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Thanet 20
Sunday 4th March 2012
Katie Sherwood

As one of my favourite races I felt compelled to write a few lines about this Kent classic. Thanet, for those who donít know is the furthest south east point in Kent and is known as the Isle of Thanet, or Planet Thanet to those who grew up there. The Thanet 20 is a very popular event for those marathon training and those who love a challenging long run along the coastal paths. Organised by Thanet Roadrunners, it starts in Ramsgate, heads west along the coast to Pegwell bay, through a nature reserve and back along the coast via Ramsgate harbour to Broadstairs. The organisers kindly add in some Ďplayfulí climbs via the paths up to the esplanade and back down to the undercliff several times. A run through beautiful Broadstairs (my home town), down to the harbour, up next to Bleak House and then a loop back along to Ramsgate again, with some more fun undulations. My new found running companion panted ďthat hill nearly bloody killed meĒ and I chirped up about what was to come...then decided I might be slightly annoying so decided to temper my chitchat.
Being a coastal run the wind is inevitable but we were lucky that the torrential rain held off this year.
Thanet Roadrunners know how to organise a race and it was seamless with some of the most encouraging marshals Iíve encountered. In the goody bag, a nice T-shirt celebrating 30 years of the club, some snacks and energy drink (those driving homeíll have needed it) and an Olympic torch style medal, which Iíve been wearing today with pride!
There was a fast field this year, lots of London club runners so I was really made up with my 6th female place, for which I got a prize, as there were lots for each category up for grabs. Also scraped in 3rd senior female in the Kent championships.
For supporters itís brilliant as, if youíre the parents of a daughter running through her home town, you can pop up at least 8 times to cheer her on. Which to be honest, makes a run more special than any PB.

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