By Benny Coxhill
The short course is a mile and a half along footpaths and through Danny Park. It is well marshalled and signposted and keeps well away from the roads.
The race is open to adults and children, and there are prizes for under 16s. Tom Roberts has been the fastest boy for the last three years with a record time of 11:23 in 2015, the same year that Jessica Emerson set the course record for girls with a time of 15:58.
This year we would love to see more families in the short race, so there is an amazing discount rate of only £5 if you book in advance, going up to £10 on the day. That covers any number of adults and children per family. There will be a fantastic prize of a set of four hoodies, donated by Aspire Fitness. It’s not for the fastest family; we will draw the name of one of the families that finis out of a hat but you need to be in it to win it.
Here is the route for you to get practising. (1) We start in the fair arena in South Avenue, run along the road at the back of the houses on the High Street, then left by the toilets and head south on Pitt Lane down the path. Keep going over the private drive, through the trees and across the little bridges, the wooden one then the metal one. (2) Turn left as you come to the drive to Little Washbrook, go past the buildings and follow the footpath signs. Cross a stile and pass the nursery on your right, then another stile keeping left around the side of the field and into the woods. This short stretch has lots of tree roots so be very careful. Carry on to the south as you come out of the trees, past the stile and over the field until you reach the woods.
(3) On Fair Day there will be a marshal here to send the long and short course runners in diferent directions. For the short course you turn left on the course of the Roman road. Follow the path that leads through the trees, across another field then over the nw bridge with metal gates. This brings you through the tunnel of trees and as you emerge in Danny Park turn sharp right until you reach the drive by the cattle grid (4).
Turn left along the drive until you come to (5) the big fallen tree on your left, where you turn left to follow the footpath through the new metal gate and straight on to the gate by the farm track. (6) The race route doesn’t go to Tott Farm just ahead of you, but it turns left, over another stile then you turn right at the metal gate (7) to go up the slope north towards Little Torch ahead of you. (8) When you climb over the stile on to the footpath you are nearly there. Watch out as you cross South Avenue, although on Fair Day it will be closed to traffic and full food stalls. The finish is staight ahead at the back of the bowls club.
Entry forms are on www.stlawrencefair.org.uk for a family entry choose the adult rate on the short course.
You can look up the January 2016 edition of Hurst Life online for a description of the long course. www.hurstlife.co.uk