Events to try
To find out more about cross-country leagues or off-road races in your area, the best place to start is your local running club's website. If you're after something more adventurous, try one of these:
The Winter Tough Guy (pictured here) in Staffordshire lives up to its name by putting competitors through the wringer in freezing winter conditions. Next year's race is on January 29. This is a good one to enter as a team. Visit toughguy.co.uk for more details.
The Grizzly in South Devon can't be beaten for wackiness. It's is organised by the Lean, Mean Runner Bean, and the theme of next year's race, on March 11, is 'Every bog has a silver lining'. It's incredibly tough and very popular. If you miss out this time, make a date for 2013. Find out more at axevalleyrunners.org.uk/races/grizzly.htm
The Notorious Night Runs are a series of after-dark races in March held in Oxfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Peeblesshire. The emphasis is on fun, with lots of obstacles to negotiate while in fancy dress. Visit ratraceadventure.com/notorious/index.html to find out more.