Originally I thought it was a new event for me, in fact it was a new venue on a course I have previously ran three times (2001/3/4) known as the Red Lion 10K finishing outside a pub in the village of Hernehill, west of Canterbury.
If I recall correctly, in 2003, it was held during a period of record high temperatures in the UK hence my slow time of 44 mins. This year it was hot again but only approaching mid-20s! The venue, Mount Ephraim is a gardens open to the public with its historic building so, quite pleasant surroundings for supporters whilst the race is going.
I was encouraged to enter this event given that I was visiting relatives in Folkestone and could take timeout to meet-up with Keith Gilbert, possibly the first member he has met. As we know it can be quite lonely as a vegan or vegan runner! We soon met at the venue and it seemed withing seconds another runner approached us, commenting that she is a recent convert to vegan and wanted to know more about the club.
For those members who know me, I did not cycle there on this occasion, in 2001 I cycled from Ashford taking about 1.5 hours but ran my best time of 41 mins. Even taking public transport in 2010 I was not going to get near that time. Onto the race in 2010, we ran round a sports field where I got elbowed aside by one competitive runner who had no patience. The route out of the gardens took us past one of the many orchards in the area. At about 1K we passed the Red Lion and the original finish. As soon as we were exposed to the sunshine it was definitely hot with the heat radiating off the tarmac. The entire course was on country lanes so quite pleasant surroundings with some cover in places, the shelter being most appreciated at the main ascent around halfway.
I began to overtake runners in the middle part of the event despite struggling a little in the heat. Fortunately the last 2K was mostly downhill or flat helping to build up momentum to the finish and improve our times. As I struggled to the highest part of the course I felt it may be 44 mins this year but was satisfied with 43.35 and 33rd. At the finish I met up with Keith again who was especially affected by the heat and had to stop at the first of two water stations and take a break.
Given my connections in Folkestone, I hope to have further opportunities to meet Keith in future.