This year I've ran a number of different races than what I would normally do. I fancied doing more trail running and so I went on the lookout for new races and found some great ones. After a shout out on twitter a few days ago for blog subjects, Feast of Stephen (@pt_steveb) suggested blogging about 5 races I'd recommend anyone to enter and I have listed these below. All of these races have something special about them.
Black Rock 5
A mixed terrain race held in Kinghorn, Fife. This is a really popular race which sells out really quickly. I decided to miss it this year but it's a fun race. You start and run on the road for about a mile then it's down on to the beach. A short section of soft sand then it's straight out to the 'Black Rock'. For those that don't know, the Black Rock is literally a Rock in the Forth. The fun really starts if the tide is still going out and you need to run/wade around the rock before heading back along the beach.
The finish has a wee surprise which I'll let you find out about for yourself.
The race tends to be on a Friday evening in the summer and a lot of runners catch the train to Kinghorn because it is a great social event too. After the race the prize giving is held in a local bar which also put on a BBQ. The last train back to Edinburgh is always an interesting experience!
Running around the rock when the tide is just right. Deep enough to slow you down, shallow enough to make it fun!
Wear old trainers for this race, they probably won't survive the salt and sand!
Forth Road Bridge 10k
This is hosted by my old running club Pitreavie AAC. You run from the Fife side of the bridge, taking in the views that are on offer as you cross the Forth to Edinburgh, before circling under the bridge and then back via the opposite footpath back to Fife.
Another popular race which tends to get a waiting list quickly but worth getting an entry. At the end the club puts on a free buffet for all the runners which is probably one of the best post race buffets you'll get!
The views - although you can run along the bridge most days, there is something amazing about running it with like minded people.
I ran this race for the first time this year. A midweek evening race which is all off road in the Croy area and is brilliant. A low key friendly event which is well organised. No messing about, you arrive, pick up your race number and get racing. It's a tough wee route but so rewarding. If you have never ran a trail race, this is a great intro.
It's low key friendliness. I turned up not sure what to expect but everyone was really welcoming. I wish all races could be like that.
Foxtrail Night 10k
This is another full on trail race but with a difference. It's takes place on a Friday evening in November and head torches are mandatory. You start in a massive marquee which has a live DJ, light show and heating and then run 2 laps of a 5k course. Throw in some forest tracks, lit up trees and the water splash and you're in for a treat. The finish line is in the marquee, so any spectators can cheer you on in the warmth. Highly recommended for something a bit different.
Running through a forest at night - spooky but exhilarating, you really need to use all your senses!
Tiree half marathon
I grew up on Tiree and still have family there so this is classed as a home race for me. I've ran the 10k a number of times but this year I fancied the half marathon. Starting and finishing on the beach you run along the quiet roads of the west end of the island. Amazing scenery and a ceilidh in the evening, this is a full on weekend away.
If you have never been to the Inner Hebrides, check out the Tiree races and book your accommodation as soon as you can as places fill up fast.
Starting and finishing on golden sands followed by a great ceilidh in the evening. Perfect island race!
So there you have it, my 5 races I would recommend and hopefully some you may not have heard about. Maybe see you at one or two of them next year!
If you have any races you'd like to share with me, please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear about them.