The beautiful Nottinghamshire / Lincolnshire border area plays host to a wide range of trail events and races all year round. There is something for everyone, from 5K parkruns to ultras and from easy forest trails to muddier, hillier challenges. Here are some recommendations…
Belton House parkrun (5K) – a flat, two-lap course on tracks, paths and grass in the grounds of the National Trust’s stunning Belton House near Grantham.
Clumber Park parkrun (5K) – an undulating, two-lap course on stony tracks and woodland paths in the beautiful Clumber Park. Can be wet and muddy in winter.
Colwick parkrun (5K) – a pan-flat, one-lap-and-a-bit route on stony paths and woodland trails around the lakes in Colwick Park. Can be wet and muddy in winter.
Rushcliffe parkrun (5K) – a two-lap course on good quality stone paths in the pretty Rushcliffe Country Park. Gently undulating.
Caythorpe 10K - off-road 10K on tracks, trails and road. Low-key.
Clawson 10K Challenge - challenging event up onto the Belvoir escarpment and back down, on tracks, trails and paths. Also open to walkers.
Crossdale 10K – a low-key, annual out-and-back race over tracks and trails near the village of Keyworth. Undulating, with a fast downhill start (and a slower uphill finish!) Great atmosphere. Also children’s fun-run.
Grantham Cup 10K – a challenging route from Belton House, near Grantham, up onto the Lincolnshire escarpment and back via rough grass and woodland paths. Two steep climbs. Horse lovers will enjoy the Grantham Cup weekend, of which this race is a part. Race memento is frequently a specially-brewed beer.
Longhorn 5K (also 10K, half marathon, marathon and 60K ultra) – a lapped flat course on tracks and trails in the grounds of the beautiful Thoresby estate. Unique in that runners of most distances use the same loop, so marathon and ultra-runners mingle with those running the shorter routes.
Southwell Swine (5.5 miles, also 11 miles) – one lap (or two for the 11 miler) around the fields of Brockenhurst Agricultural College. Undulating and very rough underfoot in places. Course is tough enough that some 11-mile entrants suddenly switch to the 5.5-miler when they realise they’d have to round again!
Thoresby 10K (also 10 miles) – a lapped course on tracks and trails in the grounds of the beautiful Thoresby estate in north Nottinghamshire. Can be muddy and wet underfoot.
Bawtry Forest Trail Race (10 miles) - a low-key figure-of-eight course around the beautiful Bawtry forest. Tracks and grassy paths, gently undulating.
Caythorpe Canter (half marathon, also marathon) – low-key but popular off-road route on the edge of the Lincolnshire escarpment. Hilly in places.
Caythorpe Dash (half marathon) – low-key but popular off-road route on the edge of the Lincolnshire escarpment. Hilly in places.
Dukeries 10 (10 miles) – low-key but very-well organised flattish route on the Robin Hood Way in north Nottinghamshire. Great atmosphere and personalised race medals add a lovely touch.
Keyworth Trail Run (15K, also 30K) – two new races on tracks and trails in the countryside near Keyworth.
Ponton Plod (12 miles, also 17 miles and 27 miles) – low-key, well-organised event on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir. Run on tracks, trails and grassy fields. Delicious soup and pudding at finish. Also open to walkers.
Spires and Steeples Challenge (13 miles, also 26 miles) – long-established off-road run from Lincoln to Sleaford (or Metheringham to Sleaford) along the paths and bridleways of the Arts and Heritage trail.
Wheatley Summer 10 (10 miles, also Wheatley Winter 10) – an undulating 10 miles around relatively unknown but pretty countryside in north Nottinghamshire. Run on tracks and trails which can be wet and muddy in winter. Great atmosphere and personalised medal at finish.
Belvoir Challenge (15 miles, also 26 miles) – a long-established event for runners and walkers in the Vale of Belvoir. Hilly and usually very muddy. Excellent range of food provided at the end!
Dukeries 30 (30 miles, also 40 miles) – a low-key but exceptionally well-organised run along the Robin Hood Way through Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park. Generally flat on well-maintained paths and tracks but sections can be wet and muddy. Well-stocked feed stations and encouraging marshalls.
Grantham Canal Run (58.6 miles) – an out-and back race along the Grantham Canal. Flat!
Viking Way Ultra (147 miles) – a non-stop ultra along the Viking Way long-distance footpath. Qualification events required. Not for the faint-hearted.
Waterways 30 (30 miles, also 50, 70 100 miles) – as the name suggests, off-road races along the waterways of north Nottinghamshire, including the Chesterfield Canal.
Robin Hood 100 (100 miles) – including parts of the routes of the Wheatley, Dukeries and Waterways events above.