What is happening to this year? Surely we cannot have reached the longest day already? Today (Thursday, 21 June) is Summer Solstice and marks the astronomical first day of summer, so we thought we would take a look at how you might spend your time before the days get shorter.
Not surprisingly there are several opportunities to run a long way or at least for a long time in the runABC South race listing this weekend. Perhaps king among these is Race to the King on Saturday (23 June). Voted UK's best endurance event 2017, this Threshold Sports promotion takes you along the stunning South Downs Way for a marathon or double marathon. The spectacular finish is at Winchester Cathedral, burial place of the early kings of England.
A mere 50 miles is the challenge at the Kent 50 Mile Endurance Run. If ever a name 'does what it says on the tin', this must be it. Based at Brooks Farm, Reculver on the North Kent coast, this is an ultra-marathon on a 6.25 mile loop, so eight laps will be needed to claim one of the highly prized medals with the slogan, you guessed it, Kent 50 Mile Endurance Run (see photo)!
The ratio of daylight to darkness will make little difference to competitors in Harp24, starting at midday on Saturday and finishing 24 hours later. This 24-hour running festival in South Essex will see solo runners and relay teams of up to 12 tackle the four mile countryside course adjacent to Westcliff Rugby Club race HQ. Proceeds go to HARP – Southend's homeless charity.
As night falls on Saturday the Dartford Midnight Marathon and Half Marathon starts at 7pm and the race will be on to finish before the notional cut off time of midnight. The Bridge Events stress that anyone still running at the witching hour will be allowed to complete the course and will receive a finishers medal.
Finally, an unusual distance is on offer at the North Downs 30K from Cascades Leisure Centre, Gravesend on Sunday. This multi-terrain race uses well established tracks and lanes over the beautiful North Downs and extra kudos is attached with the inclusion of the British Masters Championships. The route passes through some of the finest scenery in Southern England and includes some challenging climbs and technical descents.