Quirky articles

Use Your Senses 5k – Manchester

Review by Nigel Holmes.
This is an event series for all the family held by Guide Dogs charity with sensory experiences on route. There are 5 sensory stations Including taste, see, touch, smell and listen. I took part in last year’s event so I knew what to expect but I’d say that the 2019 event was bigger and better than 2018. Despite the threat of rain in North Manchester the numbers were up with 800 people registered and fortunately the rain held off whilst we ran.


The 5k route took the form of two 2.5km loops and gave the option for some to do a single loop. The event is perfect for young children as the number of sense stations around the route break it into smaller, more manageable chunks for little legs to handle.

I’m not sure what the first ‘taste’ station offered as myself and my running partner were on a mission to rip apart the assembled field of children and fun runners. Last year there was popcorn and candy floss, my briefing notes say that this year there were sweet and sour options.


I’d been approached to lead this run last year as I’m a regular pacer runner at the parkrun that also takes place in Heaton Park so I asked the organisers if I could lead the race whilst guiding my visually impaired mate called Danny.

The course was simpler than parkrun because it was two laps of 2.5 km and we could make sure we were at the front for at least the first loop. Danny has a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa which has left him with less than 10% vision since childhood. Normally he navigates using a cane rather than a guide dog, especially not a human sized one but that’s what I’d chose to dress as for the event!


We set off from the front as we’ve found it easier for quicker runners to overtake the pair of us who are tethered together by a looped shoelace than for us to make our way past slower runners in the congested first few hundred metres of any race. We hoped to lead for the first lap as Danny’s 5k PB is under 23 minutes and the run was won in 25 minutes last year. Danny absolutely flew off the start line along with some giddy young lads who I expected to fall away within the first kilometre. I begged him to slow up a bit as I had the extra complication of running whilst wearing a furry dog costume. I was concerned that the trousers of this one size fits all suit might start to slide down my slender frame but as it turned out they stayed faithfully around my waistline for the duration of the run.

We turned for the first of two noticeable climbs on the route and Danny knew this first hill was short and followed immediately by a long downhill so he attacked it and we moved through the field to take up 2nd place. The second sense station was ‘sight’ and took the form of coloured powder paint that was fired at us and then on the longest uphill section on the course there was a ‘listen’ station with a DJ playing encouraging music to help us up the hill towards Heaton Hall. The music certainly lifted the pair of us as we took the lead on this climb. At the top of the park we skirted around by the golf course and the most ingenious of the stations, this time to stimulate our sense of smell, was a machine generating mint scented bubbles.


This was soon followed by a steel band to stimulate our ears before a sharp downhill to the finish. Just before the finish line we waded through a carpet of foam bubbles. We’d smashed out the first lap in 10 and a half mins breaking the hopes and spirits of the assembled field of children and fun runner but the pace started to take its toll. We had the complication of lapping people through most of our 2nd lap and despite me ‘barking’ out warnings of a guided runner coming though many were startled by Danny and his giant dog.


Despite slowing up in the 2nd lap we held first place which delighted the ever competitive Danny and I was left wondering whether there were any Gunniess World Records relating to giant dog suits!


This would be an ideal first 5k for children and people are welcome to walk it as well as run it so it’s very inclusive. Heaton Park is a great venue with good facilities. I hope they return next year as Danny and I will be sure to be there to lead it out again.

There are still two more events in the series this year if you fancy giving it a go. One in the Midlands next weekend (17th August) and one in Scotland in September. Check out www.guidedogs.org.uk for all the info.


Flitton Potato Race 2019

Once every year hundreds of ‘starch’ raving mad competitors flock to the little village of Flitton in Bedfordshire to attempt to run a mile as fast as possible while carrying a sack of potatoes over their shoulders.


This race has a great history and this was the tenth running of the event in its current format. After the pre race briefing and usual health and safety ‘waffle’ in the village hall the runners made their way to the start line. It was ‘crunch’ time!

I set off at a steady pace towards the front of the 53 strong field doing the adults individual race over the traditional full mile distance carrying my 20kg sack (it’s 10kg’s for the ladies of which there were just 12). There were certainly no couch potatoes here!


Within a couple of hundred meter I found myself in the lead and began to pull away. Although it had been raining all week we were lucky enough to have a fairly hot day and the sweat began to pour from my head as I upped the pace. ‘Roasting’ hot I managed to balance the sack using just one hand as I wiped my brows with the other and then with my eyes on the fries I increased my pace again.

Just after the half way point the spec’taters’ gather in their masses. It seems like the whole village come out to watch along with the families and friends of the participants and although the through of running harder isn’t at all a’pealing’ the encouragement really drives you on to the finish line.


5 minutes and 33 seconds later and I had finished. Just outside my course record but another convincing win meant I was ‘fried’ but very happy.

I watched my fellow competitors coming in. Most looking completely ‘mashed’ but nearly all with big smiles on their faces.


It was then time for the four person relays and the kids spud and spoon races over various distances depending on age. Lots of whom had just watched their parents compete and now it was their turn to show they were chips off the old block!



Once all the races are done the road reopens and everyone heads into the White Hart pub garden situated right at the finish for BBQ, drinks, live music, an ice cream van, fair ground rides, a bouncy castle and a selection of stalls and games as well as the presentation. What more could you want on Father’s Day when the event is usually held. Keep your eyes ‘peeled’ for next year’s races. This is one not to be missed.


Photos by Ampthill and District camera club.

For a more in-depth look into this event and its history see our review from last year: https://quirkyraces.com/2018/06/19/the-flitton-potato-race-2018/

Blenheim Palace 4 Miles on Wheels

4 Miles on Wheels

Review by Nicola Wright.

I was asked to do this run at short notice as the original runner was injured. I had heard of the Blenheim 7k but not the 4 miles on wheels which is part of the event. I’d had a couple of wines so I agreed. My son is nearly 5 and I didn’t have a running buggy but I thought I’d give it a go!

The registration transfer was simple and all done by email. I was pleasantly surprised to see that changes could be made up to 2 days before the run and thought this was really good.

My race pack arrived on the Monday before the run which included my number with time chip attached so no queuing up on the day.

I’d spoken to a couple of people who had done the standard 7k run before to ask what it was like and their reply was ‘‘Its beautiful but I hope you like hills!” I do plenty of hill training with my running group Parklands Jog and Run but never while pushing a 3.5 stone child in a buggy!

As I arrived on race day the drive into the grounds gave an amazing view of the palace and a beautiful bridge and there were marshals to instruct us where to park.


There were 3 races going on. An under 15’s 1 mile, which set off at 10:15am, the main 7k which started at 11:00am followed by the buggy and wheelchair run shortly afterwards. There was a fire engine and firefighters to keep the kiddies entertained which my son absolutely loved and I literally had to drag him away.

At around 10:45am the warm up started which I missed as I was queuing for the toilet. Before the 7k started the run director checked the toilets to make sure no one missed the race though.

Once the 7k has set off they asked the runners with wheels to line up. There were 39 of us in total with more buggies than wheelchairs. My nerves had really kicked in now and I wondered why on earth I’d agreed to do this.

Before I knew it the race had started. My son Jaxon vwas loving it shouting “faster faster.” As usual I set off fast but before long my legs were jelly (serves me right for missing the warm up) and my back was aching from leaning over slightly and pushing. I found running with one hand on the buggy the easiest strategy and when my arm ached I swapped to the other one.


Looking around at the other competitors there was various makes and models of buggy’s. Some were super fancy running buggies with inflatable tires and some basic strollers which must of been hard work.

The first mile took me past the palace it’s self so I took the opportunity to take a few photos and next came the beautiful bridge I saw on the way in. I stopped for a picture there and another runner offered to take it (I think we were both grateful of the few seconds rest). I then decided I needed to crack on and get moving.


The early running was quite tough but soon my legs felt better and the switching of arms meant I’d got a good rhythm going. By this point we’d caught up to the back markers from the 7k race and the praise they gave me was amazing! I soon reached the split off point where the 7k runners went off road for about 1k. This was clearly marked and I pushed on straight ahead and up the first small hill. It wasn’t long until we met back up with these runners where they came back onto the road. I was really enjoying it now as I really felt part of the race with lots of runners all around me.

When I reached the 2 mile mark I thought ‘wow this isn’t as bad as I thought’ but then I rounded a corner and faced a hill and OMG what a hill it was! It went on for around 1k slowly winding it’s way up into the woods. I carried on running for as long as I could but eventually the hill beat me and many others even without buggies and I had to walk.


So many people commented on how well I was doing, lots of people were chatting and giving high fives to my son and others asking for a cheeky lift in the buggy.

Walking gave me time to take in the surroundings as the path took us right through the middle of the woods which were full of bluebells and eventually I reached the top and what goes up must come down.

The down was fab. I let the buggy do the work and I just held on and ran as my pace really picked up. Jaxon really enjoyed this part as we were overtaking people and he was kicking the wheel trying to make us go even faster. Just like the uphill this part wound back down through the woods. We were now at the 3 mile mark and looking at my watch I was surprised at how fast I’d completed it.


We went past a lovely lake and over another bridge where a marshal pointed out that we were nearly finished. Just one last dreaded hill to go! That really spurred me on and as this hill was nothing like the last I managed to run it all. As we rounded the last corner I could see the crowds cheering us on and hear the rock choir in the distance singing.

I felt such a massive achievement as I completed the last few hundred metres and I then spotted my mum and one of my other sons in the crowd supporting me which made me sprint to the line. I received a bottle of water and a medal for both me and Jaxon which he was really pleased with.

I spoke to the run director afterwards and she explained that the race was introduced 4 years ago after a regular competitor of the 7k had an accident and ended up in a wheelchair but still wanted to compete so they adapted the course cutting out the cross country section reducing it from 7k to 4 miles and due to its success decided keep it going.


After the run we explored the grounds and had a picnic, got a return train ride to the palace, enjoyed the playground, maze, bouncy castle and butterfly tunnel and on presenting my race number for an extra £8 we could gain access to the palace itself.

On our way back to the car we could hear lots of cheering and into view came a girl in a wheelchair named Phoebe who 2 was completing her 4 miles which she had done with no help whatsoever. Jaxon helped hold up the finish line for her to cross and everyone around cheered her on. This completely touched me emotionally as it was what this event was all about. The whole course was designed for wheelchairs and pushchairs and although the roads were hilly they were completely smooth and wheel friendly.

Overall this was an amazing experience and day out. It was something for the whole family to be involved in and which gave people in wheelchairs the opportunity to take part. I’d definitely come back next year but maybe not with the pushchair!


World Coal Carrying Championships 2019

Review by Alan Moore.

Gawthorpe – A small village in the heart of Yorkshire where every year, on Easter bank holiday, men and women from all four corners of the UK (and some from overseas) come to push their mind, body and soul to the limit. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the home of the World Coal Carrying Championships!

This event started like all great events, over an argument in a pub and of course a small wager. In this case it was between a farmer and a coal miner about who was the fittest. They decided by seeing who could carry a sack of coal from the pub on the outskirts of Gawthorpe to the village square and the rest is history as they say.

This was my fifth year doing the event and its like Deja Vu. The organisers have everything down to a fine art and thats the way it stays – tradition and doing it right go hand in hand here in Yorkshire and if you have a better idea well just keep it to yourself, after all ‘You can always tell a Yorkshire man, but you can’t tell him much’.


Registration takes place in the Boot and Shoe pub and opens from 10am. Making your way passed the hardened northerners who are just having their breakfast of John smith’s (and thats just the women) the registration desk consists of a pub table, a lady and a big book. I handed her my registration form and she said “ta” (Translated: Thank you). She goes on to say “Tha in oldies race 2, an tha numba fiftee” (Translated: You are running in veterans race 2 and your number is 50). I then moved on the the pool table where piles of yellow T-shirts were laid out. I was handed my top with race number attached. I also receive a copy of the rules:

1 – If you drop your sack – pick it up

2 – No cheating like cutting corners or running on the pavement

3 – No outside help from anyone

Back outside with the festivities starting at 10:30 with the children’s races – Yes the kids are tough up north too running the entire 1km course the course however health and safety has caught up with them and they are sadly no longer allowed to carry sacks of coal.


The crowds are out in force, the population for the day has quadrupled and the streets are full of proud parents clapping the boys and girls as they sprint down the course to the village square.

Kids races over and its time for the adults. I watch the first race go by then I take a steady jog down to the start line ready for my race.

Each wave has between 20 to 30 runners and its just luck of the draw to who you get in your race. I looked around me to see some familiar faces including a couple of previous winners but i’m not here to win. Its only four weeks since I had a major operation and although recovery is going well this will be a big step so I keep saying to myself “I’m here to take part, don’t push yourself, just try your best.”

For me it’s always here at the start line where my mind begins to take over. We stood awaiting the arrival of the coal truck with the sacks. The experienced runners are going through their routines trying to visualise carrying there sack, they do short warm up runs crouched over. The newbies are eagerly talking about tactics and trying to get some last minute advise.


The truck appears trundling down the road and the buzz starts. It’s too late for the nervous pee now, it’s time to race!

The faster, more experienced runners usually cross the road so they can get their sack first and get a good position on the start line. I just waited and got mine mid position, “Im not racing” I keep telling myself

I bend down next to the truck and a big burly bloke plonks this great big 50kg sack on my back, I grab my corners holding it in place and lift it up till its balancing on my lower neck/ upper back. Crouched over I make my way to the start line.


My new running philosophy is to start from the back so I stand 5 or 6ft behind the front line of runners as they line up all the way across the road.

The starter begins the count down:

3 – Runners start shuffling their sacks of coal.

2 – Time to check the grip on the Sack

1- Final thoughts are banished, Bang goes the gun and everyone is off!


I set off bending forward to keep the bag high and all I see is around 4ft in front of me and almost instantly this causes me problems as I almost run into someone who has started to walk already. I dodge right further into the middle of the road. The first 150m are a slow ascent only rising around 4m but it takes it out of those legs and just as you crest the hill the mind games start to kicks in. I had banished them for the first 150m as all I was concentrating on was moving the legs but know it starts:

‘This bag is heavy’, ‘Is it high enough?’, ‘Is it slipping?’, ‘You can walk if you want too’, ‘Why the hell are we doing this?’.

Pushing the thoughts away I get back to just putting one foot in front of the other as the road flattens. I see every bit of tarmac close up as I concentrate so hard on just moving forwards and not running into anyone.


Having done the race several times I have my own little checkpoints and the crest of the hill means check point one ticked off. Next is the left turn so I start to move to the left of the road and I almost go over another fellow runner who has dropped his sack. I dodge left and almost end up on the pavement – careful as thats an instant DQ!

The left turn is checkpoint 2 and a little bit of knowledge helps here as I take the fastest route, I don’t go left straight away but keep going straight and cut across half way across the road. This is because next up is an almost instant right turn. I hug the apex like Lewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes (just a lot slower!)

The mind games starts to kick in again at this point: ‘You know what’s coming next – The Hill!’, ‘Shall we Start walking now?’, ‘The bag has slipped for sure’, ‘You can’t hold this grip for much longer’, ‘Is that cramp I can start to feel coming on?’, ‘Why are we doing this?’.


I keep my legs moving, I start to think positively. I know I’m in a good way, the sack is still riding high, I haven’t walked and I still have a good grip so I try to push the negative thoughts aside and continue running.

Again moving to the left of the road ready for the next sharp corner and the start of the hill I feel my legs getting heavy and as soon as I turn that’s it, the mind wins, I’m walking the hill.


The incline is only 100m long but it rises over 20m and it can make even the strongest walk (or so I am telling myself) but the start of this hill also marks checkpoint 3 for me and the half way spot so I try to walk as fast as I can. As I reach the top the crowds are out in force. Thousands of spectators line the street cheering and the euphoria is contagious. My legs start to run again without me even thinking about it, the coal sack starts to feel lighter, I get a good grip and start to push forwards. Forget about it not being a race – who was I kidding?- I start to pass the crowd and other runners as they start to slow, dropping their bags and struggling to get them back up.

With 300m to go the noice is deafening! 250m to go I’m on a high, 200m I’m sweating like crazy, 150m I’m asking myself why did I started running again, 100m left – where is the bloody finish line? 50m to go I feel like I can’t go any further but upon finally reaching the finish line I drop my sack on the village green and collapse next in a heap next to it. I move away fast though as others will be finishing and I don’t want a sack of coal dropped on me.


A nice lady hands me a bottle of water and I stand there with 25 other blokes all with hands on knees trying to get our breath back.

I made my way back through the crowd wearing my coal stained race shirt with pride getting pats on the shoulder from strangers and congratulations ringing in my ears to find the wife who has a pint ready for me – yes this is up north and you have to do what Northerners do – carry coal and drink bitter!

If you’d like to give this race a try (if you think you are can be Northern enough) then head over to http://www.gawthorpemaypole.org.uk/ for details and who knows I might see you there next year.

Check out Alan’s video here: https://www.facebook.com/100007742052371/posts/2252976018303778?sfns=mo

You can see more from Alan on the following platforms:

Twitter @OCR_muddyduck

Loros Tower Run

Review by first time tower runner Shell DillonRedmile


After a whole year of back to back standard running events the Loros Tower Run appealed to me for something different. At £17 it was really good value so I signed up thinking ‘how hard can it be?’ On arrive, at first glance of St George’s tower in central Leicester my thoughts immediately changed to ‘Eeekkkk what have I done?”

The concept was simple. Run up the 351 steps from the ground floor to the top of one of the city’s most iconic and tallest occupied buildings.


The race pack that was sent out several weeks prior to the event was informative and also gave training advice. The advice being to attempt to climb the stairs two at a time. With this in mind I planned my training for the event around this tip. I only managed to practiced to a maximum of 50 stairs but I also continued my running mileage and cross trained.

On arrival at the venue I booked in with ease and was made to feel really welcomed. They asked if I had done the tower run before and I replied I hadn’t but I was looking forward to attempting the challenge.

Lots of fellow participants joined me in waiting in the confines of the Premier inn away from the harsh wind and cold weather. I was glad this was an indoor run! As I stood waiting I could hear everyone around going over their plan of action and the do’s and don’ts from those who had run before.


I got called to go outside and wait for my turn. It was very cold but the conversation from other participants passed the time quickly. I have to say the tower looked huge! I got to the front for my turn but then a competitor arrived late so I was asked to wait. This was fine with me as it gave me time to settle myself nerves.

As I waited the lady behind me said she would be coming for me in 20 seconds. This spurred me into action.
I was counted in (at my scheduled time) ‘3,2,1, go…..


I set off using my planned two at a time approach. Each floor was 2 sets of roughly 10 steps and had a marshal at every one. At floor 2 the marshal happily advised me I only had 18 flights to go!

My plan was working really well and I felt I was doing okay. By floor 8 my lungs were burning but I overtook two people, one of which had stopped with a marshal to catch her breath.


By the time I got to 13th floor I was really struggling and felt slightly dizzy. At floor 15 I remember thinking ‘oh my, what am I doing?’, I slowed to a fast walk up to floor 16 and then realised I only had 4 more floors to go. All of a sudden I could hear the lady who said she was going to catch me so I found some extra energy and sprinted to the top.

At the summit I recall a marshal shouting ‘push the buzzer’ which I did with great joy. I had finished! I felt a sense of exhilaration but I was really out of breath, my lungs burnt and I could not stop coughing.

I walked along the corridor to collect my medal and a well earned glass of fizz to find lots of other competitors coughing too. There were tables with snack bars and bottles of water. I took some pictures of the beautiful views across the city.


Everyone was very bubbly and congratulating one another. As we made our way down in the lift we were all intrigued to find out how we had done. I made my way out and was guided to a van where I could immediately get a print out of my time which was a very pleasing 3 minutes 23 seconds.

I was congratulated on the loud speaker by the announcer as I made my way past which was a nice touch. I was amazed that my legs felt good but my lungs still hurt!


Overall I would highly recommend this event. It was over quickly but the sense of achievement was high, the atmosphere was really good and everyone was friendly and welcoming. The volunteers were great and the event ran smoothly. I was even told I could run up again at the end if I fancied it. I politely declined decided but hope to give it another go next year.

UK Wife Carrying Race 2019

It was that time of year again. Our fourth consecutive trip to Dorking, Surrey for what was to be the twelfth annual UK Wife Carrying Race.

Generally this is an event we look forwards to. It’s fun, it’s about as quirky a race concept as there is and it offers me a welcome break from the monotony of marathon training. This time however things were a little different.

There was no denying that it was still going to be a great laugh. You’re jumping over hay bales and running up and down a big hill while carrying your wife on your back. How can you possibly not rise a smile to that in a world where adults have to be so serious the majority of the time? Saying that there was no getting away from the fact that this year the demand for us to get the victory was high.



Firstly, we’ve finished in 2nd place in all of the previous three year’s races. When you’re as competitive as I am and you get that close so many times it really ramps up the desire to win. Secondly, Our local BBC radio station have been documenting our journey to the race and we’d been selected to take part in a TV show on Sky One that gave various celebrities the opportunity to back us to come first and their cameras were there to record us. The world’s media is always at this event but this time some of them were there specifically for us. Pressure on!



In some ways it’s surprising that such an obscure race attracts such high standard of competitors but maybe not so much when you consider that there’s a national title at stake, a world championship to qualify for, a chance to represent your country, a cash prize to go towards your flights to Finland for those championships and to get your moment in the media spotlight.

Registration, wives weigh in (they have to be at least 50KG’s), pre race interview, some promo shots and a good warm up all done and we were on the start line with 40 other couples ready to go.

The wind was swirling and the rain was lashing down. This was going to make the all grass 380 meter course treacherous in an event in which the headlines were dominated last year by a couple who slipped and fell resulting in hospitalisation on what was a dry day. This made my wife a little more nervous but I was confident.

UK Wife Carrying Race 2019


It’s important to get a good start as the hay bales are placed within the first 30 meters on this out and back route. I’ve been held up here before but got us there in a good position this time. After negotiating the four hurdles safely there was just one couple ahead of us as we began to climb the steepening hill. I’ve felt the strain on this significant incline over the past couple of year but this time I was feeling strong and fresh. I soon caught the early leaders and it was now our race to lose.

I reached the turnaround point at the summit with a slender lead which I then increased as the downhill started. I pushed on and felt comfortable. As I approached the crowds I didn’t feel any pressure from behind. Then came the water zone.

This isn’t your regular race’s water zone where you’re offered a nice cup of refreshing water to quench your first. Here they hurl buckets of freezing cold water at point plank range straight into your face. Being in the front I got the brunt of this. This sent me into a bit of a daze and before I knew it, from nowhere I felt a knock to my arm. I’d momentarily shut my eyes as the water was thrown, I opened them and like awakening from a bad dream, we’d been overtaken.



By this point we were already back at the hay bales so a had very little time to react. I went over them as fast as I could then made the final burst to the tape. The momentum had swung their way and there was no getting it back. We crossed the line just inches from victory once again. Unlike last year thought, where we’d been battling all the way with several others, including the couple from Lithuania who finished third but went on to win the world champs, we were well clear of anyone else.



I gave this race my all, I felt really strong throughout, especially on the up hill and this was by far my best performance to date but still just not quite good enough. Full praise to my wife Becky who not only goes through this race with me year in, year out but who also went the extra mile this time by going on a big diet and losing almost a stone since the turn of the year to get down to 58KG’s which is incredible as she’s 5ft 10”.

Congratulations to Chris and Tanisha who beat us and took the title for the second successive year, that was one hell of a finish to close that gap.



I also want to give credit to event organiser Rob McCaffrey from Trionium who, in a time where health and safety and political correctness have gone mad, continues to ensure the maddest thing of all is that this race still goes on. Not only that, but it’s getting stronger and more popular every year. It’s the epitome of a quirky race and long may it remain a part of our racing calendar. Fifth time lucky?

The Sky One show featuring Chris and Becky is called Romesh’s look back to the future and will air in December.

2018 Year in Review

In 2018 we put on another 3 of our own events which have now all become annual staples on the calendar for Easter, Halloween and Christmas as well as a Strongman challenge all of which went really well. On top of this we attended and reviewed races with quirky concepts across the country and went international running in both Belgium and France.

First up for me personally was my third trip in as many years to the UK Wife Carrying Race in Dorking, Surrey and for the third year running we finished in second place, agonisingly close to victory and not without controversy.


A new event we were really excited for was the Pizza Run. We sent our reviewer Alan along to this one and unfortunately he didn’t have the best of times in Leeds but it sounds like they are going bigger and better in 2019 and I’m looking forwards to hopefully getting to one of their nine events myself to check it out and this is a combination of two of my most favourite things.

It was then time for the most eagerly anticipated event of the year, The Beer Lovers Marathon in Belgium. This came highly recommended and it did not disappoint! 26 miles of running with 18 beer stops on route as well as food and live music, themed fancy dress and not forgetting the pre and post race party with unlimited food and drink. I can confirm it was as amazing as it sounds.

June was a big month for me as I took part in two races that were both quirky but also very challenging and competitive and I not only managed to get the win in both Runstock and the Flitton Potato Race but I also set course records in both. What I really liked about Runstock is that although it’s essentially an ultra race they have set it up in a way that it suits so many different people from fun runners to ultra distance athletes and obstacle course races of all ages. The Flitton Potato Race is one of my favourite races on the calendar. The atmosphere there is so nice, it always seems to fall on a lovely hot summer’s day and the concept and history behind it is great.

Then came The Great British Beerathon, the event we named ‘Quirky Race of the year 2017’. That meant it had a lot to live up to and often when something is so good when you go back a second time it can be a little disappointing, well this wasn’t. It was just as good, if not better that last year. I don’t think it’s possible to attend this run and not have a good time.

The post that attracted the most interest on our Facebook page by a long way in 2018 was the poster for the Naked Run so although this wasn’t a race I was going to attend personally we did manage to find someone who dared to bare all in our quest reviewer Peter who went along and had a cracking time by the look of it. Fair play to him for that one.

It was then time to head overseas again, this time to Paris for the Disneyland Magic Run weekend. It was 3 days of racing with a 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning, all around the Disneyland resort and theme parks. This was a truly magical occasion that I tried to capture the best I could in my event video.


This was a small period of time that I don’t think I could possibly have embraced my role with Quirky Races anymore that I did as two day after running around Disneyland Paris dressed as Ironman I found myself running around the Olympic park in London dress as a giant inflatable penis at the Great Willy Waddle. This is about as surreal as a run gets and again I tried to capture this with some filming so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.


I then finished off my year of quirky races with the Gherkin Challenge. A run up the 1037 steps of the Gherkin tower in London. Always wanting to challenge myself and be a bit different I decided to do it twice. Well why not?

You can find all our event review and links to our vidoes here: https://quirkyraces.com/featured-races/

I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring as I continue to seek out more runs, races and challenges with quirky concepts. Bring it on!