Hever Castle Festival of Endurance 2023 Race Report

Athletes from across the UK, Europe and further afield joined us at our home turf, Hever Castle for a day full of long distance delight! This is our year hosting the Festival of Endurance and it certainly did not disappoint!  Athletes showed courage and determination to the finish line.


The Bastion, our full Iron distance Triathlon. Referred to by many as the UK’s hardest full iron triathlon, athletes brave enough to take on this distance swam 3.8km, cycle 180.2km and ran 42.2km to finish in the scenic Hever Castle grounds. This event sees athletes start at sunrise and finish way past sun-fall. It certainly is an event not for the faint hearted as it takes an immense amount of training prior to race day.

The Bastion winners were Andrea Bennett and Toby Raine. A huge congratulations!

Well done to all those who took part! It was a tremendous effort by all and a pleasure to watch our last competitor come back in the evening.(Image: IG: therat8892)


Our half iron distance athletes took to the water at 7am. Each athlete completed a 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle and 21km run! Over 200 Gauntlets battled the Hever lake, the hilly Kentish Hills and the historic estate grounds.

It was tough, but our Gauntlets were brave enough to conquer Hever Castle! For several athletes, this was their first ever triathlon and what a triathlon to kickstart their journey!

Once athletes crossed the finish line, they were welcomed with open arms and a tasty hot meal!

Congratulations to Will Russell and Charlotte Dalton on winning the Gauntlet!



Saturday’s ultra racing started at 6am on Eastbourne Pier. The runners had to make their way across the counties of Sussex and Kent. The 50 milers had to take on the Seven Sisters, the Ashdown forest and the testing Kentish countryside.

2023 saw the birth of the 34 Miler, the little brother to the 50 Miler. Starting at Firle (the second feed station on the 50 miler route), runners made their way to the start. Each runner fought tooth and nail to make their way to the castle. Congrats to all who took part in our first 34 miler!

Our Ultra series was born from Race Director Brian’s passion for the endurance discipline. Brian created and ran the route in 2020 on his 50th birthday! We hope all those who joined us this year enjoyed the route as much as Brian did creating it!


The morning saw our Duathlon, Aquathlon and Aquabike Long and Middle distance athletes take to the start line.

Each racer pushed themselves to the limit and it really showed! The Duathlon Long as been compared to the Bastion, its definitely was a challenge on the athletes and their legs! Well done to winners David Collie and Lydia Godfrey.

Our Aquathlon Long and Middle racers were certainly events not to miss! With the build up to our BTF championships in September, several athletes looking to qualify took the swim and run! Congrats to Aquathlon Long winners Sam Barrett and Francesca Gardner !

The Aquabikers Long and Middle distance athletes pushed it to the limit on the swim and cycle legs. Well done to Aquabike Middle winners Joshua Lahiri and Jean Perkins!

Our multisport community is ever growing and we are so excited to see more and more athletes join us!


Hever lake welcomed yet again our 10k, 5k, 3.8k and 1.9k swim races. This year we introduced the 5k into our FOE programme, as traditionally the event is held in September. The 38 acre lake was the perfect setting for the various distances. The weather proved interesting for our swimmers, however they all persevered and came out victorious! Each swim distance has two separate categories, wetsuit and non-wetsuit.

Well done to 10K winners David Oziem and Hayley Fahey (wetsuits) and Christian Golebiowski and Anna Leask (non-wetsuits)

Congrats to our 5K winners Andy Bishop and Ann Fearon (wetsuits) and Kath Baker and Ben Hubbard (non-wetsuits).


Our final athletes to take to the start line were our marathon and half marathon racers. Over 250 runners were brave enough to register! The route passes not only one castle but two, the other being at Chiddingstone!

The marathoners would take on four laps of the famous Hever 10.5K route, while the half marathon athletes would complete two laps.

Well done to winners James Gray and Ildiko Scott Wilson. A tremendous effort!


Race Director Brian said: “This was yet another fantastic event at Hever Castle. All athletes gave it their all and we are extremely pleased. A special shout out to the Macmillan charity athletes, your efforts are truly appreciated. I’d like to thank all the marshals who helped out across the day, without you we simply cannot host the event so a huge thanks. I’d also like to thank you, our amazing athletes, FOE isn’t for the faint hearted so well done and hope to see you all again soon!”.

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See you all next year!

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