Not all of our members know of the more unusual races/runs we undertake, so here I will give you a run down of them.
First is the Grizzly, held at Seaton in Devon, only just, near Lyme Regis. The length of the course varies due to land availability and sometimes safety concerns. It's all cross-country with a little bit of tarmac, top class scenery and mud! The run takes place on a Sunday morning in early March. Due to the length of journey to Devon, and the testing run we have endured since 1993, we usually spend a couple nights there and come home on Monday. Some people cannot do that due to work, family commitments unfortunately. "The Grizzly" has always been an enjoyable and eventful weekend, though entries and accommodation needs to be booked from September onwards, so please ask us about it as it's always more enjoyable to travel in groups. There are a few people who are pulling out for one reason or another, and the organisers, AXE Valley Runners are happy to substitute details on entries before the race.
Second is The Beast, starting and finishing at Corfe Castle, Dorset, situated halfway twixt Wareham and the coastal gem of Swanage, where The Plums have a Plank on the Pier. The run is cross country again, with bits of tarmac and no one is really sure of the exact distance; said to be 12 or 13 miles or thereabouts. Once again excellent scenery, and some of us have been for a number of years, camped at Norden Farm only 15 mins away from the start in the Village of Corfe, which incidentally has 4 pubs doing food. Some who don't do creepy crawlies choose to stay in B&Bs. Entry forms from Jim Anderson springtime onwards. The run is usually held on the Sunday after August bank holiday. If you want to use the campsite but haven't got a tent, several of us have tents you can use so please don't hesitate to ask. Once again many stay and come home on the Monday, making for a relaxing weekend. The race is organised by Poole AC.
Third, the Eridge Park 10 Mile Cross Country Run, organised by Tunbridge Wells Harriers. A testing course held on private land owned by the Marquis of Abergavenny with their kind permission, but no camping involved or staying overnight for us, but you can have a free beer and the Tunbridge Wells ladies make excellent cakes to munch at the finish. The race won first place in the Runner's World UK's Best 50 Races of 2009.
There are other runs as well, but I've highlighted these three because of the venues, which provide an opportunity to see some outstanding scenery and interesting places to visit locally. If you know of other similarly interesting runs for the more curious runner, please let us know. The ones I mention above are well organised by friendly and accommodating clubs and have a good atmosphere throughout the events, from marshals, runners and spectators. If you are interested in participating in any way, just ask.