RW Pocket Race Guide - April

What's coming up, what's closing soon, what's filling fast


Posted: 23 March 2007

National Highlights


Are you up for a challenge? April 15
Tough Challenge Wendover Woods (Buckinghamshire, April 15)

Cramming everything you’d expect from a hilly trail race into a one-mile course might seem like a tall order, but that’s exactly what the organisers of this multiple-lap event have achieved. Choose whether to enter the 10K, half-marathon or full marathon challenge, then attempt to complete the required number of circuits before the six-hour cut-off. Seeing your trusty supporters time and time again - plus knowing exactly what to expect after just one mile in - might seem an attractive prospect, but don’t underestimate the tenacity required. This event is sure to test both your physical and mental reserves.

More trail highlights...
Hanham Horror (Bristol, April 8)
Lifestyle Porthkerry Plod (Glamorgan, April 29)
Offas Orror 20K (Monmouthshire, April 29)



The Devil Strikes Back, April 29
Saab Salomon Hellrunner: Hell Up North (Cheshire, April 29)

Such was the demand for the first Northern fixture in this off-road series that its second staging is taking place six months earlier than originally planned. Set in Delamore Forest Park, entrants are promised a “harder, hillier and filthier” experience than before, so expect steep inclines, knee-deep bogs and mud galore. Of course, with no distance markers in sight – the course is somewhere between 10 and 12 miles in length – you’ll have no choice but to grit your teeth and battle on.

Can't make Hell Up North? Catch a slice of the action in Glasgow ( Scots to the Slaughter, July 14) or Hampshire (Hell Down South, November 4) instead.



Shakespeare Rotary Marathon, April 29
Shakespeare Rotary Marathon (and Half-Marathon) (Warwickshire, April 29)

Enjoy a dose of Olde England in this predominantly flat, long-standing race that combines the medieval delights of Stratford-upon-Avon with the beautiful Warwickshire countryside. This is just one of several events commemorating the playwright’s birthday weekend, and the town will be buzzing with spectators to cheer you on. After an opening lap of the main tourist attractions, the course heads out to the village of Welford-on-Avon – home to England’s tallest Maypole – then joins the Greenway cycle path at Long Marston for its return. Marathon entrants complete two such loops to clock up the full distance.




Whether you’re after a last-minute speed session as a spring marathon warm-up, or are looking for a short, fast fixture to kick off the road season, here are three 10Ks to add to your racing calendar.

Norwich Union Trowse 10K (Norfolk, April 8)

Nurtured by the Colman family during the 1800s for workers at their eponymous mustard factory, the village of Trowse – about one mile south-east of the city of Norwich - is a charming setting for this small-scale rural race. Now in its third year, the circular route - comprising an out-and-back loop skirting Whitlingham Broad, as well as two laps cutting through the village itself – offers spectators ongoing views of the field, making it a great Easter Sunday event for the whole family.

Puma Dunsfold 10K (Surrey, April 15)

Join more than 5,000 runners at the old Dunsfold British Aerospace test centre for this flat, two-lap event, packed with PB potential. Once home to the Harrier Jump Jet and now the base for the BBC Top Gear team, the surrounding scenery might not provide much in the way of distraction, but the promise of deer grazing infield, plus views of an abandoned 747, are sure to keep spirits high. High winds proved a hindrance last year, though finishers still found time to praise their bulging post-race goody bags.


Bolton 10K, April 22

Bolton 10K (Greater Manchester, April 22)

While 40,000 runners head to the capital for the Flora London Marathon, another 1,000 will be travelling to the north-west for this fast and friendly road race. Probably best described as a “mix of up and downs”, be prepared for a fair stretch of uphill running, though locals claim the course presents nothing too arduous for the 10K first-timer. No need to miss out on the FLM TV coverage either – the relatively early start (9.30am) leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the athletics track finish, then head to a local pub to catch the marathon highlights.

More 10K highlights...
Flitwick 10K (Bedfordshire, April 15)
Totton 10K (Hampshire, April 15)
Pensford 10K (Bristol, April 22)
Breckland 10K (Norfolk, April 29)



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