by Sim

Following its successful introduction in 2019, Forestry England is hosting another series of 5km and 10km trail races around the country. These enjoyable, well attended and impeccably organised off-road events are a great day out for the whole family, too. I ran the first event at Westonbirt Arboretum in September, and I’ll also be racing the last event at the Forest of Dean on 28th November.

Expect the trails to be predominantly well-surfaced gravel and suitable for trail shoes, but it’s worth checking for guidance at the specific race as some can get muddy in wet weather. I’ll be testing out a pair of Merrell MTL Skyfire shoes, which I recently wore at the Snowdon Skyrace (race report coming soon). They’re probably grippier than strictly necessary for the Forest Runner races, but they’re light, protective against underfoot stones and very comfortable. The 10km distances normally have one water station at about half way.

Outside race day, Forestry England sites offer enjoyable trail running all year round. Several have dedicated running trails and all have walking trails that are also great for running. Many also host Parkrun or other races. Find out about your local forest and the facilities and events here.