Mount Ephraim 'Gardens' 10K, Kent

Ed: Keith Gilbert returns to an event known for its heat.

on Sunday [10 July] I ran in The Mount Ephraim 10K, my 3rd go at this excellent event. Last year the temperatures were soaring and I had problems with dehydration and consequently ran a rather unsatisfactory race. This year was quite warm, but not excessively so, enabling me to have a fair go at it.
I cycled the 7 miles to the event much of it off road passing through ancient woodland. HQ is set in the grounds of Mount Ephraim, a fine country house east of Faversham, Kent. Whilst not as intimidating as its name would suggest the course is described as challenging by the organizers with a fair number of hills to take on. However it is a very scenic course owing to its undulations
So off I went again, after the field had settled I seemed to hold my position until the end, rarely being overtaken.The long steep hill at approximately 6K was bit of a struggle but at around 8K there’s a nice stretch where you are quite high up and can hear the MC on the PA System at HQ down below before you start the general decline to the finish.
I was timed in at 53:36. Finishing 89th out of 169. In 2009 I took 53:51 to complete, so this year was a personal best for this 10K course.
As a memento we received a souvenir hydration bottle and also available at a reasonable price were punnets of apricots, cherries and plums grown in Mount Ephraim’s own orchards, and very good they were too!
I cycled home taking a slightly different route enabling me to repeat parts of the race. The 6K hill had my mountain bike in lowest gear and again I had a good puff.