightful wooden cabins at The Sportsman in Seasalter, a few miles along the coast from Whitstable. A shower, a cool glass of fizz and a magnificent lunch at the excellent Sportsman capped off a very enjoyable, if rather eventful, day. The young man at the front had no such problems, and whipped round in 1:16:27. There were 602 finishers. Lots of club representation (not listed in the results) and I didn’t see another Windmiler top, but do add your result if you were there.