Club news

The Great Outdoor Series

January 22, 2024 by Martin Lawrence
Press Releases

This is a series of seven led social runs exploring scenic places a bit further from MK. The routes will be predominantly off road, chosen for their atmospheric landscapes where we can enjoy the beauty of the natural world. Some of them also visit historic towns and grand country estates. The first six can be done in a day trip or shorter, while the final run will involve a weekend away.

 

If you are interested in joining, please see the information below, and then use the link at the bottom to register.

 

DISTANCE & PACE

The first run will be about 12 miles, and through the summer we will build up to about 18 miles. If you can already run a half marathon in 2:30 or quicker (an unofficial Half or timed training run is fine) then this is for you.

Some of the routes will include hills significantly bigger and steeper than we are used to in MK. It is normal and expected to walk up these, so don’t worry. We want it to be a sociable and supportive group and no-one will be left behind!

 

TRAVEL

Departure from MK will usually be between 8am and 9am on a Saturday morning, depending how far we are going. Return from the more distant destinations will be late afternoon or evening.

All the places are accessible by public transport, and we will look to coordinate lift shares as an alternative, to avoid unnecessary car miles.

After each run, we’ll finish with a cafe or pub stop to refuel. Some of the destinations will merit a little sight-seeing wander before we head for home.

 

WHEN AND WHERE

Here are the dates for 2024 and locations of the seven runs:

 

9 March. Tring, 12 miles. We start relatively local in the pretty countryside of the Chiltern Hills, including the fine viewpoint of Ivinghoe Beacon.

 

13 April. Malvern Hills, 14 miles. A soaring ridge with excellent trails along the top, overlooking the historic town of Great Malvern.

 

18 May. Cannock Chase, 17 miles. Lose yourself (not literally!) in this extensive undulating area of forest and heathland.

 

15 June. Oxford area, 15 miles. Featuring the grand parkland surrounding Blenheim Palace and a section of the Thames Path.

 

20 July. The Night Run, 14 miles. This one will be local to MK. A Saturday evening run, through the dusk and finishing after dark.

 

17 August. Peak District, 17 miles. A visit to the wild side as we traverse high moors between Buxton and Macclesfield.

 

28 September. Wales weekend. Subject to confirmation, we are hoping to conclude the series with a weekend away (depart Friday night, return Sunday afternoon). Destination: Somewhere In Wales. A hilly grand finale of about 18 miles!

 

NEARBY PARKRUNS

For the truly energetic, on some of those Saturdays it would be possible to take in a parkrun en route to the main run. Note for logistical reasons, this tends not to be from exactly the same start. If there is demand for this, we will try to arrange start times to suit.

 

SELF-SUFFICIENCY & KIT

Please be aware that these adventures will often take us some distance from “civilisation”, so self-sufficiency is the order of the day. We’re going to be out for several hours at a time – due to the terrain, these routes are much slower than the road – so we will need to run with rucksacks and be provisioned and equipped accordingly. Please bring / wear:

 

  • Trail shoes. Good grip is needed as some routes will be muddy, and even in summer, grassy downhills can be very slippery after rain.

 

  • Water or energy drink.

 

  • Snacks, e.g. cereal bars, crisps, jelly babies.

 

  • Waterproof jacket. Don’t trust in the forecast!

 

  • Spare warm layer. Exposed hilltops can be much colder than city redways.

 

  • Cash/card and mobile.

 

  • Rucksack to carry it all. Doesn’t need to be a specialist running pack, a small hiking rucksack is fine.

 

For the night run, you’ll also need a torch (ideally a headtorch), and it is recommended to wear reflective gear.

Please ensure you have personal insuance

 

FAQ

Do I have to be a Club member?

Yes, this series is just for Redway Runners members. If you’re not a member already, it’s only £5 and you can join here.

 

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be able to run a half marathon in 2:30 or quicker. Being happy with time on your feet is more important than speed. There will be stops to admire the view, and main hills will be walked up.

 

Did you say the H-word?

Yes there will be HILLS including some big ones but fear not, nobody except elite trailrunners actually runs up these. Major hills will be walked, with time to regroup and catch breath at the top.

 

Do I need to commit to all seven runs?

We’d like people who sign up to come to most of the runs if possible, as the aim is to form a sociable group around the series. But we realise not everyone can commit to all seven. If you think you can realistically make four or five, then that’s absolutely fine.

 

What will it cost?

The actual runs are free to Redway club members, just like all our social runs. The things you will need to pay for yourself are:

 

  • Buying any necessary kit that you don’t already have – see “Kit” section above.

 

  • Getting to the start. Either provide your own transport, pay your own train/bus fare, or chip in for petrol on a lift-share.

 

  • Your accommodation on the September weekend trip, if you opt to come. We will look into group accommodation with participants splitting the cost.

 

How do I sign up?

Please use this Registration Form (opens in Google Forms).

To keep the group size manageable on the runs, a maximum of 20 places will be available. If more than 20 sign-ups have been received by 31st January a ballot will be held. If not all places have been taken, entries will remain open until the end of February.

 

Other questions?

The runs are being organised by Alan Hall. Feel free to email Alan on ahall.gm@gmail.com.

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