The Simplyhealth Great South Run headlines events in the south of England this weekend but there is plenty of alternative action at home and abroad as the autumn marathon season peaks and cross country running gets dug in for the winter. All the details are in the runABC South race listing, brought to you in association with our travel partners Sports Tours International
This weekend is notable for the number of full marathons taking place. We have details of several major international marathons including Amsterdam; Lake Garda; Chianti and Detroit. Domestically there are traditional 26.2 mile races at Abingdon and Chelmsford, while half the distance is available at Henley, Bisham Abbey and Stroud on Sunday (21 October).
One intriguing event listed is Saxons, Vikings and Normans Beerathon on Saturday (20 October). This is not strictly a marathon, although it would be possible to complete the distance within the 8-hour time limit. The venue is Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve near Rochester, Kent and this unusual race combines running and beer drinking – two of our favourite things. Quite how many 3.75 mile laps with one bottle of beer per lap will be downed remains to be seen. There is a reduced price 'dry' option for non-drinkers.
runTalk correspondent Chris Broadbent waxes lyrical about the joys of cross country in his contribution this week
and while this branch of the sport is primarily the reserve of wiry club athletes competing in leagues, there is an opportunity for all to sample the discipline at Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire on Sunday. Ampthill is certainly no ant hill and the Ampthill Trophy has been a hard fought season opener since 1974. Previous winners at Ampthill include world class athletes like Tony Simmons, Paula Radcliffe and Sir Mo Farah – who took the under-15 race in 1997!
Whether you are competing or supporting the Great South Run, tackling a marathon at home or abroad or undertaking an unusual challenge like the Beerathon, we wish you a safe and enjoyable weekend and don't forget to check out those all important results at runABC South race listing here