“Now in its 30th year, the route takes in some great scenery over two laps of an undulating course, all on country roads. With three fairly steep hills on each lap the course is testing, yet the hills do not deter runners returning year after year to take part. The Folksworth 15 has become an annual race fixture for many runners and is a great training race in preparation for one of the many spring marathons.”
It’s no secret that I love this race, I’ve actually entered it 5 times but this was only my second actual start. Last year it was the Beast from the East that made it especially memorable for those brave souls who stepped out in the blizzards, this year although brass monkey weather, the sun was out and conditions were pretty much perfect.
What’s not to love about a short journey to a local race – only 25 minutes from Deeping so all you Peterborough dwellers it’s literally on your doorstep
Race HQ and parking
Some local knowledge (and friends who live in Folksworth) is useful, though for those who aren’t so clued up or organised there are plenty of signposts and marshals to guide you to a car park in the area (I was in Stilton, some nearer to Denton), and plentiful taxis to the HQ are available there and back. There was a short wait, but that’s what happens if you arrive when everyone else does. Can’t complain about that…. Though there are always those that will.
HQ was in the primary school and collecting numbers a piece of cake. It does get a little crowded in the hall while getting ready but nothing unbearable. I believe there were a couple of classrooms open as changing rooms, but most people pretty much ready and happy to strip off in the hall. There were some toilets there with inevitable queues, but there are very few races where this isn’t an issue. This year baggage drop facilities were a short walk away in the village hall, where there were also portaloos and an open air urinal.
Pretty much as described above in the official race blurb. A 10-15 minute walk to the start from the hall, to begin the first of two laps round some beautiful countryside. First hill is about a mile or so in, the steadier climb up Morborne Hill with a steep descent – luckily not to icy there this year, then left at the bottom towards what I’ve always called Middle Hill, since I used to bike round there as a kid accompanying mum and dad on their runs in the 80’s. I heard our very own Esther describe to someone as we headed towards it as “the hill that never stops giving”, a bit of an incline at the beginning, then a steep section to the top. From there, there’s a flat top section with some stunning views, can be a little dull (and exposed if weather conditions are less than favourable, but not this time) along to a turn towards Caldecot, a nice long downhill stretch until the third hill at Caldecot, quite steep in places , but bring you nicely up to the turn towards Folksworth and the end of the first lap – the support here in particular as you pass the finishing area is fantastic. Then off you go through the village to do it all again.
There are plenty of drink stations around the lap, and little pockets of hardy supporters, and excellent friendly and encouraging marshals along the way. The roads are not closed, but with plenty of participants shouting out if any vehicles come through to ove to the left, this didn’t cause a problem, and there was only one numpty who decided not to slow down on the course that I was aware of but others were considerate of those running. Also plenty of cyclists about on their rides calling out support too.
The race is chip timed and a printout of your result can be collected when you finish. Great support as you come down the final section, and then through to collect your coveted t-shirt, water and a choccy bar. Just a short walk/hobble to the hall to collect your bags and excellent provision of tea and snacks after for a small charge. Then taxis available regularly to collect your vehicle, and jobs a good ‘un
Reasonable entry fee
Local and excellent prep for marathon training
Friendly. Well marshalled and well organised
Plenty of lovely hills with lovely views.
For me personally – there are none. The experience does depend on the weather (which we have no control over anyway, it is January after all..) and whether you like hills, and I may have mentioned before, I love hills anyway.
Love it! Definitely up there as one of my favourite races.