Houghton 11K Trail Run
|Date:||25th Apr 2010|
The Houghton 11K Trail Run is a gorgeous run that takes place around Houghton, aÂ village in the Test valley that is about halfway between Salisbury and Winchester.
The course is mainly off-road: it starts with a long gentle climb along a rutted cartÂ track; then down a rough tarmac lane; it uses a footbridge at a ford; andÂ soon afterwards there is a narrow footpath that climbs gently up through a wood (whereÂ youÂ are warned to watch out for tree roots).
The rest of the course is either flat or downhill, again on rough tarmac, onÂ wideÂ bridleways/cart-tracks or on grassy footpaths through fields (where there are two stiles). The route also goes through an extensive bluebell wood, passes a magnificently preserved disused railway station and uses several footbridges across the RiverÂ Test.
Here is a link to a map of the course.
As well as the 11K run, there are also a 4K run, 14K and 31K cycle rides and a walk. TheÂ cyclists start about 15 minutes before the runners. Like others, I clapped as they set off. One of them (Daniel Kelly) was a teenager on a unicycle: he caused amusement asÂ he made a running start to get on! I met some of the cyclists and walkers when IÂ got to 8K. ThisÂ included being passed by the unicyclist! I shouted some encouragement. JustÂ afterÂ IÂ finished, I watched three young men (The Jolly Boys) finish their 31KÂ cycle ride, quickly ditch their cycles, pickÂ up some water bottles and then start the 11K run (about an hour after every one else). I told them they were mad! They completed the 31K cycle ride in 1:33:06 and then did the 11K run in 0:59:00. The unicyclist finished his 31K cycle ride in 1:59:16.
I did the 11K run last year as well as this year. It appears from the results that this year I came first in my age category. ThereÂ are no prizes, and so I think it's classified as a Fun Run by UKA. I highly recommend it.