As Blue Monday rolls past, you may be thinking of signing up for a race to kick start your training and banish the January blues.
In my New Year post, I mentioned that in 2017 I want to take part in more races. I love the community atmosphere of races. The feeling that we’re all in it together. That 1000s of people get up early on a Sunday morning to test and challenge themselves. Here’s a list or races that I’ve booked or I’m planning on doing this year.
Dash for Splash 10km – Wimbledon Common – 26/02/17
This is very local to me and Wimbledon Common is one of my favourite places so running this is a no brainer. This is a varied terrain course around Wimbledon Common organised by the Thames Hare and Hound running club. The splash bit is a wade through a brook at the finish. I suspect it will be a muddy one, so one for the trail shoes. I must remember to take a change of shoes! There are lots of lovely places to get breakfast in Wimbledon Village afterwards too.
Salomon Richmond Half – Old Deer Park, Richmond – 19/03/17 BOOKED
From the name, you’d think the race is taking place in the stunning Richmond Park. It’s actually a multi-surface route that takes you up and down the equally beautiful River Thames Towpath from Richmond to Kew, onto Teddington and back again. This used to be my old stomping ground and I’ve been on many a training run along the towpath, so I will be expecting more mud and the need to dodge the odd dog. By the time I’ve finished and got changed the scores of wonderful pubs in Richmond will be open just in time for a rehydrating pint of lager.
BMF Major Series – Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent – 25/03/17
I‘ve not done an Obstacle course race before and they look like a lot of fun as well as a lot of cold. This one’s organised by British Military Fitness in the Kent countryside about 45 miles from London. It’s a 10km course with 20 or so obstacles all military themed that includes tunnels, cargo nets and barb wire crawl. There will be plenty of mud (I see a theme forming here!) and cold water that comes with plenty of laughs. I think this is definitely one to do with friends, so I will be rounding up a few to take part with me. Looking forward to it!
Hackney Half – Hackney, London – 30/04/17
As I live in South West London, it’s not often I get over to North East London. Any closed road race in London is worth the early start and Tube ride across town. I’ve not taken part in this race before, but have heard many good things about it and it’s become a popular event in the London running calendar. The route passes some of the sites of East London including the 2012 Olympic Park. The race is part of the growing number of events sponsored by Virgin Sport. Hopefully, by April I will be in good shape to give my PB a shot!
Vitality London 10,000 – Central London – 29/05/17
Starting on The Mall and finishing on Birdcage Walk (both outside Buckingham Palace); this race could have a little bit of the feeling of the London Marathon. A closed road race in the centre of London is always to be savoured. I’ve not done this one before, but have experienced enough city races to know it will be fairly busy and very popular.
British 10km London Run – Central London – 09/07/17
No part of Virgin Sport. If you want to sample a big race in London, this is one to try! I‘ve done this races 3 times and it’s good fun but super busy. Not good PB potential, but a great morning out, especially running with friends and then enjoying the eateries and watering holes of London afterwards. The route I’ve previously run that was not the prettiest (up and down the Victoria Embankment of the River Thames) looks to have changed to take in a few more sites and more iconic streets. If you want some space and are aiming to run fast, get to the start early. I’ve been at the back a few times and it can take 20-30 minutes to cross the line and you’re constantly dodging other runners. Also, very pricey! £50 for a 10km is a lot, especially as the Vitality London 10,000 (a very similar event) costs £30.
Great North Run – Newcastle – 10/09/17 BOOKED
One to tick off the bucket list! The second biggest race in the UK, and actually the biggest in numbers of runners (57,000 in 2014). One I’ve been itching to do for years. Newcastle is a bit of a trek for me from London, but I’ll be making a weekend of it and the organisers put on a host of events across the weekend. Whilst the route is not the prettiest and a little lumpy, I hear the atmosphere and camaraderie are ones to be savoured. There is also the iconic Tyne Bridge to cross and the Red Arrows flying past. I am looking forward to running such an iconic race and having a weekend away with the chimes of Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing Local Hero ringing in my ears.
Ealing Half – West London – 24/09/17 BOOKED
I ran this race last year and got slightly caught out by my endurance and the hills. But, I’ll be ready for it this year. A great race with fantastic organisation and great support all around the course. Nice for spectators too, as they can catch you at a number of points. It’s regularly voted as the UKs best half marathon. A good Autumn race to keep me movin’ through the summer.
Do you have any races planned or any race suggestions?