1. The Trionium Wife Carrying Race, Dorking, Surrey
Date in 2012: March 18
The shortest race in this year’s guide, the Trionium Wife Carrying Race is just 250m. But you’ll face obstacles and cover 10m of ascent – all while carrying your ‘wife’ (who can be male or female, and not necessarily married to you). Enter online.
2. The Sodbury Slog 8.5
Date in 2012: November 11
This welcoming race is a firm RW favourite and could have made the Atmosphere top five. It’s very scenic, but you won’t have time to enjoy the views: there’s mud to plough through, plus stiles and other obstacles to negotiate. Enter online.
3. Race the Train, Tywyn, Gwynedd
Date in 2012: August 18
Runners travel from all over the world every year to race the Talyllyn Railway choo-choo. The Abergynolwyn route comprises 14 steep and muddy miles of roads, fields, stiles and tracks. Book family and friends tickets to ride the train you’re racing so they can cheer (or heckle) you.
4. Brooks Hellrunner Series, various locations and dates
Ten or more miles of muddy madness and mayhem, the Hellrunner series is trail running at its most fun. This immensely popular race series has spread nationwide, with events ‘up north’, ‘down south’ and ‘in the middle’ providing twisting trails and the famous Bog of Doom, which we’re sure needs no explanation. Enter online.
5. X'Treme Challenge 10K, Altrewas, Derbyshire
Date in 2012: February 5
Join 1,000 other runners and challenge yourself to natural and manmade obstacles, water features and even personal trainers en route for Sergeant Major-style ‘encouragement’. Enter online.