17 Jun

Up Or Down For A Challenge

runners at the start of the Cheltenham Challenge event

This weekend’s races present a challenge in their own unique way, whether the aim is to conquer a swift 5k, a hilly half marathon or an arduous ultramarathon. Alternately, why not plump for the multi-terrain Chicken Run?

It might be ‘flaming June’ in a pejorative sense but there is a whole lot of running going on this Saturday and Sunday. The racing season is in full swing and entries have flooded in to events of all types and terrain irrespective of the extreme weather conditions. 
Saturday 18 June, there is a 25K (15.53 miles) trail event or the Original Maverick Gloucestershire in the Cotswold Hills. Another race that takes in the Cotswold area is the Hawkesbury Union 5K and for those who like climbing, there is Darren’s Dash Hill Race in Herefordshire. Take a trip further north for a 10k in another attractive AONB, the Chase Challenge in Cannock.  
Sunday promises to be a tough day with the Shrewsbury Half Marathon and the Cheltenham Challenge. 
The Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Half Marathon has undergone a change of management with the hugely popular UKRunChat taking charge. Starting and finishing at the Shropshire County Showground, this race goes through the historic town of Shrewsbury as well as the surrounding countryside. There is a steep hill at Wyle Cop along with several other undulations to keep the mind and legs occupied. 
The Cheltenham Challenge is comprised of a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and a 63K ultra. These races are open to newcomers, experts, youngsters, walkers and families and start from Cheltenham Racecourse before proceeding through the stunning Cotswold countryside. This annual event has raised more than half a million pounds for charities.
Finally, there is the curiously named ‘Chicken Run’, a multi-terrain 10K race organised by Brackley & District Running Club in Northamptonshire.
Photo courtesy of Cheltenham Challenge.