Epping Forest, Essex
September 15, 2007
Alex Littlewood 37:07
Alison Hamlett 41:47
No. of Finishers
The ancient woodland of Epping Forest, which used to be 10 times bigger than the area that remains today, was the scene of sporting contests centuries before the recent Puma Urban Escape trail race took place.
Monarchs Henry VIII and Elizabeth I used to ride and hunt here and in 1878 the ground-breaking Epping Forest Act stemmed the tide of enclosure to ensure that people could still use the land to graze animals and cut wood.
All food for thought as the setting sun cast long shadows and runners weaved their way along rock-hard earth trails that criss-crossed woodland and open areas. Some of the narrower twists and turns did make passing difficult, but that was just one of the race’s challenges. Another was the energy-sapping gradual climbs on this undulating one-lap course.
Despite the way being well marked with bright yellow arrows and strategically placed marshals, a group of around 20 runners took a wrong turn and ended up cutting a corner off the route, making the race results a complicated puzzle for the organisers.
There were mixed feelings about the glass paperweight for each finisher but everyone did agree on one thing: London’s largest public open space proved a stunning backdrop for this race.