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Ranscombe Summer Challenge
Rochester, KentA228, Rochester, ME2 1, United Kingdom
Sat 2nd July 2022
Starting at 08:00
There will be different routes for the Summer Challenge on the Saturday and the Lucky Dip Challenge on the Sunday. Both will be approximately 3.74 mile loops entirely within the beautiful Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve. There'll be excellent views over North Kent and the Medway with rolling chalk hills, wildflowers and plenty of wildlife.
**Summer Ranscombe Challenge Route - Saturday**
This 3.74 mile 'Green' route loop will have 380 feet of elevation gain. The route sits between two railway lines, a road, fencing and a river so you'll know if you've gone off course. The route will be clearly marked with green SVN arrows, tape and a couple of yellow arrows in tricky places.
This event takes place at Ranscombe Farm Reserve, who exist to maintain this corner of England as a haven for wild flowers to flourish in. They are the flagship reserve for the charity Plantlife International, speaking up for wild plants.
The event organiser, Vikings, Saxons and Normans will donate £5 from each entry directly to the Trust to aid them in maintaining this lovely environment.
- Bespoke marathon themed Finisher's Medal
- Goody bag at finish
- Well stocked base camp & aid station
- £5 donation to the charity Plantlife International
- Custom Bespoke Medal
- Trail Run
- Wild Flowers
How to Get There
Is located just off Junction 2 of the M2 on Sundridge Hill, Cuxton.
Or if you're coming from Kent you're looking for the junction - immediately after crossing the Medway Bridge
From either direction follow the signs for West Malling and then about 100 yards after the last roundabout you'll find the entrance...
From the entrance to Ranscombe drive through the gate and up the hill to the base camp area on the left past a wooded area.
The nearest train station is Cuxton and that's about half a mile away. (You can see the station in the parking map above).
Is always a bit tricky here as there isn't a lot available and even that isn't always available! We'll let you know in pre-race emails what are the available options, if in doubt, please park off site as it solves issues, its a little bit of a walk, but nothing excessive, won't cause congestion and you won't get stuck a field if it rains hard! Car sharing is always preferred if at all possible.
1) Entrance parking - there are ten spaces here, right by the entrance feel free to grab a space here if there is space.
2) Base camp parking - There is a lovely new car park here from January 2020, about 30 spaces or so.
3) Field parking - If 1& 2 gets full then this is also an option. . If there has been any rain it's not great as its on a chalk slope, and wet chalk is like ice, so if in doubt and you don't have a four wheel drive then I'd think twice about this. It's fine getting out, its getting in which is more of an issue as getting out is downhill. If its dry generally its fine and we can fit about 30 cars in here, just park nose in towards the trees.
4) Off site parking - Just past the reserve there is lots of free street parking. Pilgrims Way doesn't have a lot but a little further down there is basically unlimited street parking as highlighted in red in the image below and there is a footpath you can take that crosses the railway line and up in to the reserve, or just use the main road/footpath to enter the Reserve if you're parking here. Please do if at all possible, it keeps Rachel stress free! As parking her main worry at this venue!
Ranscombe Farm, Cuxton
Rochester, Kent ME2 1LA
There are toilets at base camp now which are self compostable, this means only THREE things are to go down them. The three P's - pee, pooh and paper. Anything else mustn't go down there and be deposited in the bins/bags provided.
Hilly trail through paths, fields and woods around the Ranscombe Farm Reserve.
The course follows the trails and footpaths of the Ranscombe Farm Reserve. (Cuxton Rochester, Kent ME2 1LA - Google Map) Offering a variety of single track woodland trail, open fields and rolling grassland, woodland rides and an ancient avenue lined on each side with large hornbeam trees – and an abundance of flora and fauna to look out for!
We have several variants for each course, this is our base route but we may adjust slightly on the day to account for the conditions and ranger requests.
Ranscombe Classic Challenge 3.74 - 4.4 Mile "Green" Loop
Each lap is approximately 3.74 mile long, with approximately 380' of elevation gain and will be well marked with tape and arrows. With two railway lines, a road, fencing and a river edging the reserve on all sides you'll quickly know if you've gone astray! You can do as many laps as you can or wish within the 8 hour time limit.
For this run you'll be following the Green SVN signs only. If you come to a post with both Red and Green signs - follow the Green ones!
Rachel's Ranscombe Ramble Challenge Alternative 3.74 - 4.4 Mile "Red" Loop
This alternative route is slightly flatter than the Classic loop, but not by much, about 350' per lap! It'll be around a 3.74 mile loop and will involve more meadows and slightly less woodland.
For this run If you come to a post with both Red and Green signs - follow the Red ones, if it just has green ones, then follow those!
Please note the exact route is subject to change and on the day will be clearly marked! The link also shows you points of interest and the wildlife you may see on the way round!
The course is all on public footpath and there will be other users, including walkers, dogwalkers, horseriders and cyclists. We do not have right of way over these other users and we ask that you be considerate at all times.
Litter bins will be provided at the aid station and on entry back into the woods . Please do not litter the course – it is a most beautiful place and we want it to stay that way!
What do I get?
You will receive
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..
3) A well stocked base camp with plenty of nibbles and refreshments for during and post race replenishment, including the legendary Rachel's Rocky Road!
Where do I park? - How do I get there?
Please refer to the Ranscombe Informational Page here
When do I get my race number?
You'll pick this up on race day morning from the race base camp.
Are there time limits?
Yes, eight hours to run as many laps as you can. You can finish at any time within the time limit and your final distance will be recorded along with your finishing time. Only complete laps within the 8 hours will be recorded or you must have left the aid station for your last lap by 90 minutes from the final cut off. Any runner completing 26.2 miles will have completed marathon distance and will count as a marathon finish for the purposes of the 100 Marathon Club, if you complete 27+ miles then you've completed an ultra.
As long as you finish one lap then you'll receive an official finish time, medal and goody bag. With timed events there are no DNFs.
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.
Trail shoes? Road Shoes?
Trail shoes! Though even in February after the rain this winter, the majority of the paths were very runnable in road shoes, with the exception of a few patches where trail shoes would have kept me stable on the more slippy parts!
Is the course closed to the public?
No. We are using the Ranscombe Farm Reserve which is part of a network of local footpaths and trails and is shared with ramblers, dogwalkers, horseriders and cyclists. Runners do not have the right of way and need to be considerate of other users of the land. 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.
Can I leave personal drinks at the drinks station?
Yes, you may want to label it and we will not be responsible for folks drinking the wrong drinks!
Are there any facilities at the start/finish area?
There will be portable toilets at the race base camp for you to use.
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 farm vehicles, cyclists, people, dogs, horseriders, wildlife and so on.
The entry fee is a little more than normal – why is that?
We are holding this event by kind permission of the Ranscombe Farm Reserve. £5 of every entry fee will be donated to the Ranscombe Farm Reserve for their latest project to provide litter bins around the Reserve to help keep it clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. To find out more about the work of Ranscombe Farm Reserve please go to http://www.plantlife.org.uk/nature_reserves/discover_ranscombe/
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