Red Bull Quicksand Margate winners announced
Beach event delivers king and queen of the Kent sandcastles
Some 650 runners headed to the sun-kissed shores of Margate beach this weekend to tackle the 2019 edition of Red Bull Quicksand. Over 10,000 tonnes of sand and a brutal one-mile circuit were all that stood in the way of victory for Andrea Berquez and Lloyd Kempson who took the crowns on Saturday afternoon.
The unique event returned to Margate for the second year running with plenty of new and updated obstacles to test the competitors’ physical and mental strength. Runners faced loose sand tabletops, massive rollers, plunging trenches and even 23ft-high towering sandcastles - all crammed into half a mile - with competitors completing two laps in a gruelling knockout format. Like last year, the top finishers in each heat had to take on the course twice more in the semi-finals and again in the finals.
Andrea Berquez, the winner of the women’s race said: “I was lucky enough to win all my heats, but I think I could have been more strategic. I went out as quick as possible and then by the last round my legs were solid with lactic acid and it was a big effort and the woman in second wasn't far off me.”
She went on to add: “I had to win in my mind, it’s good to have that competitive edge. I’ve never actually run on sand before, it was very challenging, especially one climb - I kept fluffing it up every time. Yeah, it was tough!”
Lloyd Kempson, the winner of the men’s race, said: “By far the hardest mile I’ve ever run. My tactics in the final were to run a second lap that was quicker, but I didn’t anticipate the other guys to be as strong as that after seeing the semi-finals. Once I got within 20 metres of the leader I knew I had it but I was worried for a little bit!”
He added: “I will definitely be back next year, it’s going to take an animal to take that crown off me!”
The podiums were completed by Jordan Foster and Roxanne Morrison in the women’s final, and Daniel Titcomb and Jake Gilkinson in the men’s.
The running collective Run Dem Crew led the warm-ups and created a party atmosphere with entertainment and encouragement to all the runners with their founder Charlie Dark acting as MC for the day with DJ Mr Trouble on the decks.