Usually considered to be the last month of summer, August is here already and we runners need to make the most of every one of its 31 days. So we have decided to focus on fun for our weekend preview of events in runABC South comprehensive race listing.
Big Fun Run simply has to be the epitome of fun. The clue is in the title. Its big, its fun and you can run if you want, but no-one will clock your time. Big Fun Runs are 5k untimed runs staged within some of the most beautiful settings in Britain. This isn’t about Olympic level athletes charging about in record times. It’s about mums with prams, dads with toddlers, groups running together, fancy dress and a fantastic fun mix, with kid's under 5 taking part for free.
Of the 20 Big Fun Run events scheduled for 2018 there are two this weekend – at Mote Park, Maidstone on Saturday (4 August) and a new venue for 2018: Shinewater Park, Eastbourne on Sunday. The next opportunities for having Big Fun Run fun are at London's Crystal Palace Park (27 October) and Victoria Park (28 October).
The next event has been selected for its fun prize. The winners of the National Trust organised Hatfield Forest Half Marathon on Sunday will win their height in oak board! Conventional rewards for all finishers include a T-shirt, medal, water and bananas and the two-lap, cross country course could yield decent times as it is described as having very little gradient.
Finally, for those whose idea of fun is to experience the prolonged discomfort but immense sense of achievement of the ultra-marathon finisher, we include the North Downs Way 100 from Farnham in the Surrey hills to the Julie Rose Stadium at Ashford, Kent. The remarkable course records for this 100 mile trail race, with over 1,000 feet of ascent, are 15:44:39 by Ed Catmur in 2013 and 18:34:54 by Debbie Martin-Consani in 2016.
With two dozen other events to choose from, runABC South feels sure you will have some fun this weekend and our recommendation is to embody the spirit of the phrase 'carpe diem'.