In short: Remote low key yet uplifting run In full: Stelling Minnis is a village in the middle of nowhere between Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone. They've been putting on this low key casual 10K for some years now, and manage to attract around 200 runners.
Such races are the backbone of amateur running. Pleasant everyweek events that provide a contrast to the big events like London and the Great North. I like the big events - the buzz and excitement are very special. But those are occasional events - and you wouldn't want too many of them. Events like this in pleasant countryside where you hear the birds tweeting as you trot along, and you get the friendly encouragement of genuinely interested marshals, are wonderfully refreshing, easy to enter, and low cost.
They also put into relief the increasing number of charmless professionally organised runs where the marshals look bored and impatient, the atmosphere is cold and impersonal, and profit rather than pride or fun is the main motivator.
Stelling Minnis is lovely, and every runner deserves to experience the relaxed joy of taking part in such a green and pleasant run. When you pull into the field car park by the ancient windmill, you know you are going to have fun.
It's a stiffly undulating run, with the infamous hill climb just after 6k. You think you've started the hill climb, but then a marshal tells you that the hill proper starts around the corner. Grief! I had managed a decent time all round, and decided to run the hill instead of walk it. The 1k climb added a minute and a half to my time, which seemed OK, but then I was totally blown, and could not get my rhythm back so the next kilometre cost me another minute extra, and I had to walk for a bit to get my strength back. I would have done better to do as those ahead of me did, and walk the hill - for though I caught up to them by the top, they then jogged away into the distance, and I never saw them again. Date of review: May 25, 2014
In short: Idyllic .... but tough ! In full: This race would be hard to beat for scenery, especially on a glorious Spring morning like today. It is also very friendly and welcoming, with unexpected crowd support and lots of friendly, helpful marshalls.
However, it's a tough course ! One very "big" hill at between 6 and 7K and on a hot day like today, it's a hard workout. My finishing time was 4 minutes down on a recent (flat) 10K in March and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
Nevertheless, time is not everything and this is a very nice race indeed and I enjoyed the whole experience.
In short: Lovely but tough In full: Beautiful countryside, great organisation and all over a lovely little race. The hill at 6.5km is really tough if you're carrying a bit of extra weight but are determined not to stop running. Date of review: May 12, 2013
In short: A picturesque and friendly 10k where all of the village are out cheering you on. In full: Nice undulating course with a steep hill at 6.5k which bites. Still managed my best ever 10k time just not sub 50mins. Next year. Date of review: May 12, 2013
In short: Lovely rural event. Well organised. In full: My second go at this, as great as last year.Knocked over a minute off my finishing time.Notorious hill still takes it out of you!I entered online via RW, a little pre-race info may have been nice, either by e-mail or their facebook page, especially for first timers.Overall excellent,a big thank you for everybody involved. Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: Friendly, challenging low-key 10K In full: A very friendly, low key race in beautiful rural Kent. Great crowd support was unexpected and much appreciated, especially after a real "killer" hill at 6/7K.
A great course if you like a challenge and the relatively small field meant easy parking, no queues for the toilets and plenty of delicious cakes at the finish!
At the very opposite end of the racing scale from the London Marathon and none the worse for that. Date of review: April 22, 2012
In short: Undulating 10k with a killer hill In full: Second year running this little 10k, small, friendly and well organised with the added bonus of a medal for finishers this year. Course hasn't changed nor has the killer hill between 6k and 7km but still fun. Will be back next year. Date of review: April 22, 2012