Pollesden Lacey 10km

On 15th June 2015 by Rachael

I’ve run through cities, breathtaking trails and along the coastlines of everywhere from Salvador De Bahia to Santa Cruz. But racing through the estate of a stately home is a new one on me…

Copyright: James Day

Copyright: James Day

Early summer in Britain when the countryside explodes into a green so bright, it is like it has been photoshopped, is when the country is at it’s best for running. And so taking part in the Events to Live 10km race through the grounds of the National Trust property, Polesden Lacey on a Sunday in June is a joy.

Against the backdrop of manicured lawns of the Polesden Lacey  estate, left to the National Trust in 1942 by the Edwardian hostess (and intriguing character) Mrs Greville, the race got underway.

Heading straight towards the house, as if we were going to run straight through the front door and out the other side, the course took a sharp right, before heading out onto the trails of the 1400 acre estate.

For a run through nature, this race takes some beating as it ducks, dives and weaves it way through woods, fields, and even the manicured lawns of the house itself. Which of course means, it’s hilly.

The Terrace Walk at 5.5km copyright: Eddie Hyde

The Terrace Walk at 5.5km copyright: Eddie Hyde

Within 3kms, you climb to 200 metres but are rewarded with a thrilling descent, through a tree covered gully at kilometre six.

With a race of this distance, you don’t really need refreshment but there are two pit stops with water, Jelly Babies and race nutrition should you need it. It is the second event that I’ve run with this events company (the first, the Bacchus Half Marathon) and both have been brilliantly organised, with so many race volunteers on course you are never unsure of the direction or short of a few cheers of encouragement.

The FB running crew

The FB running crew


Dashing through farmer’s fields and past the idyllic YHATanners Hatch Hostel, this is a beautiful route should you decide to run it as a ‘trundle on Sunday’ trail. Alternatively, if you are a more serious runner, this is a challenging trail course with hills that will have you working hard, with enough descents to enable you to recover and provide the thrill of a speedy run.

And if you’re trying to go for a leading place, or just pitting yourself against another runner to help improve your time, this route is fairly handy with a few ‘corners’  on the final 2kms so you can track how far behind or in front someone is.

I was second for ladies in the final kilometres and surrounded by male runners when I was suddenly aware of the sound of a woman’s exertion behind me (it really is easy to tell the difference between a man and a woman running by sound alone!), and a twist in the course allowed me to see where she was.

It helped me to stay motivated, although what really clinched it for me, was running the final 500 metres, back towards the house and hearing her husband tell her to speed up and take over. So thanks for the final push!

This is a brilliantly organised race, with a box of chocolate bars to choose from, water and race hydration at the end, a medal and prizes of gift vouchers from Run to Live for those who place in the top three.

For a great Sunday out, with a fun run for children, as well as a 5km, this is a perfect summer trail race.

The Good

  • Easy to park, no queues, stress-free race start
  • Fantastic marshalling
  • Stunning location

The Bad

  • Only four toilets. It didn’t bother me, but there was a queue. But when is there ever NOT a queue?!

The Ugly 

  • There is NOTHING ugly about this race. Except maybe the hills but then that’s what trail running is about.

Runner’s Haul: Hoard or Heave?

You don’t receive a goodie bag on this race, which I applaud.  Who needs a bag full of leaflets and race nutrition products anyway? But you do get a big, chunk medal on the finish line and your choice of a chocolate bar.

Verdict: Hoard 

Route details

Route details


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