July 10, 2018
The Festival of Endurance, organised by the Castle Run and Triathlon Series, welcomed runners to Hever Castle last Sunday. The 400 strong field that toed the line at the Festival faced the combined challenges of an unforgiving course around the estate and surrounding area along with 30-degree heat and a brutal 900 metres of ascent. Despite this only 14 DNFs were recorded demonstrating a grit and determination among the athletes that set the tone for the day’s multitude of events.
The historic grounds were the backdrop for runners making history; from those completing their first ever long-distance competitions, to PB and a number of epic performances. This, the second year of the Castle Run Series, hosting half and full marathon distances, saw a 50% increase in the field size and glowing reports from those who raced.
The marathon took on four laps of a spectator laden course passing through the event village next to the Castle and half marathon runners took on two laps of the same course. Not only did the run feature the Hever Castle heavily, a second castle, Chiddingstone Castle, was passed on each lap. The routes allowed for plenty of shade and were well stocked with four water or feed stations each lap.
See full results and podium places here.
Mike Clyne, one of the regular commentators for the Castle Series and an experienced runner, added: “I’ve run a number of marathons and done a lot of triathlons but have only completed a couple in heat like we saw today. Even being under cover like I was (one of the many perks!) throughout the day the conditions were very challenging and I think that was reflected in the comments from people after the race. We heard from many athletes in both the half and full marathon who were attempting the distance for the first time and anyone who succeeded in their quest is to be congratulated. I have run the course in the past as part of a recce for the event and it would be considered tough at the best of times but with heat like that I feel words like brutal would not be an exaggeration. Hever is a stunning venue for these races and anyone who has competed here will hopefully have had enough time to savour the delights of the views around them. Maybe if they return again they will see more benign conditions. Well done everyone!”
Channel 4 production crew were at large with 12 cameras covering the course and preparing to feature the race in a bespoke programme set to be broadcast on the 4th August 2018.
Sign up now for Festival of Endurance 2019 (7th July) and enjoy an early bird 30% discount.
The Castle Run Series will return to Hever Castle again this September (Sunday 23rd) for those wishing to take it on this year with a Half Marathon and 10k run on offer.