Monday 23 September 2019

16 of the most extreme Gloucestershire runs

From mud baths and paint explosions to walls of flames and almost vertical climbs, discover 16 of the most fierce and fun extreme races, mud runs and obstacle courses in Gloucestershire.

Whether you’re a running pro or complete novice, anyone can take on one of the most extreme races taking place in Gloucestershire in 2019.

Ranging from brutal challenges of stamina and endurance to thoroughly good fun in full fancy dress, sign up and get training for 16 of the most extreme Gloucestershire runs that are worth putting your trainers on for…


1. Gloucester City Marathon


Testing even the fittest of runners, Gloucester City Marathon will return on Sunday 20 January 2019 to challenge contestants as they make their way around the gruelling 26.2-mile course.

The route takes in some of the city’s most iconic sights, including Gloucester Cathedral and Kingsholm Stadium, and will also offer a half marathon option for those who don’t want to tackle the full distance.


2. The Maverick Inov-8 Original Race

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Explore the glorious Cotswolds Hills with a choice of three distances from 7k to an impressive 24k at the Maverick Inov-8 Original Race, taking place on Saturday 6 April 2019.

Starting at the magnificent Sudeley Castle, this testing trail leads runners up a steep single track, weaving through woodland and along some of the Cotswolds’ most famous routes.


3. Forest Warrior


With ditches, swamps, streams, a rifle range, walls, scramble nets and more, this 10k route around the Forest of Dean is not for the fainthearted.

Test yourself on some of the toughest terrain for an event that says ‘you will get wet, you will get muddy, you will be tested and you may not finish’ on Sunday 28 April 2019.


4. Westonbirt 10k

If fitness and nature are two of your favourite things, then look no further than the Westonbirt 10k on Thursday 9 May 2019.

Racers will compete along the greenest of courses, hailed as ‘one of the most beautiful running routes in the UK’ and all proceeds go straight back into the conservation of the beautiful arboretum.


5. Stroud Trail


Encompassing a full marathon, half marathon and quarter marathon route, runners will take to the towpaths and test their stamina on Sunday 12 May 2019.

With glorious wrap-around views of the Cotswolds as you run, this challenging event will see runners of all abilities battle it out to cross the line first, with prizes for the first three runners in each category.


6. Rough Runner


After drawing in the crowds in their masses last year, Rough Runner returns to Chipping North this spring, promising an even bigger and better fitness challenge on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2019.

Complete with obscene obstacles and a course that leads runners through the stunning Cotswold countryside, this event offers a choice of 5k, 10k and 15k distances.


7. Trek the Night

A photo posted by kmacp12 (@kmacp12) on


This walk is not for the amblers, the dawdlers or the strollers. Grab a map, a torch and some hiking boots and face the ultimate team challenge, one that is bound to push you to your limits.

Trek the Night is a gruelling 40-mile trek through deepest, darkest Gloucestershire, which sets off at midnight on Saturday 1 June 2019 and invites participants to navigate their way through the night, from Hetty Pegler’s tump, up the Devil’s Chimney and on to the top of Cleeve Hill.


8. Cheltenham Challenge

A photo posted by Rachel Hobby (@rhobby91) on


Fitness fanatics and budding runners alike can push themselves to the limit at the Cheltenham Challenge with 5k, 10k and a half marathon all on offer this summer.

Taking place on Sunday 16 June 2019, all races begin at Cheltenham Racecourse and head across the scenic Cotswold Way, offering testing climbs and challenges along the way.


9. Spartan Super

A photo posted by @knowtheledge92 on


Brave contestants can show the muddy terrain who is boss at Spartan Super Obstacle Course this June, with runners tackling the course on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June 2019.

Starting off in a deceivingly flat airfield, the race will lead runners on a treacherous trail over obstacles and through muddy swamps until they battle their way triumphantly to the finish line.


10. Relay for Life


Team up and take part in this summer’s Forest of Dean Relay for Life, a community event which shows that people are stronger than cancer, in a 24-hour walking event, on Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 June 2019.

Teams of between eight and 15 are invited to get involved, with each member taking turns to walk around the track for the duration of the event, with music, games, entertainment and food all on offer, turning the overnight event into a colourful celebration of life.


11. The Cotswold Way Challenge

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Returning for a second year, The Cotswold Way Challenge is set to push contestants to their limits on Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 June 2019 with a gruelling 100km route through the picture-perfect Cotswolds.

With a choice of walking, jogging or running, this testing route will start in Bath and finish up in Cheltenham.


12. Cheltenham Triathlon

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Set to test keen runners and cyclists alike, Cheltenham Triathlon is returning for another year on Saturday 13 July 2019.

Testing their bodies, contestants will begin with a gruelling indoor swim followed by an off-road cycle and finish up with an energetic sprint around Pittville Park.


13. Cotswold 24-hour Relay

Arguably the most gruelling event on the list, the 24-Hour Race at Bathurst Estate will take place from midday on Saturday 3 August until midday Sunday 4 August 2019.

Competitors will run through the day and into the night in teams, pairs, or as valiant individuals. Entertainment will be provided on site for those who prefer to watch the race unfold rather than take part.


14. Tough Mudder

A photo posted by Tough Mudder (@tough_mudder) on


Spanning more than a few hundred acres of rough and rigorous terrain, the international Tough Mudder endurance race features some of the highest climbs, deepest mud pits and tiresome tribulations, testing entrants’ skill, determination and even sanity during the 5k event.

Tough Mudder will be returning to Badminton Estate on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August 2019, inviting Gloucestershire runners to take on obstacles such as island hopping; cage crawling; underwater tunnels; live wires; and walls of flames.



15. Devil Mud Run

A photo posted by Devil Mud Run (@devilmudrun) on


Jump, climb, wade, crawl, slide, conquer hellish hills and stinking swamps and survive the Devil’s Playground in the 9k Devil Mud Run near Cheltenham on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September 2019.

With obstacles including the Ice Dip, Satan’s Steps, Hay Bale Mountain, Swamp Thing, and more, the course is challenging enough for the most serious of competitors and an excellent achievement for any fun runners to complete too.


16. Five Valleys Walk

A photo posted by Olly Parry-Jones (@ollypj) on


People of all ages and abilities can take part in this 21-mile walk through the stunning Cotswolds countryside on Sunday 29 September 2019, with participants able to walk as much or as little as they’d like.

The circular route goes through the picturesque villages and towns of Painswick, Slad, Toadsmoor, Chalford and Nailsworth, with entertainment, children’s activities, and food and drink provided along the way.


By Laura Grogan

© SoGlos
Thursday 10 January 2019

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