Hever Castle Festival of Endurance Race Report

On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July, we returned to the beautiful grounds of Hever Castle in Kent.

This was the 6th edition of our endurance festival and the launch year for our new ultra run and cycle distances, The 50 Miler and 90K/180K cycle sportives.

2,000+ athletes, hundreds of spectators and an army of support crew spent a long weekend in the picturesque, but at times very wet and muddy, Kent countryside.

Saturday’s racing started at 5am on Eastbourne Pier. Race Director Brian Adcock set off 43 intrepid ultra runners across Sussex and Kent. They battled foggy conditions on the Downs, were rewarded by bright views across the Ashdown Forest and Liam Ward (08:37:52) and Rosie Williams (11:15:59), were the first male and female to make it back to Hever Castle.

The cycle sportives were off by 7am, with Christopher Hughes and Marie Becker victorious over 90K, Marty Carroll and Nicky Huskens over 180K.

The day was topped off with our first Finish Line proposal – huge congratulations to David Bronziet and Sally Grodowski on completing the 50 Miler and your engagement!

Sunday was bookended by the Bastion, our full iron distance race. The first athlete was in the water shortly after 6am, and the last crossed the finish line shortly before 11pm – this race is the very longest and the very toughest.

Although the day started cool and dry, 7.30am saw the start of a long and mighty downpour, making the Bastion 2021 a monumental feat of endurance, grit and determination. We are in awe of everyone who took part.

Congratulations to Tom Mcmanners the first man (10:37:39) and Jordan Matthews (11:37:54) the first female over the line. A special mention to Andrew Shaw also completed the race in under 11 hours (10:56:08) and brought with him the majority of Newcastle University to race and cheer, thank you Andy!

All athletes competing in our Sunday triathlons, duathlons, aquabikes, aquathlon, runs and swims arrived in the rain and competed in the subsequent mud! There was a huge range of experience and abilities, with first-timers competing alongside seasoned pros – all united by the desire to test themselves to the limits.

“This was my first ever multisport event and I absolutely loved it! The swim course is really great and unique, the run course is very hilly and challenging (and muddy) but all round a really enjoyable event which I would definitely do again.” Laura Voice

Throughout the weekend people shared fantastic photos and comments for us to enjoy and glean valuable feedback on the races and event.

“Remarkable event. I am developing a strong preference for independent races with character and this is the poster child for that. Festival of Endurance is what it was, the coming together of likeminded people wanting to test their limits.” Domenic Herbert

“This event is of my favourite swim events. Hever Castle, the grounds and and the lake are just stunning. The event organisers also pull off the feeling of really caring about the competitors. Really friendly bunch of staff. Would love to do more castles!” Ian Fielding

This is not just an endurance event for the athletes, but for their spectators and the event crew too. There is nothing quite like endurance races and extreme weather to bring us together. So thank you all.

“The weather conditions made it more challenging but everyone involved had a smile and a word of encouragement.” Matt Floyd

If you have photos to share please use #RaceYourWay #CastleRaceSeries and leave reviews on RaceCheck.

The dates for our 2022 event at Hever Castle Festival of Endurance have been announced and tickets are now live! On Sunday 3rd July we will return to Kent for the ultimate endurance weekend, and if you want to join us, make sure you book quick to enjoy our biggest discount for the year. All race places are at 30% off for the next week, and you can book your place on an Express Reg form in less than 2 minutes.

Book 2022