RW Pocket Race Guide - August

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


Posted: 30 July 2007
by Catherine Lee


Filling fast: Wolverhampton City Marathon

Filling Up Fast

OK, so these two events aren’t in August but you heard it here first, places are selling like hot cakes...

Carver Wolverhampton City Marathon (West Midlands, September 2)
Expect vocal spectator support at this two-lap city road race with some gentle inclines to add to the challenge. And if you’re not ready for the full distance, you can always sign up for the half-marathon, relay race or cycle ride.


The Beast 14 (Dorset, September 2)
Climbs, stiles and a set of 200-plus steps punctuate the steep stony tracks and clifftop paths of this leg-crumbling half, offset by stunning views of the bay and a majestic finish in castle grounds.


National Highlights


Newark Half-Marathon, August 12
Newark Half-Marathon (Leicestershire, August 12)

Accustomed to being staged in the shadows of September’s mass-participation Robin Hood running festival, Nottinghamshire’s 'other' long-running, late-summer 13.1-miler nevertheless continues to go from strength to strength thanks to a high local turnout, good value entry fee and fast field. The opening loop around residential suburbs might not provide much in the way of memorable scenery, but runners are soon treated to more rural landscapes as the route heads south-east to encircle the neighbouring village of Balderton before returning to the town centre. A testing incline at nine miles denies the race any claim to being a flat fixture, but the ensuing downhill stretch allows many a runner to race home with a target-time finish.

More half-marathon highlights...
Isle of Man Half-Marathon (Isle of Man, August 12)
Burnham Beeches Half-Marathon (Buckinghamshire, August 19)
Girvan Half-Marathon (South Ayrshire, August 26)
Leek Half-Marathon (Staffordshire, August 26)

Darlington 10K, August 12
Darlington 10K (County Durham, August 12)

Steel bands, street theatre and rousing spectator support lend this urban road race an unmistakable carnival atmosphere, as the locals turn out in force to cheer some 1,100 runners round the undulating, two-lap traffic-free course. Well established on the north-east racing agenda, this year marks the event’s 20th anniversary, and a concurrent 3K race for 11-16s and a beginners’ fun run simply heighten the sense of community in the town’s market square, where all three fixtures start and finish. Though billed as undulating, the absence of any particularly testing gradients verifies the event’s reputation as a quick course, while a T-shirt for all finishers proves a welcome reward for entrants across the field.

More 10K highlights...
Great Yarmouth 10K (Norfolk, August 12)
Midhurst 10K (West Sussex, August 12)
Merthyr Police 10K (Glamorgan, August 19)


Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1, August 12
Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 Marathon (Wiltshire, August 12)

Marathons in August are few and far between, and though this has surely played a part in the continued success of this off-road race through the heart of Wiltshire, so too have its picturesque route and friendly relaxed atmosphere. So named for the five rivers, four hills, three country estates (rarely allowing public access), two castles and one cathedral by which the course passes, entrants are treated to stunning views of popular county attractions such as Stonehenge, Wilton House and of course, the city of Salisbury itself. Run along quiet park roads, bridleways and woodland tracks, the majority of the 600-plus field commit to the full marathon distance, though runners (and walkers) can also tackle a 10K, 20K or 30K route. The option of a 5K walk – suitable for pushchairs – also offers a great diversion for supportive family members.

More off-road highlights...
Sidmouth Festival 10K (Devon, August 12)
Sandwich Festival Fun Runs (Kent, August 19)
Grimsthorpe Castle 10K (Lincolnshire, August 27)

London Pride 10K, August 18
London Pride 10K (August 18)

A leafy parkland course, fantastic buzz, and free cream cheese bagels – this race has everything you might expect (and more) from a 1,000-strong city-based 10K. Now in its 4th year, raising funds for the gay rights charity Stonewall continues to be the event’s main concern though with its all-inclusive atmosphere, costume-bedecked marshalls and invitation to a post-event party, you could be forgiven for thinking it is more an excuse for a social jaunt than a competitive fixture. But you’d be wrong. Three laps of Victoria Park, run along wide park roads, make for a fast and furious course that in past years has even attracted international track athletes keen to secure a racing victory.


Chicks’ Chase 5K and Men Only 5K (Buckinghamshire, August 30)

It’s rare to find an event that ticks boxes for both nervous first-timers and experienced racers in equal measure, but this pair of single-sex fixtures seem to achieve just that. Last year’s results indicate fierce competition at the front of the field, while the event also earnt praise for its warm welcome, beginner-friendly atmosphere and back-of-the-pack camaraderie. This year sees the introduction of a new flat course round the perimeter of Caldecotte Lake which, as well as treating runners to a pleasing rural backdrop amid Milton Keynes’ suburban sprawl, is sure to enhance its reputation as a PB course. The ladies’ meet is, in fact, the last in a summer series of three, and though this will only be the second staging of the males-only event, organisers are already being called upon to establish a monthly time trial for the men.

More 5K highlights...
Promenade 5K (Hampshire, August 8)
triandrun Belgrave 5K (London, August 12)
King's Head Canter 5K (East Sussex, August 27)

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