If you joined Saffron Striders to get fit and make new friends, then trail races are for you.
They are informal, low cost, usually finish at a village pub and are a great way to explore some of our wonderful countryside.
The entry fee is around £4, which will often include a £2 drinks voucher to redeem in the pub afterwards. There's no mass start. You simply tell the organiser when you are ready, and off you go. Your time stops when you reach the finish, so you can go as fast or as slow as you want. You can even walk it, plenty do.
Although most of the races are at the weekend, there are many in the lighter summer evenings and even a couple on dark winter nights when head-torches are essential.
The routes aren't marshalled or taped out, instead you follow a list of narrative instructions. It doesn't matter if you get lost as that's all part of the fun.
So when you want something more interesting than pounding the pavements or focusing on PBs, come and try a couple of the trail races. See the Race Calendar for upcoming races. Mid Essex Casuals also maintain an events diary dedicated to Trail and Cross Country races.
Trail Race Championship
Gavin Long maintains a Trail Race Championship, complementing the main Club Championship. The Trail Race Championship includes all TRA self-navigation trail races that Striders members participate in throughout the year. Click here for the final 2012 Championship table.
Annual Series Events
The Easter Eggstravaganza - 4 races over 4 days during the Easter holiday, organised by 4 different Essex running clubs.
Tour of Terling - 5 races over 4 days during July / August. Comprises a long trail race, a short trail race, a multi-terrain run (including crossing Terling ford) and 2 one mile time trials (one uphill and one downhill).
Essex Quarter Marathon Series - A series of six quarter marathon (6.55 mile) trail races from different Essex towns on Wednesday evenings. Your best 4 results count towards the overall competition.