When runners went down to the woods on Tuesday (24 April) they surprised themselves with the number of laps completed at the Salcey Forest Challenge in Northamptonshire. The clock was ticking on the 6-hour time limit...
This multi-terrain race is one of several organised by Big Bear Events with a multi-lap theme; this enabled runners of all abilities to go ‘eyeballs out’, pace themselves over the distance or take it easy and enjoy the experience. It was up to each individual to decide on the day whether to complete 5k, 10k, half marathon or a marathon via 3.2 mile loops around a medieval hunting forest.
These 6-hour races are held midweek and start at 9am in attractive locations on marshalled courses with well-stocked feed stations. The Salcey Forest Challenge was no exception. The course was easy to follow, the atmosphere was friendly and encouraging and there was a good selection of food at the feed stations. And there was cake which is always popular!
The marathon saw the biggest field with the majority of runners completing 26.4 miles. Justin Busby ran the furthest, notching up 36.3 miles in 5:46:51 followed by Chris Dunn and Helen Margetts who posted 29.7 miles making it an ultra for these three endurance athletes.
Every finisher received a bespoke medal and a bonus in the form of a vegan-friendly flapjack, hand baked by Rugby Real Bread. There was a bottle of beer or apple juice to accompany this perfect, post-race reward.