Maybe you’ve run a couple of marathons and got yourself some more medals to stick on the wall. Maybe you’ve done a triathlon or two and managed to take a minute off last year’s time. Next year you might sign up again and try and go even faster. Maybe you’ll try a longer distance or get some more friends to sign up.
That’s all well and good but races aren’t just about getting PBs. They’re about the experience; trying something new and taking on new challenges. So if you’re like us and want to try things that may be a little bit different or out of your comfort zone, then this may well be the list you’ve been waiting for. Warning: some may require a high level of fitness and mental resilience.
Man vs Mountain
Starting at sea level you’ll have to make your way 20 miles across across the Welsh countryside, steadily climbing until you reach the top of Snowdon. If that wasn’t enough, by the time you’ve descended you’ll have had to deal with a variety of obstacles designed to sap the rest of your strength, an abseil and something know as the ‘All Out Vertical Kilometre’.
One ten kilometre trail run, complete with tough climbs, windy woodland paths and it’s fair share of difficult-to-spot tree roots. Sound easy? There’s one catch, this race is not just about speed, but the number of times you and your team can complete the loop in 24 hours. Still sound easy? Tell us that at 3am when it’s pitch black, you’ve had an hour’s sleep, it tipping it down with rain and your headlamp isn’t working. You can take part in pairs, in teams of five or eight, or, if you’re planning on taking a couple of days off work, you can do it solo.
Race The Train
Yep, this one is as simple as it sounds. A fourteen mile, multi-terrain race where the aim is to beat a steam train travelling alongside the route. Fourteen miles too much? Then you can take on some of the shorter distances as the train makes it’s way to Abergynolwyn and back again. Family and friends can even travel on the train itself and shout encouragement as you try to overtake.
London to Paris 24hr Sportive
The kind of thing many of us talk about doing but somehow never get round to. Over 24 hours you’ll leave with a group from London and make your way across to Newhaven where you’ll have four hours of rest time on a ferry. From there you’ll just have the short 129 mile stint to Paris, finishing around 5pm. Your guiding team will take care of the route, the safety, luggage and even a celebratory meal when you get there.
Bored of normal triathlons? This event swaps swimming for stand up paddleboarding, road cycling for mountain biking and means you’ll be running on trails instead of a road. There are three events throughout the year in different UK national parks; Somerset, Derbyshire and West Sussex. Perfect if, like us, your best swimming stroke is a mediocre doggy paddle.