Are You Tough Enough?
Brighton Marathon (15 April) dominates the fixtures in the south of England this weekend and Virgin Money London Marathon looms large on the horizon next Sunday (22 April) but there is an antidote to all this marathon fever.
The General has ordered all marathon rejects and other interested parties to assemble at the battle field in Winchester for a two-day endurance challenge featuring tough trails and enough obstacles to satisfy the warrior gene in anyone.
Tough Enough Races are the experienced team behind this mind over matter exercise held at Matterley Estate for the 6th year. This privately owned dairy farm in Ovington was the venue for General Eisenhower's rallying 1944 address to the troops ahead of Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings, and more recently the 50 acre natural amphitheatre known as the Matterley Bowl has hosted the BoomTown Festival and many other major sporting and cultural events.
The programme on Saturday is a 10k or 20k trail race through ancient woodland and areas of special scientific interest with spectacular views not normally accessible to the public. Last year's champions will be present to attempt to defend their titles against allcomers. Will anyone be Tough Enough to take them down? Remember, fortune favours the brave.
Sunday's combat offering is the famous Obstacle Race with 20 man-made tests of strength, agility and courage over the 10k course. There will also be a free mini-obstacle course for the kids to tackle. All the obstacles have military names and competitors can choose to make the task even harder by carrying a 5kg baton, equivalent in size and weight to the SA80 Army rifle.
Other alternatives to pounding the tarmac in search of bragging rights include Rough Runner South at Bereleigh Estate, East Meon, Hampshire; Honiton Hippo in Devon and Effingham Adventure Race near Leatherhead, Surrey.
Of course, if you are infected with spring marathon fever you will be wrapped in cotton wool and wearing an antivirus face mask until the race is underway, so you will not be studying our runABC South race listings brought to you in association with Sports Tours International
Main image courtesy Tough Enough Races