Guildford’s favourite trail running series came to a close for another year last weekend.
The original “aat-events” returned for their 14th year on 6th January, 20th January and 3rd February 2018. Delivered by multi-award winning organisers aat-events, these iconic races are without a doubt Guildford’s most popular trail runs.
The sell-out series (owing it’s name to ‘Three Peaks’ of Guildford) consists of 3 successive 5km – 15km off-road running races set in the Surrey Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The routes are notoriously tough, but participants are rewarded with homemade cakes and interlocking medals.
From left: Pete Morgan (3rd), Daniel Titcomb (1st) , and Emit’s Simon Farrington (2nd) at race 1 of the Fitstuff G3 Series with their interlocking medals. Daniel Titcomb placed 1st in all 3 races.
The series was commended in the 2018 racecheck awards as one of the top rated off-road running events across the entire site. Debbie Morgan rated the event 5 / 5 on racecheck, saying: “I have done all 3 of the G3 series now and they are firmly on my events calendar for next year as they have been a fantastic series.” Tina took part on Saturday and posted on racecheck: “Seriously these races are the best! Challenging, surprising, and satisfying. Can’t wait for next year.”
312 runners attended the final race of the 2018 series on Saturday, which featured some of the toughest 10km and 15km routes yet. Both routes offered spectacular views across Green Belt countryside; weaving across fields and through woodlands. The routes both featured a little-used trail crudely named “St Martha’s Back Passage” – a narrow and “never ending” sharp climb up to St Martha’s Church – which is 573ft above sea level (and only accessible by foot!). Placed right on the top on the County’s 18th highest hill, runners enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of up to 7 counties from the grade II listed church whilst they get their breath back.
The series is sponsored by Guildford’s premier running shop Fitstuff, and is well-attended by their run club (pictured here after the first race of the 2018 series).
Fitstuff offers the largest range of running shoes, clothing and accessories in the area, and to top it all off, also have in-house sports therapy! Guildford Sports Clinic – also partners of the event – specialise in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries and musculo-skeletal disorders. They provide free sports massage at the event.
Fitstuff and Guildford Sports Clinic are also partners with aat’s upcoming midweek trail running series: Hardassnails – which also won a racecheck award this year.
Set in the same area as the Fitstuff G3 Series, the Hardassnails trail runs offer runners the chance to enjoy 5km, 10km and 15km trail runs of a summer’s evening. Snail-shaped medals and homemade baked goods are on offer for all finishers. There’s also a 2km race for kids. Once the race is over, everyone is invited to enjoy the sunset at the river-side Pub – a minute’s walk from the finish line.
Fitstuff G3 Series: “A brilliant event, well organised but informal, friendly and chilled. A tough, muddy, hilly route through the stunning Surrey Hills and North Downs, finishing with a delicious brownie and an enormous sense of well-being, all done by 9.30 on a Saturday morning. Just the job.” – Pete Marsden
Hard as Snails: “A gorgeous scenic trail run through the loveliest countryside. Supportive, friendly marshalls and for me, best of all, it was a mid-week race so didn’t intrude on my weekend. Would highly recommend to all abilities. Yes it’s hilly, but what goes up must come down, I felt like a kid charging down the sandy slopes of St. Martha’s.” – David Corrie