Battle of The Somme :: Ruth Goddard :: 18th November 2016

ruthgoddard01On Friday the 18th of November I took part in The Battle of The Somme Challenge at Samphire Hoe.

6 hours to complete as many 3.8 mile loops.

This year marks the 100th year anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles in history, of which there were over 57 thousand casualties. The first day being on the 1st of July and the last on the 18th of November. We were reminded about this at the race briefing as some of the runners had completed the same challenge on the 1/7/16 and the time between, men had fought bravely for their country.

We all stood on the slope that leads out from the visitor centre at the nature reserve and listened to The Last Post and paid our respects. I was shaking due to the cold and I reminded myself of those heroic souls. I also looked up and saw Julie and Mandy in front of me amongst other faces from my running family.

The race began with the blowing of a trench whistle and we were off.

I toddled up the hill and was faced with an issue immediately. COWS. Now they all got a fright too and started cantering all over the place as multicoloured / fluorescent runners were closing in on them. I felt like cantering in the opposite direction and getting out of there!

I spent the first lap with Louise, who I know from Ashford Run England. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and we caught up on general chit chat as I de-layered. I looked up and hoped for a bit of cloud as I prefer it cooler. There was no wind so a lovely sunny start.

After the 1st lap I had some pigs in blankets pringles and went off for the second lap. This was an out and back and the wind started to pick up on my way back in.

By the third, the clouds were looming and I could no longer see Dungeness Power Station. I also saw lightning over France. For the following three laps it was a case of covering up as much as possible so only my eyes could be seen as we were treated to stabby rain in one direction and in the other, a cold wind on the back of my neck. Like I said earlier though, no complaining and my aim was to stay cheerful and smiley.

There were lots of high fives and the cows didn’t attack me so that made me enjoy it even more. I had a cup of tea on the way round on my penultimate lap and that was lovely jubbly. I enjoyed my last lap as the sun came out and I sang and felt proud of myself and everyone else that stuck it out in the rubbish weather.

Marathon distance done and dusted.

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