A survey of weather forecasts for the Easter weekend in the south of England has produced 'changeable' results. The consensus seems to favour another temperature plunge as bitterly cold Polar air sweeps across the UK but any snow should be limited to a few flurries on high ground. Where should runners head for the traditional pipe openers that populate the fixtures this weekend?
There are few distances with a greater retro feel than 10 miles. Finish the race and divide your time by ten and, hey presto, you have your mile pace. You can even do it in your head while still in oxygen debt from the effort!
Two fine examples previously enjoyed by runABC South reporter Alan Newman are the 65th Maidenhead Easter 10 and the Folkestone 10. Both take place today (Good Friday). For several years Prime Minister Theresa May has helped out in the hi-viz at her local Berkshire event, showing competitors the 'right' way to go. Folkestone 10 is a joyful (weather permitting) blast on the attractively upgraded seafront at the Kent port town.
Another past Easter retreat for our man in the south is the Isle of Wight, where Ryde Harriers put their 130-plus years of experience to good use by hosting a brilliant weekend race double. Saturday's offering is the hilly but potentially fast Newport to Ryde 7 mile multi-terrain race with a madcap dash downhill to finish at Ryde High School. On Easter Monday your tired legs are coaxed back into action for the truly beautiful West Wight 3 Hills Race over 8 miles, with 900 feet of ascent, based at West Wight Sports Centre, Freshwater.
Our pick of the action on Easter Sunday is the brand new Royal Borough of Kingston Spring Half Marathon. Ideally positioned a few weeks before Brighton, London and Southampton marathons, this race features a pre-breakfast start in the ancient Market Place at Kingston-upon-Thames and a scenic course crossing Kingston Bridge, running on Barge Walk beside the River Thames to magnificent Hampton Court Palace.