Britain has a most diverse and spectacular landscape, from the awesome wilderness of the Highlands of Scotland to the rugged coastline of Wales, to the lush green pastures of England. There are also epic modern cities and medieval country hamlets that are all capable of providing the perfect backdrop for some epic running events.
In this blog we travel the length and breadth of Britain to find the most epic and unusual running events that the country has to offer. Our journey will take us to the desolate landscape of the moors of Devon, to the crowded streets of the capital London, and other epic places along the way.
Badminton Horseless Trial
The Badminton Horse Trials is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Featuring some of the best riders and horses in a celebration of everything connected with equine sport. And our first featured epic running event takes place on the same famous old cross-country course in Gloucestershire normally frequented by horses. The Horseless Team Event sees runners navigate around the same equestrian course in the Cotswolds of England. There is more than one event, and the trial includes the Canicross race, a half-marathon, a five-mile and a nine-mile event.
Some of the cross-country obstacles, designed for horses, are so large that even horses refuse to jump them. So you can imagine how formidable they seem to mere mortals. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the competitors are the water hazards which are cold and quite deep.
The Badminton Horseless Trial is a great spectacle and draws a large and enthusiastic crowd to marvel at the proceedings. More than anything this event is to provide much needed funds for local and international charities, and all competitors must be applauded for their valiant efforts.
Dartmoor Prison Break
Our second epic running event takes place on the wild and mysterious landscape of Dartmoor. This event is a fairly recent addition to the running calendar and was first competed for in 2017. And the goal is simple, to get as far away from Dartmoor Prison that is possible. Runners are all fitted with a GPS tracker and the race has two options, twelve or twenty-four hours. In a way this event is not strictly restricted to running, but the rules do stipulate you can only walk or run. Another stipulation is that competitors can only travel in a straight line, so you can imagine the difficulties that arise from this condition.
The routes the competitors are to follow have to be planned with the greatest of detail, as their attempt at a prison break may fail if a building or water hazard gets in the way. The Dartmoor Prison Break was conceived as a way to raise funds for the Dartmoor Search & Rescue Team, who are on a twenty-four-seven standby alert to assist the emergency services in Devon.
Part two of Britain’s most epic running events visits London and Wales, where there are some stunning events that take place. Including a twenty-four hour track race and a bizarre man versus horse competition.