Top-rated races in December
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.