Martin Burke of prolific Sussex-based race promoters Nice Work has alerted us to the rapidly filling Lamberhurst New Year's Day 10K and 5K, the perfect opportunity to be one of the first race finishers of 2019.
Course records of 34:11 by Richard Phillips (Serpentine) and 36:35 by Emily Hosker Thornhill (Aldershot) in the 10K, both established in 2016, clearly illustrate the challenging nature of the multi-terrain course through the pretty Kent village of Lamberhurst and picturesque grounds of 14th century Scotney Castle.
Last year's champions were Angel Lopez-Cáceres (35:01) and Sasha Houghton (43:26), who were both representing the local Tonbridge Athletic Club. The supporting 5K run was won by Tom Caddick (22:39) and Nina Ridge (Tonbridge, 25:27).
Lamberhurst wakes up to the sound of hundreds of pairs of trainers and cheering supporters each New Year's Day as runners put down a marker for the year. The course climbs out of the village before sweeping back past the finish for a loop in the spectacular grounds of Scotney Castle, where the surface changes to crunchy gravel trails.
The hub of the event is Lamberhurst Village Hall, where a seasonal 'nip' awaits all finishers, along with the usual medal and finish line goodies to celebrate the New Year. Chip timing ensures rapid results and prize giving and there is a children's race to keep the youngsters warm.
Full race details and entry procedures are at Nice Work's website here