Not for the fainthearted, the Burn Valley Half Marathon is certainly not without its rewards either: the challenging race, back after a break of several years, commences in the grounds of Swinton Castle before the challenge of the Burn Valley.
Up to 500 runners are expected to compete in this Sunday’s (7 July) race, a relatively modest number yet it is an event that, with its status as one of the most demanding in the country, provides an immense sense of satisfaction for those taking part.
Starting in Masham market square, Sunday’s field will follow a route that takes runners through the picturesque Burn Valley rising to the Leeds Pals war memorial near the top of Breary Banks.
From there it drops down past Spout House Farm and returns via Colsterdale and the villages of Healey and Fearby. Turning right at Fearby Cross there is a fast downhill section before climbing back to Swinton Castle, just 1.5 miles from the finish at Masham School.
The half is part of Ripon Runners’ Hornblower Series, which also includes the Jolly Holly Jog and Ripon 10 Mile events. More information on these is available on the Ripon Runners website.