31 Dec

2019 set to arrive with a bang!

Box Hill Knacker Cracker 2018

Tomorrow sees a bright, shiny New Year! Wipe the slate, start afresh and lets kick on in 2019. We take a look ahead at events in the South of England, where runners might be taking their first steps in competition to get an early result on the board.

Getting active on the first day of the year takes some commitment and discipline but spare a thought for the volunteers and race promoters who are up and about even earlier than the runners to make it all happen safely – so take a bow all you wonderful organisers and officials.
There are literally hundreds of extra parkruns taking place and there are even opportunities to double up as nearby parkruns schedule staggered start times to facilitate the logistics for parkrun enthusiasts. The parkrun New Year Compendium lists all those extra events, including the ones that start at a more sociable hour than the usual 9:00am.
As for traditional New Year's Day pipe openers there are a range of events to select from, with 5ks and 10ks being the most popular both on and off the road. As at any other time of the year the runABC South race listing is the go to reference source for entry details and results.
The only 26.2 mile race shown is the Flitch Way New Year's Day Marathon at Great Notley Country Park, Braintree. There were 40 finishers in 2018 as Jonathan Godfrey (3:14:38) led the way on the pretty course that mainly follows an old disused railway line. This will be the second day of a two day event, with marathons on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day – now there is a challenge that no doubt a few runners will accept!
Box Hill Trionium Knacker Cracker 10K has been damaging men's credentials for 16 years and the race programme now includes the Nipper Knacker kid's run and Knicker Knacker ladies' race. The main event has 500m of ascent/descent making it a grade 'A' fell race! The current course records, both set in 2011, are owned by Sylvain Garde (45:51) and Carla Molinaro (52:44), who represents Clapham Chasers and is a regular at the Comrades Marathon ultra.
Another classic is the Lamberhurst New Year's Day 5K and 10K by Nice Work, where the course for both races passes through the Kent village of Lamberhurst and the National Trust grounds of 1837-built Scotney Castle. Finish line goodies, race medal and a seasonal 'nip' are on offer to all finishers and on the day entries will cost £20.
So welcome to 2019 and we hope it's full of cheer, new experiences and PBs for our readers.       
Image of Box Hill Nipper Knacker courtesy Steve Rencontre