Sign Me Up! Registering to Race

By Laura Cummings

The first couple of months into a new year are my least favourite; the festivities are over and it’s back to everyday life, dark nights, and freezing temperatures. However, there is one thing that makes this time of year actually really exciting – signing up for new races and running events! I tend to go on a bit of a spree, as I find it addictive, and sign up for more events than I planned to, but it gives me so much to look forward to in the coming year. I decided to sign up to some slightly different events this year.

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I have two local half marathons, one in March and one in September, both on disused railway lines with gorgeous Derbyshire scenery but also completely flat (which is always a bonus). Both of these are trail races. Previously I stuck to road races for this distance, so in theory this should be a bit nicer for my knees! As they are slightly downhill, I am also hoping for a personal best.

I am going on my first running weekend away – to the Pembrokeshire coast – I am really excited about this run as it’s (only) 7 miles, which is shorter than the races I usually sign up for. But I have never gone away to race and I will be going with around 20 of my team mates, so it should be:

"A fun weekend with an incredibly scenic run in the middle – what’s not to love?!"

It is also a very hilly trail route, which is great terrain and adds a little something different to my usual runs. I think it will give me a taste of travelling further afield. As the Pembrokeshire Coast is a trail running holiday that we offer here at Contours, it will be a great chance to report back on the route.

Finally, I am signed up for the Round Sheffield Run for the end of June. This event is 15 miles, which is my longest ever race; however, it is very different. it is split into 11 different races, so you run a distance and have a break, and you receive a time for each individual section as well as the entire race as a whole. My thinking is that this will be easier psychologically, as I am not thinking I have to run 15 miles in one continuous go! However, I am not sure how stop-starting will suit me as it is not how I run or train now – but it is something else new and exciting, and they also have a beer tent at the finish line!

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I still have my eye on a colour run; usually these are smaller distances, around a 5k and are all over the country. They are open to people of all abilities and are more of a fun day out with a bit of running involved also. There is another MedalMad virtual race I am quite interested in… a 10K to be run in May for which you receive a medal in the shape of Yoda from Star Wars; if that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is!

If you are looking at races in your local area, there are a number of websites which list all local runs from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I use BookitZone to sign up for races, a trusted website with such an array of different events for you to choose from. You can search by distance, location and even terrain. A lot of events sell out pretty quickly, so you might need to jump on them as soon as you can. I certainly like to think that in the future I might build enough of these different events and practice to run a Contours Trail Running Holiday!

Originally published 26/02/18

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