A year after training for Race for Life my sister, Yvette, and I decided that we needed to have a focus for our running and so began our quest. We would find and run a 10km event every month. That was 5 years and about 100 events ago. So far this year we have managed 10 events with three in the last 3 weeks. These three, the Danesfield Dash, The Keech Hospice 10k and the Wheatie 10 have been a challenge but we have really enjoyed them. They are hilly, beautiful trail runs and all really well organised.
The Danesfield Dash near Marlow has a small number of entrants, plenty of parking, lots of toilets and delicious refreshments. The marshals are really friendly giving lots of encouragement, especially on the difficult bits! It starts at the school and takes you out through a small housing estate into a bluebell wood with lots of twists and turns. Then, it is out on to the road with a long climb up the hill, round the corner, still climbing, until you reach the top. From there, it is down the hill and up another steep stretch before going back into the wood for the final downhill stretch back to the start. It is very much a family event with a 2k for the children.
The Keech Hospice 10k takes place at Putteridge Bury, a beautiful setting on the outskirts of Luton. Again, it has a small number of entrants, good parking, lots of toilets but not much in the way of refreshments. However the goody bag which was a small cool bag containing water, a banana, a crème egg and tissues made up for that! The run is mainly on paths beside fields (where we saw a herd of 18 deer – I don’t think I should have had time to count them), along quiet lanes and through woodland with only the start and finish on a short stretch of road.
The Wheatie 10 takes place in Wheathampstead near St Albans and is organised by the village to raise funds for the school. The numbers are growing every year, there are toilets, quite good parking and delicious refreshments. It is my favourite of the three and is very much a village event with a great atmosphere. This too, has a 2k for the children (which is chip timed) and there is also plenty for them to do whilst the 10k is going on. The route is on a mix of field paths, farm tracks, quiet lanes and a little bit of road with some beautiful views as you make your way up and down around the course. All of the marshals are so supportive and give you that extra bit of encouragement on the tricky bits!
I would recommend all three but, of course, it depends how far you want to travel. The Keech and the Wheatie 10 are local to Yvette which is why we run those (and will do again next year) but we do travel further afield and like to try new events with Burnham Beeches 10k and the Ashdown Forest Eeyore Experience amongst others in our diaries for this year.