3 Jun

Running Rollover This Weekend

runners at the start of the Shires and Spires Ultra

First weekend in June and there is plenty to choose from, short road races to long distance off-roaders, guaranteed to appeal to every type of runner.

It’s a packed Midlands race diary with activities taking place all across the region, plus the added bonus of a decent weather forecast. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for that. 
 
The vast majority of events are scheduled for Sunday but there are a couple of races tomorrow (5 June) that will test runners in different ways. Choose between a short, fast 5k in Chesterfield and a tough, hilly 10k in the Cotswolds. 
 
There is a spectrum of races on Sunday from 3 miles to 35 miles, and everything in between. There are the usual 5ks and 10ks but in addition to these are the Swithland 6, an 8 mile option at the Dorridge Fun Run and the 8.5 mile Great Midlands Fun Run. For runners wanting to go beyond 10k there is Malvern Half Marathon, jointly organised by Worcester AC and Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust. 

All these races are suitable for first-timers as well as experienced athletes. 
 
The Derby Ramathon and the Northants Shires and Spires Ultra 35 are the headline acts but for very different reasons. 
 
Ramathon continues to grow in size and popularity each year and 2016 sees 5,000 runners taking to the streets of Derby, starting and finishing at the iPro Stadium. The route is billed as one of the flattest in the UK making it PB territory for competitive runners.  
 
Northants Shires and Spires is aptly named as the 35 mile loop passes through historical areas in Northamptonshire including Naseby, Althorp, Lamport and Cottesbrooke. The start and finish is in the grounds of the classical Lamport Hall with a time limit of 9 hours for this race. This event is a 2017 qualifier for the Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB), which will be of particular interest to the keen ultra-runner.  
 
Photo courtesy of Go Beyond Challenge.