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Hillside Brewery 5k Fun Run
It was a rare weekend where I couldn’t attend parkrun, so the only answer was a last-minute entry to a local 5k charity fun run and canicross event, organised by the Hillside Brewery. They enticed me with the promise of mud, a medal, and good food and refreshments at the finish line.
On Sunday morning, I headed out to the little Norman village of Longhope, west of Gloucester and within the beautiful Forest of Dean. What had begun as a misty morning soon cleared, bringing glorious sunshine by the time I arrived at the Hop Barn to collect my race number.
Registration formalities complete, a little over a hundred of us assembled at the start line for 11am. A mixed event, the canicross runners and their four-legged partners set off in the first wave. After a quick warm-up, it was the turn of the solo runners.
The run began with a short zig-zag section though the fields surrounding the brewery, then headed up into the woods where we quickly found the promised mud – there was lots of it. Trail shoes and long leggings had been recommended and I’m glad I took note. We soon stopped pointlessly trying to avoid it and just embraced the squelch.
After climbing through the Huntley Hill woods, there was stunning view of Little London and the River Severn at the half-way point. After admiring the view, we headed back through the woods and fields, to finish back at the brewery. Runners were welcomed home with a well-earned medal and drink.
The woodland trail along Huntley Hill
The view across Little London towards the River Severn.
It was a lovely event. Much harder and hillier than I’d anticipated – and certainly no run in the park! – but it was a great way to spend a sunny morning. It was very well organised and the cheery marshals encouraged us all the way round.
By all accounts, a fantastic amount of money was raised for the Brewery’s chosen charity and they’re planning to repeat this event again next year. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it – just be prepared and wear your trail shoes!