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Martian Race 2024

Lions Versus Martians

They've landed! 750 runners see off an invasion on Horsell Common...

Here's a running event that's out of this world! The Lions Martian Race – now in its 6th year – is organised by volunteers and all proceeds are distributed to local charities that the Woking Lions Charity carefully selects. The event is growing in popularity and last year just over 600 participants helped to raise more than £13,500.

The latest edition was promoted on Sunday 16 June 2024 with more than 750 runners in four distances ranging from a 2K Mini-Martians race to a full-blown 21K Half Marathon. The 2K fun run is run within the McClaren Technology Centre parkland, while the 5K, 10K and 21K races run through Horsell Common's famous heathland.

So, what do the little green men from Mars have to do with this race? The answer lies within the H.G. Wells novel 'War of the Worlds'. The sandpits on Horsell Common are famously where the Martians first landed and as the route goes through the historic sandpits the organisers chose this as their theme and the unusual name for the event!

Horsell Common is privately owned common land with public access. Almost half of the land is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Woking Lions state: "We are very privileged to be able to run on the common and take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. The routes are carefully chosen to respect flora and fauna of the area and we strive to minimise our impact. Our races are always litter free and this year once again we have pledged to be free of single-use plastics."

The largest entry was for the 10K with stellar performances from Woking AC members Owen Graham (38:34) and Martha Collings (40:11) who were first and second overall to win the gender categories.

Rich Adams (Gav Made Me Do It, 20:10) and Daisy Rae (Corstophine AAC, 23:42) led the 5K finishers, while the fastest in the 2K Mini-Martians race were Ryan Mundy (under 10, 8:08) and Jessica Taylor (under 11, 8:46).

The half marathon saw just under 100 finishers in just under three hours – barely enough time for the Martians to set up their fighting machines with their fearful Heat Rays – and the champions here were M40 David Brighton (Horsell Husbandry Club, 1:24:35) and Hannah Morris (Dorking & Mole Valley, 1:41:08).

Results are available at via the runABC South race listing here.

Photo courtesy of Martian Race on Facebook

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