Trail running or forest bathing?
Combine both in the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon
Trail running is quite possibly the fastest-growing genre within our multi-faceted sport, with the green shoots of new events springing up everywhere. Whether it's the fabulous scenery; the challenge of the trails themselves; Covid-safe nature of the events, or even the Japanese practice of 'shinrin yoku' before or after the event – there is something special about trail running in the forests of England.
Royal Forest of Dean Rotary Club has announced the exciting news that their Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon on Sunday 20th March has been selected by the Trail Running Association to be the British Trail Running Championships – Short Distance event for 2022.
This means the winners will be declared British champions and the top three men and women will receive British Trail Running Association medals but the event is open and membership of the TRA isn't necessary to qualify for the Championships. The Rotary Club is supported by the Forestry Commission in organising this annual event and proceeds are used to support local and national charities.
Starting on the road outside the famous Speech House Hotel – formerly Charles II's 17th Century Hunting Lodge – the single lap course for the Spring Trails Half Marathon is entirely on traffic-free trails in the heart of the Royal Forest. The current course record is 1:11:36 by Andrew Hunt in 2015. Katherine Matthews (Chepstow Harriers, 1:24:28) set the women's best in 2016.
This race has been held on various routes for over 30 years but this is the first time it has hosted the British Championships. Among the many positive reviews, we have selected this from first-timer Georgina Hawkins: “We absolutely loved it! Very well organised, beautiful course with plenty of variation, wonderful marshals, and a great first trail half experience. Good value for money too! Thank you to everyone at the Rotary club for your hard work on this”.
Entries are open now and close in just over 50 days. Fees are £27/£29 and online entry is available through the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon website here.
If you need some extra time to prepare, there is also the Forest of Dean Autumn Trails Half Marathon on a different course on Sunday 25th September to look forward to...
Image courtesy Royal Forest of Dean Rotary Club