Race Pick

Top-rated races in De­cem­ber

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

NAIRN TURKEY TROT ROAD – TOWN - FLAT When De­cem­ber 26 Where High­lands This Box­ing Day 5K comes with a neat twist: par­tic­i­pants are not per­mit­ted to wear a time­piece of any de­scrip­tion. The idea is that ev­ery en­trant has to try to pre­dict their fin­ish­ing time to the sec­ond, and those who get near­est are awarded prizes at the end. You could al­ways try to judge the pass­ing time by us­ing the sun. In De­cem­ber. In Scot­land.

KILBRONEY 10K OF­FROAD – RU­RAL – FLAT When De­cem­ber 3 Where County Down Part of the Belfast Tele­graph’s Run For­est Run of­froad series, this is a real stun­ner of a race, tak­ing run­ners from the lovely town of Rostrevor and onto paths over­look­ing Car­ling­ford Lough, along the Kilbroney River and into the 97 acres of Kilbroney For­est Park, where the nar­row un­du­lat­ing tracks will keep you on your toes.

GLYNNEATH 5 ROAD – TOWN - FLAT When De­cem­ber 26 Where Wales A Box­ing Day tra­di­tion in Port Tal­bot since 1986, this is a fast, flat five-mile out-and-back course along closed roads in the Vale of Neath, so you can ex­pect some fine views of rolling Welsh hills. If you fancy mak­ing up for the ex­cesses of the previous few days, here’s the place to start. The race be­gins at 11am, which is very civilised, all things con­sid­ered. FULL MONTY-CUTE 10 OF­FROAD – RU­RAL - HILLY When De­cem­ber 4 Where Som­er­set If you en­ter this race there’ll be no need to bung a Christ­mas pud­ding in your fes­tive shop­ping bag this year – you’ll be handed one at the fin­ish line as your re­ward for com­plet­ing this 10.5-mile sludgea-thon across muddy, hilly, quad­crush­ing ter­rain near Yeovil. Make no mis­take, this race, with its 10 hills, is a real test of stamina. You have been warned. HOG’S BACK ROAD RACE ROAD – TOWN AND RU­RAL - HILLY When De­cem­ber 4 Where Sur­rey Any run­ners who live in Sur­rey will know the Hog’s Back, a 154m-high ridge in the North Downs. It’s the hard­est climb in this 11.7K course on coun­try roads and through the Lose­ley Es­tate, out­side Guild­ford. It’s a bit of a bruiser un­til around the 6K mark, but be­cause the sec­ond half of the race is down­hill, a neg­a­tive split is on the cards. BOLSOVER 10K ROAD – TOWN - FLAT When De­cem­ber 11 Where Der­byshire This is an old-school tear-em-up on Der­byshire roads, and you can ex­pect to see plenty of club vets on show among the thou­sand­strong field that turns out each year (there will be plenty of fes­tively at­tired en­trants, too). The course is a fast an­ti­clock­wise loop that takes run­ners from Bolsover to the nearby ham­let of Ox­croft and back again.

TELFORD 10K ROAD – TOWN - FLAT When De­cem­ber 11 Where Shrop­shire This won’t win any awards for the beauty of the lo­ca­tion, but that’s not re­ally the point of the Telford 10K: this is all about the race. It’s one of your last chances to beat your 10K PB in 2016 and it’s on a course de­signed to favour a quick pace. Seven hun­dred run­ners took part last year, with an­other 250 en­ter­ing the elite sub-40-minute op­tion that is also on of­fer.

HEVENINGHAM HELL RUN OF­FROAD – RU­RAL - HILLY When De­cem­ber 4 Where Suf­folk Ten kilo­me­tres of tricky cross­coun­try ter­rain and through a Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown land­scape at Heveningham Hall. While you’re crack­ing on with that, your other half can be or­der­ing a tree and a turkey from the on-site Christ­mas mar­ket, and the kids can pop into Santa’s Grotto to have an earnest word in his shell-like.

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