RW Pocket Race Guide - September

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


Posted: 28 August 2007
by Catherine Lee

Closing Soon

Ash Excellent 8 (Somerset, September 9)

Now in its 11th year, this multi-terrain event takes runners along rough tracks, over stiles and up leg-busting hills rewarding them with breathtaking country views.


National Highlights...

London Peace Run 5K (Greenwich Park, September 9)

With its lush leafy landscapes and sweeping views across the River Thames, London's oldest enclosed Royal Park offers both tourists and locals a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. What better location then, for this inaugural awareness-raising fixture, held in association with The Week of Peace, a seven-day itinerary of events promoting community cohesion and safety across the capital. Participation, rather than competition, is the order of the day, with both beginner runners and family groups guaranteed a warm welcome. Don't expect the course to compare with your average stroll in the park though - a challenging climb towards the old Royal Observatory is sure to make you call on extra reserves.

Quicksand 15 (Kent, September 16)

If you like your off-road events more pleasant than punishing, then you might want to think twice before entering this out-and-back multistage beach race. Aside from a few road and track stretches, the 15-mile course is run on varying consistencies of sand which, combined with strong coastal winds, one small cliff climb and a hundred-odd steps at the turnaround point make for a more gutsy opponent than your average coastal fixture.

Sea tides dictate a tough three-hour cut-off time, though organisers promise runners won't be pulled from the course after this deadline. Instead, they'll be redirected onto the tarmac promenade to complete the race, ensuring they earn their finishers' T-shirt and share in the post-race glow that is part and parcel of such a biting challenge.

Diss 15 (Norfolk, September 23)

Lying within the beautiful Waveney Valley, the historic town of Diss can also lay claim to hosting the oldest road race in Norfolk. Run along quiet country lanes with just a few gentle undulations, its two-lap course offers competitors both a worthy-yet-doable 7.5-mile option (ideal for those making the step up from 10K) and the more challenging 15-mile distance. Its relatively small field – a mere 100 competitors turned out to support the event last year – does lend the fixture a somewhat solitary feel in places, but encouraging marshals, charming environs and a quintessentially local flavour are qualities enough to safeguard this event's future for many years to come.

Macclesfield Half-Marathon, September 30
Macclesfield Half-Marathon (Cheshire, September 30)

While more than 50,000 runners take to the streets of Newcastle for the GNR (the world's biggest half-marathon), a further 1,000 runners will be tackling the same distance in a distinctly different location: the market town of Macclesfield.

Unlike the urban landscapes of its Tyne and Wear counterpart, Macclesfield's location on the western edge of the Peak District makes scenic views par of the course as the route heads north to the parish of Prestbury before cutting an anti-clockwise loop through the rolling Cheshire countryside. A handful of regular inclines may force you to dig deep from as early as four miles in, though some runners hold the view that long downhill stretches far outnumber tricky ascents.

Great Clarendon Marathon, September 30
Great Clarendon Marathon (Wiltshire, September 30)

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of a race by running the route in reverse may seem like a somewhat quirky idea, but that's exactly the challenge organisers of this point-to-point multi-terrain event have chosen to undertake. A record number of runners are expected to tackle the route connecting the historic cities of Salisbury and Winchester, taking in water meadows, valleys, ancient woodland and wide, high downlands en route.

Described by the race director as "flat between the hills" there's no denying this race presents some testing contours, and in wet conditions parts of the course can quickly come to resemble a knee-deep mud bath. A choice of commemorative memento (either a T-shirt or medal) will come as welcome news to those with strong opinions about race souvenirs, while transport arrangements back to the start are also available for an additional fee.

Not ready to tackle the big one? Then why not join marathoners in the village of Broughton for the half-marathon option or field a four-person team in the popular relay event.


Filling Up Fast...

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…

Kingston Running Festival 16 or 8.2 (Surrey, October 14)
Take to the Thames Towpath for this flat, fast route, passing Hampton Court Palace and Thames Ditton, and bursting with PB potential.

Cardiff Half-Marathon (South Glamorgan, October 14)
More than 7,000 runners are expected to turn out in the Welsh capital for this whirlwind tour of its most iconic sights.

Great Eastern Run (Cambridgeshire, October 14)
After a 10-year break, the return of this popular half-marathon to the UK racing calendar in 2006 was met with unprecedented excitement and already this year's event is causing a stir on the forums.


Previous article
Inside Osaka: The Editor's Cut
Next article
How To... Organise A Race

race preview
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle

Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.