Pocket Race Guide – Midsummer Madness

Add an unusual dash to this season's racing diary



Devils Chimney Chase (Cheltenham, July 16)

Feel the fire in your legs and chest as you take on this fiendish run. This mischievous 9.6K race organised by Cheltenham's Almost Athletes starts off gently, but will soon have you breaking into a torturous sweat. Once you've warmed up along quiet residential streets, you'll have to slog it out on a single trail climbing the tough Leckhampton hill. At 5K the slope finally plateaus so you can enjoy the stunning Malvern Hill views and look out for the Devils' Chimney, the eponymous limestone rock formation where legend has it the devil would hurl stones at local worshippers. Enjoy an exhilarating descent back to the finish where a Saturday night BBQ and party will allow you to fully indulge your vices.There's even a few shorter races to keep your little devils entertained. Enter online

Elmore 7 (Chipstead, July 16) 

Head to the quaint village of Chipstead for a back-to-basics road race that brings with it all the charms of rural living. Swap your usual Saturday session for this wonderfully scenic dash along quiet country lanes over an unusual seven-mile distance. Finish your race to fulsome cheers from locals at the bustling Chipstead Village Fair and Flower Show and then stick around for a truly traditional fete. Treat yourself at the cake stall, mosey over to the beer tent or enjoy a brass band rendition on this fun day out which should glue large smiles to you and your family's faces. Enter online

spartan 5k edinburgh, spartan 5k manchester

Spartan Race 5K - Edinburgh (Edinburgh, August 14), Spartan race 5K - Manchester  (Manchester, September 4)

Unleash your inner warrior or just snap up the chance to take part in one of the strangest obstacle races to reach our shores. The madcap American race series boasts it will help you face your fears over 12 outrageous obstacles designed by ultra runners and a royal marine. You'll be lining up to throw spears, wading through deep mud bogs and trying not to get toasted feet as you leap over flames. Once you've staggered to end of this tough 5K challenge, you'll have honed you skills for battle and you can collect your modern day victor's spoils - a commemorative medal and T-shirt.  Enter the Edinburgh raceEnter the Manchester race

hellrunner

The Brooks HellRunner - Hell Up North Saturday (Delamere, September 10)

Prepare to get wet and muddy as you clamber through deep bogs, up steep hills and along bumpy trails in Delamere Forest Park.  Keep powering on when the going gets tough without a distance marker in sight to further test your mettle. Once your aching and mud splattered limbs stagger over the finish line, you can collect a Brooks technical performance T-shirt and a rammed goody bag. There's also a wave start, a baggage storage service and a pre- and post- race changing marquee in this sell-out series. Enter online.  

bacchus marathon, bacchus half-marathon

Bacchus Half-Marathon and Bacchus Marathon (Dorking, September 11) 

Sample fine wines as you take on 13 miles or a marathon challenge around England's largest vineyard in Surrey. If that wasn't incentive enough, you can expect the party atmosphere to be in full throes with runners donning colourful costumes and a lively BBQ waiting at the finish to soak up the day's excesses. There's a five and a half hour cut-off point, so you can take this grape-filled caper at your own pace. Book early to avoid disappointment and there's even a discount if you book in groups of ten. Enter the Bacchus Half-Marathon. Enter the Bacchus Marathon.   

Boston Six and Twelve Hour Races including 100 km (Boston, August 28)

Ultra addicts will discover just how far they can push their legs over this six or twelve hour race day. Line up with other determined competitors to lap a flat one-mile circuit in Witham Way Country Park. You'll have to dig deep to test the limits of your endurance but fortunately there are friendly marshals to help buck your spirits. Members of the 100km Association will be racing as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations, so spare a little energy at the end to mingle with like-minded runners. Enter online.


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