Two Thanet Roadrunners have competed in the Meangate Ultramarathon – with one winning the race.
John Hunt took the winning spot, running two and a half marathons in just over 11 and a half hours, with Bradley Cameron coming fourth running a double marathon in just over 9 hours.
This year was the first time this 12-hour night race has taken place. Starting at 6pm and finishing at 6am at Deangate Ridge Golf Club in Hoo, runners had to complete as many 2.5 mile loops around the outskirts of the golf course, within the time limit, as possible. There were about 100 competitors on the start line.
John said: “Training was a bit sporadic for me, due to a few niggling injuries over the last couple of months, plus a few other things that were keeping me from training.
“Brad however, has been training well since his course record of 2 hours 48 minute at the Maidstone marathon a few weeks back.
“The Meangate Ultra Marathon was Brad’s first attempt at an ultra-marathon distance and my first big race since finishing 10th at the Thames Ring 250 miles a few months back”.
John found the undulating and uneven, off-road course very challenging. Even though he admitted to being under-prepared for the event, on the day he felt good and set himself an ambitious target for the amount of miles he wanted to complete.
John decided to make a conservative start to the race, due to the cold weather and rain forecast. Brad’s tactics were somewhat different, setting out fast, leading for most of the race, before deciding to take a rest. He found the huge screen supplied by the timing team, which displayed each competitor’s position, laps completed, and miles covered, very useful in keeping eye on how the other runners were doing.
It was not until mile 37 when he realised he had a chance of winning, and it was at this point he decided to push hard. He worked hard to get to first place and wasn’t prepared to give it up.
With only 2 hours to go, John lapped the competitor in second place, meaning he was only 2.5 miles ahead. He decided to push harder, running the last 2 hours nonstop and at speed, until he was in no doubt he could not be caught.
By this time it was raining hard and John had been running for almost 12 hours. For the last 1.5 miles he increased his pace, almost sprinting down the finish chute to bag the win with 67.5 miles in 11 hours 40 minutes.
John said: “I was elated and exhausted in equal measures”.
As well as coming 4th with 52.5 miles, the equivalent of a double marathon, Thanet Roadrunner, Bradley Cameron also set a record for fastest lap.
Position Name Time Distance
1 John Hunt 11:39:34 67.5 mi.
4 Bradley Cameron 09:10:22 52.5 mi.