March 4, 2007
Paul Hasler 1:51:44
Sarah Tucker 2:11:11
No. of finishers
No wonder the Thanet 20 always attracts a bumper turnout from across Kent – one devotee claims that “when the sun shines, it’s as good as running from Puerto Banus to Marbella”.
The sun was out for the 450 or so runners who gathered in Sandwich for this year’s race, though the wind chill from the bracing sea breezes meant that the temperature never quite reached Costa del Sol levels.
The course – introduced two years ago after eight years on the original route – is a good mix of flat and hilly, and a personal best is a definite possibility.
The route follows the coast to Ramsgate and Broadstairs before doubling back to Sandwich. With plenty to look at – windsurfers out at sea, yachts in the harbour – the miles pass easily, as do the jelly babies dispensed at the plentiful water stations.
The short, sharp climbs on narrow concrete paths from sea level to clifftop and down again make the race challenging, and this year the tail-enders had to tackle a boggy cross-country 100m just before the finish thanks to a sudden downpour.
Insufficient toilets and inaccurate mile markers were the main bugbears, but for most finishers the crystal keepsake more than compensated.