So what is trail running?
In The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running, they conclude that a “trail” requires three of the following qualities: 1) unpaved; 2) natural obstacles; 3) significant elevation gain/loss; and 4) scenic.
On some trail runs you cross rivers (Yarrow River 10K, Bluebell 10, Keswick Mountain Festival etc spring to mind), others you tackle swamp like conditions or climb mini mountains. Whatever course you do is different and not one is the same. Due to this your times will vary.
The conditions and course can effect your time massively. You won’t be chasing a PB. Your times can vary a lot at the same distance. If you do the same course the following year don’t expect the same time. It’s completely different to road running as your splits and times are all over the place!
It’s also worth noting that just because a race states a specific distance it doesn’t mean that that’s the case. Take the following examples in Kendal Mountain Festival was actually 16 miles not 15, the Howgills 1/2 Marathon was actually 14 miles not 13.1, Staveley 10K was actually 12K not 10K etc. So in some instances don’t be shocked if it’s longer than advertised.
You also (in the majority of the races) need to run in trail shoes as they have a different type of grip than road shoes. If you aren’t sure what type to get then ask someone in the club and they’ll more than likely be happy to help.
To view this year’s Trail Race Championship please click here
Below is some race information as well as links to enter:
Roddlesworth Roller – Sunday 11th March @11:00
A multi-terrain race that starts near the Hare & Hounds pub in Abbey Village. It’s undulating and approximately 9K. The first mile or so is along paved paths alongside Roddlesworth Reservoir before you start to climb into Tockholes Woods. It’s then undulating paths through the woods and you do a big loop before coming back on yourself.
Warrington 5 – Saturday 24th March @ 10:30
A multi-terrain course that uses the paths around Colliers Moss and it can be very muddy depending on the weather leading up to the race. It’s quite scenic as it’s a woodland trails course.
Rivington 10 – Sunday 8th April @ 10:00
Starts at Rivington Village and heads out towards Anglezarke Reservoir and White Coppice on undulating woodland trails with scenic views. Once at White Coppice the race becomes challenging as you begin your climb to the top before descending and coming back on yourself. This event is likely to sell out in advance.
Curley’s 5K – Wednesday 11th April @ 19:00
Probably one of the most challenging 5K races that you’ll ever do. It’s a quick downhill start before a sharp right turn and a slog and a half uphill towards Wilders Wood. You weave around the woods as you start your descent and then an uphill finish.
Brun Valley 10K – Sunday 29 April @ 09:30
This is a new race for 2018 and it’s a multi terrain race that starts and finishes in Thompson Park. The race goes through the paths of the park before heading into Brun Valley Forest Park, taking in a picturesque circuit of Rowley Lake along the way. This event is likely to sell out in advance.
Wigan Trail 10K – Sunday 13th May @ 10:30
The event takes place through the trails of Wigan’s Greenheart Amberswood Park, situated between Spring View & Hindley. This former mining area has been transformed into a beautiful 160 hectare nature reserve.
Cuerden Valley parkrun – Saturday 2 June @ 09:00
Sabden Trail Race – Wednesday 20th June @ 19:00
A 6 mile trail race around the beautiful hills of Sabden. A scenic, undulating route with a killer of a climb up the side of a reservoir!
Witton parkrun – Saturday 21st July @ 09:00
One of the hardest parkruns in the North West. There are plenty of hills to keep you occupied on your 5K run as you head through the woods of Witton Country Park.
For info – We understand that Blackburn Council are introducing Car
Parking Charges at Witton Park but minimal really = 0.50p for 2 hours
and £2.00 all day, Please make sure you take some change with you if you intend to use the car park!
Northwich Festival of Running 10K Trail Race – Sunday 8th July @ 11:00
Lytham Hall parkrun – Saturday 28th July @ 13:00
Harrock Hill – Wednesday 22nd August @ 19:30
Another race that is classed as a fell race but technically it’s trail. This is part of a 4 race series held every month from May to August and very cheap to enter at £4. The 5.2 mile race starts at the bottom of a hill which sets the scene for the race as you tackle hills and run across fields around Parbold.
Keswick 10K & 15K Challenge – Saturday 1st September @ 11:00 & 13:00
You have the choice of either 10K or 15K Challenge. When doing the latter please ensure you enter the 15K Challenge not 15K Race. If the conditions are good you can get a good time but if not then expect to tackle a swamp! Expect lots of climbing, woodland trails and running through a bog! This event is likely to sell out in advance.
Yarrow River 10K – Sunday 16th September @ 10:00
A fantastic race on the woodland trails through Yarrow Valley Country Park and it has a bit of everything you want from trail running. This event is likely to sell out in advance.
Hyndburn parkrun – Sat 22 September @ 09:00
Haigh Woodland parkrun – Saturday 6th October @ 09:00
A surprisingly quick 5K trail run through the trails of Haigh Country Park. It’s basically a fast 1.6 mile down hill and then a long slog back on yourself as you loop back to the finish near Haigh Hall.