I’m still on a high from completing the Tissington Trail Half Marathon, and I’ve been thinking about all the races I’ve done over the past couple of years that I’ve really enjoyed.
1. The Market Drayton 10K
I may be a bit biased, as this is my hometown race, but it’s not been voted best 10k in the country two years in a row for no reason. As well as the amazing goody bag – stuffed with muller yoghurts, beer tokens and vouchers for money off my favourite local indian – there’s the fact that the race is massively well supported by the town. People cheer and applaud you most of the way round, and there’s usually celebrations going on outside the local brewery. This year, there were drums playing on a lorry and the rhythm really helped me keep going up a tough hill. It’s a fantastic event and I’ve loved being a part of it for the last two years.
2. Hackworth Parkrun
Not really a race, but this one sticks in my memory above many of the others I’ve done. I came 29th in this park run (…out of thirty two, but shh don’t mention that) and it was a very strange experience to be taking part in such a small event. It was mostly quite elite runners – not super elite, but the better end of club runners – and it was a tough course – hilly, with lots of different terrains. It was lovely to do, though, because it was clearly a labour of love for the people that were organising it. That people went through that much effort for thirty-odd runners every week was really heartwarming.
3. Tissington Trail Half Marathon
Definitely a great half marathon for beginners to the category. Though the ‘it’s mostly downhill’ thing certainly didn’t feel that way when we were running it, the beautiful countryside and definitely ‘mostly flat’ terrain made this a treat for the eyes and the feet. The fact that it was a straight line made it an adventure too – you parked at the end, got a bus to the beginning then ran home.
4. Twilight Race for Life
Running in the dark with fairy lights and glowsticks is far more fun than it ought to be. The magical beauty of watching loads of women jogging off – lights glittering around them – made this a real spectacle of an event. I always find Race For Life events really emotional as well, so this was a double whammy.
5. Telford Park Run
The race I’ve done the most times, and it’s a great one – lovely course, with a first mile that’s mostly downhill, making it fab for hitting those PBs. You run a couple of laps round a lake, and there are even dinosaurs roaring at you to make you go that little bit faster. I’ve done Telford Parkrun maybe twenty times since it started a year and a half ago – which isn’t nearly as many weeks as it’s been running, but still a fair number – and I still love going back.