As the Roman goddess Juno (June) gives way to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar (July) in the calendar, we have almost 50 events recorded in runABC South's comprehensive race listing this weekend. Our reporter, Alan Newman, was struck by the popularity of 5k as a running distance and wonders if parkrun is having an unexpected effect?
Could it be that the free, weekly, timed 5k parkruns have actually nurtured an increased appetite for competition at one of the shortest of the regular distances? Of course, just over three miles is a handy distance for many charity events but participation in parkruns could help remove the trepidation that novice runners might otherwise feel when moving into the competitive world.
Charity is at the heart of several 5k events this weekend. Colour5K at Colchester on Saturday (30 June) takes place at Ardleigh Showground raising funds for organisers Headway Essex, providing brain injury care and support throughout Essex. Fancy dress, face paint and Colour Bandits will ensure that by the finish you will have become a masterpiece of colourful art.
Also on Saturday there are Cancer Research UK Pretty Muddy 5K events at Cheltenham and Bedford while Bracknell and District Samaritans have a 5K and 10K at Easthampstead School.
A conventional trail 5K/10K race can be found at Misbourne School, Great Missenden, Bucks.
Sunday's action includes Run or Dye 5K at Penshurst Place Kent – a variation on the colour run theme in support of Kiss It Better for Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity for children with cancer. There is also a 5K Colour Run at Charing, Kent organised by the 1st Charing Scout Group and Cancer Research UK Race for Life 5K runs at Cheltenham, Newbury and Bedford.
Finally, the Abbotts Ann Trail Run near Andover in Hampshire sounds promising as it is organised by Muddy Runners and promises a real ale bar, BBQ, Thai food, medals and prizes along with a testing 5K or 10K multi-terrain course.