Vikings Challenge and Normans Challenge Marathons 2019



Going out on one of the five laps we had to complete for the Vikings Challenge Marathon 2019.

This was my first back to back marathon weekend for 2019 and my first experience with the running group behind I thoroughly enjoyed the experience that I am now looking forward to coming back for more.

Friday, February 2, 2019 was our travel day back to the UK. We took the train after work to Brussels Midi station for the Eurostar train leaving at 18:56 and arriving at 19:57. We picked up our prepaid Southeastern Train tickets at a collection point before boarding the train on Platform 2. Trip was 22 minutes. We took the taxi from Gravesend station to our hotel for the weekend, Travelodge.


The bib pickup and race headquarters was across the street in Cyclopark. We woke up early to eat an early breakfast and be at the race tent 45 minutes before the 9:30 AM start time. We went to the Cyclopark building first and realized that the race headquarters was at the car park area.


I picked up my bib and stretched while waiting for the race start. I used the same bib for both races.

The Vikings Challenge Marathon on February 2nd is actually day two of the three-day Saxons, Vikings, and Normans Challenge 2019. As much as I was tempted to, I did not take leave from work to do the Friday Saxons challenge.

There was still lots of snow and sludge for the Vikings challenge on Saturday. The race director provided the briefing before we set off at 9:30 AM.

We had to do five loops to make the marathon distance within a six-hour time limit. Each loop was 5.25 miles.

I completed the race in 6:12:41.

Loved the goodie bag provided to all finishers! Altruistic runners can also waive the goodie bag and the race director will donate five pounds to charity. I did not feel generous after the race and wanted my chocolates and crisps!


The sun was out long enough to melt the snow the next day.

The race headquarters had liquids and all sorts of nibbles.

A marshal would punch a hole on my lap card every time I finished a lap.

I completed the next race in 6:13:05. The goodie bag contained different chocolates and crisps this time.


We walked back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and get on a taxi for Gravesend station. The train took us directly back to London Saint Pancras International Station where we waited for our 17:55 train back to Brussels.


We were served dinner on board the train.


I played a bit with the finisher medals. The cool thing about these medals is that they interlock with each other.

Now I have to do the Saxons Challenge Marathon soon to complete my medal trio.

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