To help new members out or people who haven't raced much, what are your favourite local races? Why? (Roughly) when are they and do they tend to sell out?
For James and me, if you take MWL through May-July and XC Nov-Jan that really can be enough, but there’s one local race that stands out, in that we enter every year.
Mid March - Milton Keynes festival of running. http://www.mkrun.co.uk
This is great because of the different distances that run at the same time, meaning, me being slow, can do a 10 k and finish before James (doing a half), which is a complete novelty. It’s a great mid-sized event, fairly flat (one very short, but very steep thing at the end for fun!) and professional event that is easy to drive to and get to a coffee shop at the end. Usually doesn’t sell out.
Then, for me, there’s Hatfield 5 miles. http://hatfield5mile.co.uk. Late November. This tends to clash with the club XC but has a reasonable number of members going (not everybody likes XC). Flat course and easy to get to, with a nice relaxed feel about it, yet still with chip timing etc.
5 miles is my favourite race distance and so the Thorney 5 in August is a particular favourite of mine although Thorney is outside Peterborough so about a 50 minute drive away. Good news is it doesn't sell out so yo get in, unlike the Ely New Year's Eve 10km which would have been on my favourites list but you cannot get a place:( I also enjoy the Great Denham park run, just outside Bedford, as it's free, fast and flat! For 10km the Bedford race in July from the marina was a good course as is the GEAR 10km in Kings Lynn in May, always run well there. Am going to enter the Peterborough New Year's Even 10km and London Winter Run, also 10km, so hoping they can be added to my favourites list.
When marathon training I always enjoyed Folksworth 15 (near Peterborough) although the weather is often quite mixed in January!
Parkrun wise, I really like panshanger and wimpole.
Lots of people like at Neots half in November but I only have memories of a massive headwind over the last few miles quite a few years ago!
Hitchin 5km is good (September) and the st Paul's walden 10k, also in September is just lovely.
Oooh great thread. So many to choose from. If you are marathon training, I loved the Baldock Beats and Oakley 20. Both are tough courses, and really get your body working, and both pretty well positioned for late spring marathons
My favourite local marathon is the Halstead Marathon which is usually held at the beginning of May. It is always very well organised with every facility to make it a memorable event for experienced and new marathon runners. There are hills, quite a few of them, but it is a fast course (current record 2.34) with very little traffic and lots of support from the local residents. Certainly worth a try if you don't get a place in one of the more high profile marathons. I would also recommend the Fairlands Valley Challenge in July and of course the Greenway Challenge!
I completely agree with Sue re Halstead being my favourite road marathon and wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone. Off road I have a love/hate relationship with the Leaden Boot. I'd struggle to recommend this to anyone on the grounds that they might never forgive me!
For me, the St Neots half and Sandy 10 are favourites, and at 10k Hatfield Broad Oak (near B. Stortford, held at the end of May) and the Ely New's Year Eve stand out. Parkruns are everywhere now and locally I like Great Denham if you're trying for a time, and Wimpole for the scenery and wildlife. Also musn't forget the Wing XC, the first one I had done since school, with the legendary puddle!
Best Saturday of the Month 5km, Norton Common. :grinning:
way back when I did races I really liked the Watford Half (early Feb). I'm not sure why it's not more popular with club members as it's local-ish. It's a lovely scenic course through the countryside with hills great for checking your fitness. It attracts some good runners at the speedy end for those who want a competitive race. It's well organised with great local support around the course and a nice t-shirt and medal at the end. Not much not like about it.
Oh I enjoyed Watford half too!
I like Oakley 20 too. I much prefer it to MK20 - nicer scenery and better drinks stations and a hoody to snuggle in afterwards.
The MK winter half is nice too as its routed through the parks.