9 Nov

Lest we forget: weekend races with time to reflect

Poppy Half Marathon medal 2018

It is quieter than usual for fixtures in the South of England this weekend, almost as if the sport is taking time to pause and reflect at this special time. We have selected some events from the runABC South race listing that mark the end of World War One at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, exactly 100 years ago.

This year Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday coincide to add extra poignancy to the occasion. However, that fact has been overlooked by a few events that traditionally take place on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday.
 
Remembrance Day 10K and 5K from Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill, Fareham on Saturday (10 November) is a case in point. The races commence with the firing of the Royal Armouries One O'Clock Gun. Serving members and veterans of HM Forces receive half price entry and some of the proceeds go towards Services charities and Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, the charity partner for 2018.  
 
If you have a penchant for hills and a desire to commemorate the courage of the flyers of the second World War the Battle of Britain Challenge at Dover could be just the thing. This is a six hour run on a unique figure 8 course that climbs and descends 650' on each 8.76 mile lap. The course is at Samphire Hoe and runs beneath the White Cliffs of Dover, as well as along the top of them! Simply complete as many laps as you can within the six hour time limit.
 
The iconic De La Warr Pavilion is the base for Poppy Half Marathon (plus 10K and 5K) on Saturday. All three races are on the promenade at Bexhill and the half marathon will be started by the Mayor. A number of competitors will be carrying Bergen backpacks and there will be a pre-race weigh-in to ensure they have the appropriate handicap. A feature of this race is the poppy themed medal (pictured above).      
 
Phoenix Remembrance Day Marathon from Xcel Leisure Centre, Walton-on-Thames starts at 9am on Sunday. The race incorporates a unique 'race freeze' at 11am, sounded by marshals with air horns. All runners stop in their tracks for two minutes to show their respect for those who gave so much. The course is completely flat on the towpath of River Thames between the Weir Pub and Molesey Lock, with four laps to complete 26.2 miles. 
 
All events are featured in runABC South's comprehensive race listing here
 
Image courtesy Poppy Half Marathon