Knacker Cracker competitors

Lucky Dip or Knacker Cracker?

We preview the New Year's Day race options

Recently we marked your card for the wide range of festive fixtures on offer this Christmas period, ranging from Santa-suited specials from 1K for kids to 10K for the big kids and all the way up to marathons and ultra-distance challenges for mileage junkies.

Now it's time to look ahead and consider perhaps the ultimate challenge. Will you get out from under your duvet early on New Year's Day or won't you? That is the question we pose in our preview of '22...or the very start of it, at least! At the time of writing, there were seven events listed in runABC South's comprehensive race guide for the first day of this shiny new year... 

The first of these, in terms of the start time, is potentially the longest – Lucky Dip Ultra. This is one of those multi-lap, six-hour challenges where you can run from 5K to an ultra-marathon. The Lucky Dip aspect comes at the finish when you will be presented with a random medal from those left from previous events organised by Saxons, Vikings and Normans! This all takes place at Cyclopark, Gravesend in Kent and the start time is a fresh 9:00am.

Another hour in bed, depending on the distance of travel is available if you decide to enter either the Lamberhust 10K (actually held at Bewl Water) in Kent or Flitch Way Marathon and 10K at Great Notley Country Park, Braintree in Essex. 

Starting at 10:30am we have two more choices in Dorset and Gloucestershire. The 36th Junction Broadstone Quarter Marathon is a New Year tradition organised by Bournemouth YMCA and Poole Runners on a fast, two-lap circuit from The Junction Leisure Centre, Broadstone. 

In contrast, the 7 Sins Challenge at Wenchford Picnic Site in the gorgeous Forest of Dean is a tough, multi-terrain run on forest trails and through streams and tunnels in the Blakeney and Parkend area. This video from 7 Sins 2018 helps to set the scene...

Serpentine NYD 10K is a blast around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens starting on the north side of the Serpentine Lake, by the Boat House. The traffic-free course takes in many historic landmarks, such as Kensington Palace, the Italian Gardens and the Henry Moore statue.     

However, for this writer, the pick of the pack has to be the fabulous 19th annual Trionium Knacker Cracker 10K and ladies Knicker Knacker, plus Nipper Knacker for the kids, starting at 11:00am. This iconic race climbs 473m and descends 335m, starting at the foot of Box Hill, Surrey and finishing at the top. Course changes mean the end of the fabled 'Eiger Steps' and new parking arrangements at Denbies, with a procession to the start under the A24. 

So there you have it – plenty of options to get moving and to make '22 the year for you.

Check runABC South race listings for details of events here

Image courtesy Robert McCaffrey for Trionium Knacker Cracker

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