Pocket Race Guide - August

Featuring... Helensburgh Half-Marathon, Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 Trail Marathon, Isle of Wight Half-Marathon, Hermitage Harriers 10K, Trelissick Estate Summer 10K, Newstead Abbey Dash 3, Spofforth Gala Trail 10K


Posted: 29 July 2009
by Alice Palmer

National Highlights...

Helensburgh Half-Marathon, August 9

Helensburgh Half-Marathon (Argyll and Bute, August 9)

Line up along the shoreline of the Firth of Clyde for this spectacularly beautiful half-marathon. A small and friendly field will be treated to a stunning course taking in some of Scotland’s finest scenery. The out-and-back route winds through town and country around the Firth of Clyde, complete with jaw-dropping lochside panoramas and charming seaside villages.

If you’re feeling fast, the long flat sections of this road course could help you push for a PB. However, the cruel climbs in the last few miles mean you might prefer to coast along and enjoy the view.

More half-marathon highlights...
CancerCare Cross Bay Challenge 13.1  (Cumbria, August 16)
Burnham Beeches Half-Marathon  (London, August 23)
Ufdance Runners Quest Half-Marathon  (London, August 23)
Pewsey Vale Half-Marathon  (Wiltshire, August 30)


Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 Trail Marathon, August 9

Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 Trail Marathon (Wiltshire, August 9)

Fans of this popular trail race are in for a treat: the organisers of the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 trail marathon have tweaked the course to include some exciting new route sections around Salisbury, plus a choice of distances to suit the whole family, runners and walkers.

Get ready to count down five rivers, four hills, three country estates, two castles, and one cathedral. The course is an ideal introduction to trail marathons, but it’ll keep even the most jaded runners entertained. Taking in parkland roads, bridleways and paths through areas of outstanding natural beauty and private land, it is quite simply spectacular. The ups and downs along the way might slow you down, but there’s a silver lining: more time to enjoy the scenery along the way.

More trail highlights...
Summer Sun 10K  (Warwickshire, August 8)
The Beacon Hill 5  (Leicestershire, August 14)
Barbury Castle Track ‘n’ Trail 5  (Wiltshire, August 20)
Hard as Snails 10K  (Surrey, August 22)


Isle of Wight Half-Marathon (Isle of Wight, August 16)

Think ‘Isle of Wight’ and many people might think of seaside holidays withs buckets and spades. But this half-marathon touring the country roads between Isle of Wight villages is an altogether tougher beast. The testing course leads the field up and down hill after hill - in fact, the welcome flat stretches dotted about the route are barely a few hundred metres long.

The single lap course takes in Yaverland, Whitecliff, Bembridge, St. Helens before heading back to Sandown. The race has a cult following so get in on the act to join a small field keen to notch up this tough race on their running CV. On your way back, keep an eye out for The Man within Compass pub – a perfect post-race watering hole which pops up just before the final descent into Whitwick.


Hermitage Harriers 10K, August 23

Hermitage Harriers 10K (Leicestershire, August 23)

The third staging of the Hermitage 10K has a lot to live up to. With an impressive party atmosphere at the finish and a pretty route, this small 10K went down a storm last year.

The course, which explores charming rural Leicestershire is satisfyingly tough and the pretty scenery more than makes up for the challenging climbs. The road route takes runners on a scenic tour of the countryside surrounding the village of Whitwick, along a peaceful disused railway line and over the hills past historic Mount St Bernard's Abbey, before heading back towards Whitwick.

More 10K highlights...
Sidmouth Festival 10K  (Devon, August 9)
Reepham Summer Sunday 10K  (Norfolk, August 16)
Caernarfon 10K  (Gwynedd, August 30)
Ocean Spray Grimsthorpe Castle 10K  (Lincolnshire, August 31)


Trelissick Estate Summer 10K, August 27

Trelissick Estate Summer 10K (Cornwall, August 27)

If you enjoyed last winter’s cross-country 10K through the staggeringly beautiful Trelissick Estate, you’ll love its summer counterpart.

With its well-tended woods and stunning sea views, Trelissick is a Cornish gem, so don’t miss a rare opportunity to explore this National Trust estate’s traffic-free private grounds and soak up its panoramic views.

The course is tough, packed with climbs, twists and turns but it’s hard to match the feelgood factor from completing this cross-country challenge.



Newstead Abbey Dash 3, August 28
Newstead Abbey Dash 3 (Nottinghamshire, August 28)

Head to the poet Byron’s birthplace, Nottinghamshire’s Newstead Abbey, for a suitably wild romp through the Abbey’s beautiful grounds.

As well as a unique opportunity to race in this beautiful setting, the out-and-back course screams ‘PB’. Smooth paths slope away from the start towards a flat route through pretty parkland, before returning to the dazzling sight of the Abbey bathed in sunlight as you approach the finish.

With an intimate field and a good mix of club runners and beginners, this three-mile dash might just be the perfect summer evening.

More midweek highlights...
Blisworth 5  (Devon, August 9)
Staffs Knot 5  (Staffordshire, August 12)
Ulverston Summer 10K  (Cumbria, August 19)
Kings Head Canter 5K  (East Sussex, August 31)


Spofforth Gala Trail 10K, August 31

Spofforth Gala Trail 10K (North Yorkshire, August 31)

Runners at this year’s Spofforth Gala Trail 10K are in for a treat. After a few years of diversions due to footpath repairs, the race is returning to its original course, a charming tour of Yorkshire Dales villages. As well as the lovely route, entrants will enjoy freshly repaired footpaths.

Run almost entirely on footpaths, bridleways and tracks, the race leads a growing band of fans through the villages of Spofforth, Sicklinghall and Kirkby Overblow and over some steady climbs and thrilling descents.

And when you’re done, head to the village gala. Complete with stalls, rides and entertainment, it’s the perfect place to grab a picnic and settle down to celebrate after the race.


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