5 Trail Races to run

5 Trail Races to run

5 trail races to run

Although I’m a big fan of trail running I’ve not really done many trail races. I’m not sure why that is as unless I’m training for a road race, I prefer to run off road. It’s not like there aren’t loads of trail races that I’d love to run, there are loads!

So, I thought I’d list the top five trail races in the UK that I’d love to run in the hope that it might spur me on to enter one (or two) next year!

5 Trail Races to put on your to run list #trailrunning #trails Click To Tweet

Beaconsfield 5 mile trail race (March/April)

Photo of the Hall Barn Estate
Photo of the Hall Barn Estate from the Beaconsfield 5 Mile Trail Race website

Beaconsfield 5 Mile Trail Race

This is a relatively local race to me. The route appeals to me as it is through a private estate on parkland and woodland paths that you can’t access as members of the public. It’s always nice to run in areas that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to go.

Unfortunately for me, the race is on the Easter weekend and for the last 3 years I’ve not been able to go as I have family birthdays around Easter and so I’m often doing social things. Perhaps 2017 will be the year I make it!

Run Balmoral 15 mile trail race (April)

Runners on the Balmoral 15 Mile trail race.
Runners on the Balmoral 15 Mile trail race, photo from the website.

Run Balmoral

A rather scenic race in an area I’ve never been to. This race takes place at the Balmoral Estate near Aberdeen (the Queen’s holiday home!) and the views look absolutely stunning. The grounds are in the Cairngorms National Park so expect mountains, forests, rivers and bogs!

It is part of a weekend of races that includes a road 5k for runners and wheelchair users, a road 10k race with a rather infamous hill, a dualthon and fun runs for children.

Cheddar Gorge Challenge trail races (April – August)

Photo of the start of the Cheddar Gorge Challenge
Photo of the start of the Cheddar Gorge Challenge from the race website. (c) Jon Ryan Photography

Cheddar Gorge Challenge

For those of you who have never been to Cheddar Gorge it is Britain’s biggest gorge with sheer cliffs rising 137m/449ft from the ground and is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So this race will have dramatic scenery, beautiful views and will be rather hard on your legs!

The race comes in four parts over the year and you can run any distance from 5km to a marathon. Complete 3 races over 3 different distances and you get a commemorative trophy. I’m most tempted by the 10km which, over the terrain, will be a challenge enough for me!

Trail Marathon Wales (July)

Runners on the Trail Marathon Wales with mountains in the background
Runners on the Trail Marathon Wales, photo from the race website

Trail Marathon Wales

This trail marathon takes place at Coed y Brenin, a forest in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park. It may be a forest but it is a mountain forest so expect lots of ‘undulations’ on the way. I love this part of Wales and would love to run this race.

There is a half marathon if you don’t fancy the full 26.2 miles, which is probably my preferred option. Coed y Brenin is also home to the national trail running centre so you can have some retail therapy after your race.

Forest of Dean Half Marathon (September)

Runners in the Forest of Dean half marathon
Runners in the Forest of Dean half marathon, photo from race the website

Forest of Dean Half Marathon

Another forest trail race! The Forest of Dean is one of the ancient forests of Britain so expect old oak trees, beeches and sweet chestnut and as this race is in the autumn there should be some fantastic autumnal colours from the falling leaves. The race is on forest trails with no road crossings and a 400m hill to climb before the half way point, just to keep you on your toes!

There is a 5km route on the same day if you want a shorter run. And as the Forest of Dean is home to wild boars you might just see one snuffling about on your run!

What trail races have you run? Are there any on your wish list?

Friday Five link up

I’m linking up with Mar on the Run, Eat Pray Run DC and You Signed Up for What?! for thir Friday Five.

  • Like you, I train on the trail but don’t do too many trail races. The color run is at my local trail this weekend but I think i’m gonna skip it!

    • Not sure I fancy doing a colour run, even if it was on a trail!

  • Courtney

    I have a couple of trail marathons – so tough but so pretty!

    • I think the view makes up for the toughness!

  • I have never run an official trail race, even if many of my races go through the woods. The one I was supposed to run last November was past 5 castles, south of Paris. It was cancelled because of the terrorist activity. Boo.

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