Running is exhilarating. If you have been running for some time, your goals have probably changed from getting fit to enjoying the run, savoring the experience and looking for new running adventures. However, instead of just joining an event, how about turning it into holiday and seeing the sights as well?
Race To The Stones Ultramarathon
Also known as the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones, this ultramarathon comes with 2 choices. A participant can choose to run for 2 straight days or opt for the 2-day, 50km-each-day race. Both choices follow the same 100 km course which is estimated to be almost 5,000 years old. The first Race to the Stones event was held last year with incredible results. This year, it will be held from July 11 to 12.
Rolling Stones refers to the monolithic standing sarsens (henge monument) in Wiltshire. Each stone weighs approximately 65 tons. The course passes through the circle of stones, Iron Age forts, Thames, ancient burial chambers, and Salisbury, before ending back at the stone circle. Each participant will receive a race kit detailing the recommended wear (based on the weather outlook)and other race specifics.
There will be an overnight base camp with parking where friends and family can drop by to cheer on their runner. The minimum age for participants is 16 but anyone under 18 will have to be accompanied by an adult. The deadline for entries is 5pm on June 12.
Before or after the marathon, there are other activities you can indulge in such as:
- A visit to the Alexander Keiller Museum where you can explore the Barn Gallery and the Stables Gallery
- Going to West Kenneth Long Barrow which are burial chambers and part of Avebury World Heritage Site
- Taking a tour of the Avebury Manor and Garden
- Shopping for local crafts and delicacies
- Going on a hike on one of the hiking trails
The North Norfolk Marathon, Half Marathon, and Mini Marathon
These mixed terrain North Norfolk running events are held to raise funds for Parkinsons UK and the Wells Harbour Maritime Trust. It starts from inside Holkham Estate, through the coastal path and town before returning to the estate and back to the starting point. For the full marathon, participants have to run another 1.5 laps to finish. The mini marathon are for children from the ages of 5 to 16 and is limited to 1k for the younger ones, 2.5 k for pre-teens, and 5k for the teenagers. All participants have a choice of walking, power walking, or running.
After the event, you should stay a while and enjoy the Holkham Beach. The beach is also considered as one of Britain’s best: quiet, romantic, and relaxing. It’s also a great place to bring the family and pet dog with miles of sandy beach! There is also a village, a parish, and a the Holkham Hall all within the Holkham National Nature Reserve. For daily runs, there is a 14 km running path that starts from and ends at Lady Anne’s Drive. The terrain is sandy, easy, and has an ascent of about 92 meters. This run will take you through the beach, dunes, boardwalk, village streets, and lake.
The 18th century Palladian Holkham Hall is open to the public and was once the home of Thomas Coke, the First Earl of Leicester who contributing considerably to the British Agricultural Revolution. The house, which stands on a 25,000 acre property, looks almost the same as it did in 1764. It is still the residence of the Earls of Leicester who graciously allows tours around the grounds which includes a lake, monuments, and a church.
Before you start imagining a lonely village with nary a pinch of excitement, you could not be more wrong. This side of Norfolk has its exclusive hub with million pound homes, a cute duck pond, and a pub that may require prior reservations especially on weekends. There is also a Georgian village a stone’s throw away where one of 7 Burnham villages is found. The Burnham Market here has 30 high-end independent specialty stores, bookstores, and deli.
The Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon
Eden Project is an amazing must-see place in Cornwall. Not only is it the venue for the Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon, it has the world’s largest indoor rain forest. The 2015 Eden Project Marathon is scheduled for October 18, 2015. This will be the third time the event will be held.
It is a multi-terrain course and has been called “brutal” by some past participants. However, the challenge is part of the adventure as you run through clay mining history and glorious countryside. They will set up water stations every 3 miles and give cash prizes to the winners. All finishers get a medal, t-shirt, and pastry while all participants are welcome to join the pre-event party the day before. The minimum age for half marathon is 17 while for marathon, it’s 18.
Before or after the event, you can explore the Eden Project where you find interactive plants, workshops, demonstrations, and the world’s biggest geodesic domes. There is also a living theater, landscaped gardens, and trails.
Outside Eden Project, there are other fascinating places to visit like Tregehan Garden which is 1.5 km from Eden Project and a unique Cornwall Football Golf where instead of a football goal, you have a massive golf hole where you kick in the football. Other attractions are Marsha Villa Gardens, St Austell Brewery, Knightor Winery and Restaurant, Kidzworld, Porthean Beach, and the Wingz Bird Sanctuary.