Pocket Race Guide - May

Featuring... Beaverbrooks Blackpool 10K, Halstead and Essex Marathon, Tewkesbury Half-Marathon, Sevenoaks 7, Helen's Trust Golden Gate 10K, Queen Mother Reservoir Series and the Magic Roundabout 10K


Posted: 28 April 2008

National Highlights...

Tewkesbury Half-Marathon, May 11
Tewkesbury Half-Marathon (Gloucestershire, May 11)
Entries are flooding in for this popular south-west fixture run through the pretty market town of Tewkesbury. The town, which made headlines last year because of extensive flooding, has now thankfully dried out, and a record number of places have already been snapped up.

A modified course promises runners an improved experience for 2008, predominantly thanks to the omission of narrow stretches through the town’s industrial estates. The race still retains its fast yet undulating reputation though, charting through pleasant rural landscapes and pretty villages and along the charming medieval High Street.

Now organised by Mike Gratton’s 2:09 events, be prepared for all the razzmatazz of a big race: think bulging goody bags, on-site masseurs and pre-race aerobics from Fitness First. And those who don’t quite feel up to a half-marathon needn’t miss out: there’s also a beginner-friendly five-mile fun run.

More half-marathon highlights...
Jersey's Fantastic North Run Half-Marathon (Channel Islands, May 18)
Bank Of Scotland Stornoway Half-Marathon (Western Isles, May 24)
Mull of Kintyre Half-Marathon (Argyll and Bute, May 25)

Sevenoaks 7 (Kent, May 11)
For those who want to give their legs a rest from the tarmac, this trail number – now in its 15th year – is ideal. Comprising two laps of the tranquil Knole Park, course amendments might initially appear to offer a tougher challenge than in previous years. But though the opening half of each lap comprises a climb, these are surely offset by the prospect of a quick, downhill finish.

While there is an absence of cars, be sure to keep an eye out for the marauding deer: the inhabitants of Kent’s sole remaining Deer Park – now under National Trust ownership – have been known to sidle alongside the 500-strong field.

More trail highlights...
Saab Salomon Turbo-X Trail, Martinique (Hampshire, May 18)
Sudbury Court 10K (Middlesex, May 18)
Wombourne Midweek 5K (West Midlands, May 28)
Bridgedale Sport Trail (Cumbria, May 31)

Helen’s Trust Golden Gate 10K (Derbyshire, May 18)
Make the most of this rare chance to race within the imposing Chatsworth House Deer Park and Woodland estate by registering for this inaugural multi-terrain fundraiser.

Run predominantly along well-maintained trails, the race route winds its way up from the deer park to Dobb Edge, where spectacular views over the Derbyshire Vales await. Cutting through the manor’s extensive woodland, the route then skirts beside two impressive lakes before a plunging descent and a strategically positioned fast, flat finish.

Discounted entry to Chatsworth House is included within the race fee – as is a complimentary food voucher – while a 3K fun run and jam-packed entertainment programme promise the perfect day out for the whole family.

Queen Mother Reservoir 5K and 10K Race Series (Berkshire, May 20, June 17 and July 15)
Sign up now for the first fixture in a brand-new, exciting Tuesday night series (also run on June 17 and July 15) offering two different distances. Run around the magnificent Queen Mother Reservoir, – and offering great views of Windsor Castle – the course is fast, flat and traffic-free.

Combining grassy terrain underfoot with some track stretches, competitors can choose to run one (5K) or two (10K) laps; organisers offer reduced entry fees for those committing to the whole series. Datchet Water Sailing Club offers excellent changing facilities and refreshments; all profits and sponsorship goes to children’s charity Whizz-Kidz.

The Magic Roundabout 10K, May 25
The Magic Roundabout 10K (Herefordshire, May 25)
This upcoming fixture has already attracted interest from some of our more literate forumites, not least because it offers the perfect opportunity to combine running with both a camping weekend and the Hay Literature Festival. The race is well worth a visit on its own though.

Named after a mystical circle of trees at the very summit – the ‘Roundabout’ – the course offers runners an entirely off-road, undulating (with the occasional nasty tough hill) run, as well as spectacular panoramic views over the Begwyns.

Last year, despite appalling weather, nearly 100 runners took part in its inaugural staging, a figure that’s expected to dramatically increase thanks to those set on making a long weekend of it.


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