RW Pocket Race Guide - October

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


Posted: 27 September 2007
by Catherine Lee

Filling Up Fast

Sodbury Slog, November 11
OK, so these events aren't taking place until next month, but with places going like hotcakes you'll thank us for reminding you to enter now...

Saab Salomon Hellrunner: Hell Down South (Hampshire, November 4)
The clue is in the title - hard, hilly and filthy, you'll have no choice but to grit your teeth and battle on.

The Easy Runner Sudbury Slog (Gloucestershire, November 11)
Bogs, marshes, slurry (yes, slurry) and strategically-placed man-made obstacles all feature in this popular 9.5-mile multi-terrain challenge.


National Highlights

Great Cumbrian Run, October 14

Great Cumbrian Run (Cumbria, October 14)

Few races can lay claim to a field that has trebled in size over the last three years, but as this predominantly flat, out-and-back half-marathon prepares to celebrate its Silver Jubilee with upwards of 3,000 entries, it’s clear the organisers are onto a winning formula. Amendments to the course for 2007 include a new starting area and a stretch past the imposing Carlisle Castle; runners then resume the familiar route through Rickerby Park to the village of Crosby-on-Eden, before doubling back to finish in Sheepmount Stadium. Just a few undemanding inclines mean PBs are there for the taking, though keep your eyes on the clock if this is your goal - the relaxed, festive atmosphere could otherwise play havoc with your target mile splits.

More half-marathon highlights...
Leicester City Half-Marathon (Leicestershire, October 14)
Great Eastern Run (Cambridgeshire, October 14)
Maidstone Half-Marathon (Kent, October 21)
Worksop Half-Marathon (Nottinghamshire, October 21)
City of Salisbury Half-Marathon (Wiltshire, October 28)

Lee Valley Athletics Centre 10K (Middlesex, October 14)

Earlier this year London unveiled one of the first new training and competition venues ahead of the 2012 Olympics: a state-of-the-art athletics centre in Enfield. Ten months on, and this purpose-built arena is all set to host its first road-running fixture, combining a preview of the elite facilities and the leafy, waterside scenery of the nearby Lee Valley. After a whirlwind tour of the sports ground, runners will chart through the surrounding residential area before heading off-road along the stony, canal towpath beside the River Lee. A final lap of the stadium draws the race to a satisfying close, after which finishers can pick up their medals and reflect on their sterling athletic performance.

Natterjack Seaside 10K, October 21

Natterjack Seaside 10K (Merseyside, October 21)

Southport’s infamous pleasure beach may be a mecca for tourists during the summer months, but come mid-autumn it’s runners who flock in their hundreds to the leafy Victoria Park off the main promenade. Run entirely along paths, tracks and pavements within the park, the multiple-lap design of this fast, flat fixture makes it an ideal event for spectators, while a jam-packed programme of family-friendly activities – including a 3K fun run, local radio roadshow and face-painting – is sure to appeal to those planning to make a day of it. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast too – the exposed coastal location can make for a rough ride in unforgiving weather, so brace yourself for strapping sea breezes.

The Stickler 10.1 (Dorset, October 21)

Gauging the difficulty of some multi-terrain events can be as easy as reading their titles – just think of the lung-busting Terminator or the quad-crunching Grizzly. A race called ‘The Stickler’ might infer a slightly less daunting prospect, but in fact offers entrants a gruelling and gutsy challenge. Named after Dorset’s infamous Stickle Path - along which the course charts to take in Okeford Hill Beacon, Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill in relentless succession (totalling 1,500ft of climb) – the race boasts stunning views across the county atop each of the three peaks, though wet and windy autumnal weather have been known to turn the route into a veritable mudfest. Not that such conditions keep runners from returning year on year. On the contrary, the 2006 field was left feeling short-changed after record temperatures rendered the course one of the driest reported in the event’s 13-year history.

More off-road highlights...
Jog Shop Jog 20 (Sussex, October 14)
Tough Challenge Marathon (Essex, October 14)
SIS Sandhurst Poppy Trail 10K (Surrey, October 14)
Puma Urban Escape Trail Series (Surrey, October 28)

Tour of Torfaen Half-Marathon, October 28

Tour of Torfaen Half-Marathon (Torfaen, October 28)

Here’s a fixture perfectly suited to those whose legs wobble at the slightest undulation – the contours of this point-to-point race are largely downhill, making it a superb course for both the hill-averse and those in desperate pursuit of an autumnal PB. Attracting a handful of wheelchair competitors each year - and an above-average percentage of veterans too – the event is known for its all-inclusive atmosphere, fuelled by a high turnout of locals lining the route and cheering the field home for the much-loved stadium finish. The historic mining town of Blaenafon - awarded World Heritage Status in 2000 – provides a character-rich setting for the start, while imposing, industrial landscapes dominate the route as it heads south to Cwmbran. Transport links between the start and finish are available at an additional cost.


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