Monday, 3 July 2017

Event Review : May Bank Holiday Cakeathon 2017

This, as with so many of my event reviews of late, is looooong overdue. I'm desperately trying to get back into blogging after a bit of a hiatus, because I miss it! Less apologising, more content...

Last year I ran the amazing Cakeathon in Kent. I loved it, the idea of eating a bit of cake after every lap, doing as much or as little as I wanted. Well organised, huge medal, fantastic goody bag, lovely course... and wonderful support from my parents on what was a fairly bleak sort of day.
All kitted up against the elements
My mum wouldn't consider herself a runner, despite having done a couple of 10k's with me over the years and dipping in and out of park run, but was so impressed with the medal and concept that she volunteered herself to run it this year. This wasn't something I let slip under my radar and so as soon as I noticed entries open for this year I promptly booked places for me, Dean and mum.
A sample of the cake on offer
We are all very different runners. Dean is in training for Ironman but the first time we went out running together I almost broke him! These days he's faster but I've got more endurance. Mum does it for a bit of fun and to stay fit. The joy of this event is that it suits absolutely everybody. Complete just one lap and you get the medal. The more you do, the better the goody bag gets and the more chance you have of getting some additional badges to put on your ribbon. I achieved the marathon badge last year.
All together to begin with, but Dean looking rather more determined.
There are four or five Cakeathons in the Saxon, Vikings and Normans race calendar these days, as well as Beerathon, Cookieathon and Fudgeathon to name but a few. We chose the May Bank Holiday one, which took place in Samphire Hoe. The loop was to be a nice flat 3.85 mile loop taking in the sea wall but on the day the winds were too high and so we were down graded to a somewhat hillier 2.4m loop further inland. It was agreed that mum and I would stick together for as long as she wanted to run and that Dean would do his own thing. Dean and I had half a plan to achieve marathon distance and I wanted to get mum around at least 10k (although I didn't tell her this).
Hands up if you like cake!
Mum and I did three laps together, stopping for a little cake each time, walking all the uphills and having a bit of a natter. Dad amused himself by wandering back and forth between the start and the turn around point (a short stroll as the crow flies) and took some excellent photos of us. The weather was all over the place. The wind seemed to come from all directions, resulting in some unfair headwinds on the downhill sections, and it would alternate between driving rain and sunshine. All part of the fun of a coastal event I suppose!
Can you see the sea? Powering up the hill.
Dean was a lap ahead of us when mum decided enough was enough. To her credit she'd completed just over 7 miles, the furthest she's ever run! From that point Dean and I ran together. Our mileage prior to the event hadn't been what we'd have liked it to have been and it wasn't long before hips and knees started to complain, but we took it a lap at a time, which with them being so short, was easy. After 19 miles, feeling cold and a bit fed up, Dean called it a day. I reckoned I still had one more lap in my legs (which would bring me up to 19 miles too), so I went for it. It was hard, being out in the weather alone, but I got a lovely welcome back to base from mum, dad and Dean. Hot drinks, dry clothes and cake all round! Not as far as last year, but perhaps more enjoyable.
Proud finishers!
Goody bag contents!
Another excellent event by SVN. I can't recommend them highly enough. I'd love to become part of the SVN club one day, running 100 miles in their events to claim a t-shirt. I've got a very long way to go, although I do have the Tolkien Run in September to rack up some more miles. The crew at the events are always amazing, whatever the weather, and I expect I'll be doing many more of the events over the years.
True fact.

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