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7Oaks Sprint Triathlon: Garmin Route of the Month
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 27th March 2009


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So far this year in our Garmin Route of the Month series we've featured the Club La Santa Mini Duathlon and the Saucony TCR 10km Run.

This month we month we return to triathlon fare, with the bike course from the 7Oaks Tri Club Sprint Triathlon (www.7oakstriclub.co.uk). The 7Oaks event is held twice yearly, in April and September. The 2009 dates are April 19th and September 20th, though the April event was full last December! The event is building a deserved reputation as being one of the most professionally run 'club' events on the circuit, with a range of sponsors, prizes and a packed goodie-bag that would put almost any event to shame.

Stick around for the prize giving (even if you don't win...), as someone is going to walk away with a free holiday and a new laptop. But, if you aren't there, you can't win.

Here's all you need to know to maximise your performance on the 7Oaks bike course.


Local bike shopLeaving Sevenoaks Leisure Centre, turn right into Suffolk Way and at the traffic lights just round the corner turn left (subject to a green light) and head up the High Street, climbing gradually.

You will pass the local bike shop “Bikes, Bikes, Bikes” on the right and a bit further on, the road bends to the left and goes downhill for a short while as you pass Sevenoaks School on the left. The road soon becomes Tonbridge Road and you will find yourself having to work a bit harder now for the next mile or so as you are climbing when you pass the White Hart Pub on the right.

At around the 2-mile point you will pass St Julian Road on the left and begin your steep descent down Riverhill towards Hildenborough. Take Care!

This is a rapid descent incorporating a couple of long sweeping fast bends. If you know the road you may be confident enough to forget about the brakes to gain a few seconds, if you don’t know the road it may come as a surprise and you will want to use your brakes!

After the two bends, the road straightens out but you are still descending fairly sharply until Riverhill becomes London Road at the slip road from the major roundabout where traffic from the A21 joins the B245. At this point you keep left following the sign to Hildenborough - B245.

Keep left to Hildenborough. Pass the Church.
Keep left Church

Take Care! You may have to give way in 100 yards to fast moving traffic coming off the A21 from your right.

Keep heading south along London Road towards Hildenborough. You will find yourself getting a good speed up along this road for a couple of miles until just after the Church on the left in Hildenborough where you turn left along Riding Lane.

James Millard Estate Agents are on the corner and you need to follow the sign to Shipbourne. You have now covered just less than 5-miles.

At this point you turn left into much quieter and more rural roads where you follow a very scenic route.

Hildenborough RoadYour first mile along Riding Lane is fairly flat but gradually you will find yourself ascending but nothing too severe. About a mile along Riding Lane there is a sharp bend to the left, just before Hildenbrook Farm on the right. Towards the end of Riding Lane the incline increases a little so you will have to work a bit harder. At the end of Riding Lane you come to a junction where you turn right into Hildenborough Road following signs to Shipbourne.

The road surface for the first half a mile along Hildenborough Road is not brilliant so take a little care. You will be climbing slightly here but the surface soon improves and the road levels out as well to allow a decent turn of speed to where the road meets the Ightham Road (A227). At this junction you have travelled just over 8-miles and are now in the village of Shipbourne. The next mile and a half is probably the most challenging part of the course.

Turn left opposite the School and head up Stumble Hill which means a short sharp climb of 200 yards to take you to the top and the Chaser Inn on your left and common on your right.

Chaser Inn to the left, Common to the right.
The Chaser Inn Common

The road levels out and then descends only to rise again temporarily and then again levels out. Don’t be deceived, the real work starts now, a mile of climbing, with the steepest at the beginning then near the top of the hill.

When you see the sign to Plaxtol on your right you are almost there but it gets steeper as the road bends to the left. You have to work really hard here, wishing for it to end and when you see the sign for Ightham Mote on the left you know you are at the top. What a relief!

Plaxtol Ightham Mote
The Plough The Snail

Take the next left along High Cross Road to Ivy Hatch at just under 10-miles. This road is flat and allows some recovery after the hill. After half a mile you reach Ivy Hatch and will see the Plough PH.

Keep this on your right and take the next left turning to Stone Street along Stone Street Road where after half a mile of undulating road you will reach The Snail. The Snail is more of a restaurant than a Pub for all you fine food lovers.

At the Snail keep left and follow the sign to Bitchett Green and Riverhill. You will find this mile and a half stretch of road undulating, narrow in places with some short sharp descents, climbs and sharps bends thrown in as well. This is probably the most technical part of the route and if you can, at least have a trial run on this road before racing along it.

You will encounter a fairly steep descent about a mile from The Snail, followed by two sharp right hand bends and immediately a short steep climb. You need to be in the right gear!

Sharp right bend, then right at crossroads
Sharp right Right to Godden Green

You encounter very similar about half a mile further on although only one bend this time. Just before this bend the road surface as you descend is not that great on the left for 10 yards or so. Take care! You will now be at some crossroads and need to turn right to Godden Green.

Bull's HeadThe next mile is fast, you pass Sevenoaks Preparatory School on your left (where the Kent Sportive starts in September) and head into Godden Green passing the Bucks Head PH on your left.

Take the next left into Blackhall Lane signposted to Sevenoaks. At this point you have completed 13 miles

The next mile or so is flat so relax until you reach the junction with Seal Hollow Road (14.5 miles).

Turn left up Seal Hollow Road towards Sevenoaks. Only a mile to go now but you will be climbing most of the way and unfortunately it gets steeper until you reach the High Street. As you climb up towards the finish you will have to decide whether to go all out or do you save something for the run?

Vine Cricket Club and Sevenoaks High Street
Cricket Club High Street

By the time you pass Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club on the right and reach the High Street, the road will have levelled and you'll be thinking about transition.

Keep an eye out for traffic coming from the right when you join the High Street temporarily before turning left at the traffic lights back into Suffolk Way and then into the car park at the Leisure Centre. You will have covered approx 15.5 miles.

The course has everything, country roads, main roads, rapid descents with fast tight bends, long climbs, short, sharp climbs and descents with sharp bends between. Don't forget the tough final mile. Something for everyone and if you want to enjoy it, the countryside is great as well!


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