The race starts on Lodge Drive facing the imposing Longleat House and then takes a left and left again through High Woods where there is a 1km climb to Horningsham Village, returning down Lodge Drive to the start. The 2nd loop goes past Longleat House passing the caravan park before taking a left and a short hill past half way. On returning to Longleat the 1st loop is run again finishing on Lodge Drive.
About the race
When: – Sunday 28 January 2018 @ 10:00am
Where: – Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW
Cost: – £20.00 unattached (not including admin fees) and a t-shirt was £10.00
Longleat is an English, 9,800 acre, stately home noted for its Elizabethan country house, maze and safari park. It was the first stately home to open to the public and includes the first safari park outside of Africa.
Longleat was purchased in 1541 for £53, in 1567 the original house caught fire and burnt down and was replaced in 1580. The safari park opened in 1966 and is home to 500+ animals. The Longleat Hedge Maze is the world’s longest with 1.69 miles of pathway.
There are rumours that the 2019 Glastonbury Festival will be held at Longleat.
Free parking in the Longleat main park car park, just around the corner from Race HQ
Chip timed event (attached to your race number).
Headphones are permitted as the race is run on private roads. I didn’t listen to any music, I wanted to absorb to the atmosphere of the race.
A lovely scenic route around mostly woodland but the route also takes you past Longleat House on a couple of loops
I was hoping and praying for a medal with a lion on it, not knowing that the medal was a lion’s face. Possibly the best medal I’ve got in my collection.
Free race photos were available to download the day after the race (although all of mine were atrocious as per usual).
The goodie bag was jam-packed full of actual goodies
Race bib isn’t posted, you have to pick this up at race HQ but it was very well organised and we didn’t have to queue at all
Even though this is a looped race (which I don’t usually enjoy), this wasn’t the same looped race. It was a bit disconcerting, however, to get to the top of the first giant hill to then see a sign which said ‘5 miles’ and knowing you had to run up it again wasn’t the best feeling. The second loop though takes you another route around so it’s not technically a full looped race.
The worst part for me was when you’re on your final lap, as far as the eye can see is the final giant hill approaching and it’s pretty daunting!
At the 5k mark there was a water station but the drinks hadn’t been organised on the table (a lot of them were still in the plastic packages) and the marshals handing them out were trying to get the lids off so I abandoned that idea and carried on running.
If you aren’t into hills this is not the race for you… the race pretty much starts on an incline and it doesn’t get much better for a looonnggggg time. I was determined and didn’t stop running up the first hill but the second time around I just didn’t have it in me to run up again. I also wasn’t best pleased to find out after the event that there was a photographer at the top of one of the hills so not only did I look horrendous, I was also walking.
The park wasn’t open (obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to run around it) but we did get to have a leisurely walk around and saw some birds and some of the attractions. It made us want to come back when the park is open because we enjoyed it so much.
My Race Stats:
Time: 1:07:36 | Pace: 10:51 | Mile splits: 11:49, 9:22, 10:12, 10:52, 13:23, 9:59, 1:53
Position: 909/1164 | Gender position: 413/614
Total runners: 1164 | Fastest Male: 34:30 | Fastest Female: 40:21 | Slowest Finisher: 1hr 48min
Organisers’ Social Media Information
Instagram: longleatofficial | Twitter: @Longleat
Official hashtags: #LongleatPics
Distances from Major Cities
London: 2hr 18min ~ 108 miles | Birmingham: 2hr 28min ~ 117 miles | Bristol: 1hr 09min ~ 30 miles | Cardiff: 1hr 42 min ~ 72 miles | Exeter: 1hr 47min ~ 82 miles
Next event: To be confirmed
Other events by this organiser: Bunny Hop 5k + 10k, New York Half Marathon, Great Wall Marathon China, Berlin Marathon, Polar Circle Marathon
Overall star rating:
This might be my new favourite race! Even though the weather was dismal and I got soaked that didn’t make the day any less enjoyable. We got to walk around the park while it was still pretty quiet and saw some birds and had a look at some of the attractions. This was, however, one of the hardest races I’ve ever encountered (others that spring to mind are the Jurassic Coast and Chew Valley 10ks) and look at my mile splits, they’re all over the place! While I do train hills, by the last hill I just had nothing left in me, but there was one consolation that the last 1k is completely downhill and then it’s a long stretch to the finish line.
My spectator also enjoyed the race and found plenty to do and, as the course was a looped race, you could stand in several places throughout to watch.
While I do think it was good value for money to be able to run around the park, great medal, stuffed goodie bag and free race photos, if they had upped the race to around £25-28 and included the race t-shirt, that would have been better.
Would I run it again? Without a doubt. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t really like about the race. We even stopped after for a little bit to take some photos of the estate while there weren’t many people around and thought we were going to get thrown out at some point. Loved, loved, loved it.
Please note that the above opinions on the race are my own and based upon my own running skill level (I would consider myself to be an average runner) and while I’ve made every effort to ensure anything contained within this post is accurate, please check the race organiser’s website for full information.
If there’s any more information about the race that you’d like to add or ask, please leave a comment below
* I’d also like to thank my spectator who came with me to this race. I know you love it really but thanks for always trying to get the best video of me finishing, even if sometimes it is accidentally of the ground xxxxxx