Saturday, 7 May 2011

And a new challenge is born...

If you're anything like me, you'll be someone who is more than aware, that despite living in England, tourists to the country have very likely seen far more of it than you have. Each year, we travel with friends on weekend breaks to exotic places near to us: Nottingham, The Lakes, Stoke-on-Trent... and each time, I comment to Mik on how we should be doing this more often; We don't see enough of England and we should... But we still haven't!

This got me to thinking. At the same time, my little brain had been pondering on what new running challenge to set me; nothing distance related - the marathon was far enough thank you - but maybe something a little 'different'. And then... Eureka!... 'Ooooooh', I said to myself whilst scanning the back pages of 'Runner's World' for local races, 'Wouldn't it be cool (yes, I still say that word - out loud as well, not just as part of internal conversations with myself inside my own head!) to do some of these races that are more further afield... in fact, what about a race in EVERY COUNTY in ENGLAND?'

Challenge set.

'Right', I thought to myself, 'what exactly would this involve?' It was then, that I realised that my geographical knowledge of my own country is, quite frankly, appalling; having no idea how many counties there are in England... Grabbing my laptop, a cheeky google told me there are currently 48 ceremonial or geographic counties. Until this point, at the back of my mind, I had been questioning whether to include 'Great Britain' in my challenge instead... the answer was now no - 48 races is more than enough to be starting with!

So, armed with my newly found knowledge, I created my challenge and a new page on my blog to document it all here.

On this page, you'll also find a pretty map of England and the list of races I plan to do; so far there are 3!! So, if you've any good local races near to you, let me know... I've been casually scanning the race guides for some ideas, and although ones requiring the logistics of long distance travel will need to be quite well planned in advance, nothing beats word of mouth for a good local race... and also, if you see I'm planning on running one near you, why not pop down to say hello... or better still, run it with me?!


  1. What a great idea... I know you said no marathons, but if you fancied knocking off four counties in one go, you could always do the London to Brighton ultra ( to Brighton)

  2. Woah! In theory... love the idea! In reality... I'd get as far as mid-Kent and have to be shovelled off the pavement! :-)

  3. A fantastic idea! Do give me a shout when you're in Oxfordshire (or Herefordshire in fact - my old stomping ground!).

    This is my favourite Ox race: - sadly I'm not running it this year though.

    There's also a BHF running festival Blenheim Palace in October:

  4. Oooh, I will do and thanks for the heads-up on the races. I like the look of both of those and although I'm unavailable this year for the Ox race, I'm thinking I'm going to add the BHF running festival. It'll be a lovely excuse for a weekend break in Oxford. Brill! :-)


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