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Fitness goals! 2022 events to train for now

On your marks, get set, and go! Fancy challenging yourself in the new year? Then get booking onto these Berkshire races and triathlons. Lace up your trainers, take a breath, and dig deep.

Ready, steady… oh wait, hang on a minute, I’m just finishing my Mars Bar. Yes, the days when I would describe myself as ‘sporty’ are long gone, but even I have to admit that my relationship with multi-pack chocolates has gone way past couch potato stage. If, like me, you want to commit to fit in 2022, here’s me hit list of the best local (ish) triathlons, runs, and more unusual local events to pique your interest, whatever your ability level. 

TRIATHLONS

Woman swimming

All Nations Sprint Triathlon, Dorney Lake
When: 7 May 2022
££: £60
What to expect: Run, swim and cycle for your country. Well sort of., At least you get to race in the team colours. The All Nations Triathlon run is set at the stunning Olympic venue Dorney Lake, and is open to all. This race has a buzzing atmosphere, plus it’s a flat and friendly course, all abilities welcome (400m swim, 20K bike ride, 5K run). It’s time to go for gold.

Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon, Woodstock
When: 28-29 May 2022
££: £80.99-£205
What to expect: You’ll get a scenic tour of Blenheim’s beautiful grounds with the route looping around the palace. There are four entry options – sprint (750m swim, 19.8km bike, 5.4km run), super-sprint (400m, 13.2km bike, 2.9km run), Olympic, and the Weekend Warrior where you can go for as long and as far as you can. You can enter as a team, with all entrants encouraged to raise funds for Bloodwise – supporting blood cancer.

Classic Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlon, Marlow
When: 29 May 2022
££: £70-£100
What to expect: Open to all abilities (newbies welcome) with a shorter sprint race and an Olympic distance route *gulp*. Both start with a swim across the River Thames (750m/1.5km), followed by a cycle (24.5k/37km) and sprint (5km/10km). There are prizes for first, second, third overall male and female, plus everyone who takes part gets a medal. No on the day entry.

Royal Windsor Triathlon, Windsor
When:
12 June 2022
££: £84.95-£94.95
What to expect:
Windsor Triathlon is an iconic race with a royal route taking you past some fantastic sights. There’s a 750m/ 1500m swim in the River Thames, followed by a bike leg (20/40km) through the streets of Windsor, passing Windsor Castle and out into the countryside. Finishing with a 5K/10K run into Windsor Great Park and along the spectacular Long Walk. Sprint and Olympic distances, both with relay options available..

Banana Triathlon, Windsor
When: 2 July 2022
££: £19-£89.95
What to expect: It doesn’t have to be blood, sweat and tears. The Banana Triathlon is a fun event for all the family. There are a total of six different races, the Banana Split, Half a Banana, a Banana Fritter, a Whole Banana (relay option also available for this distance), or a Jumbo Banana, there’s something for all abilities and ages. Also duathlon and scootathlon options. Extra points for if you wear yellow.

Outlaw Half Bowood, Calne, Wilts
When:
4 Sep 2022
££: £215
What to expect: 
A relatively new event – Outlaw Half Bowood! Taking place in the beautiful 100 acres of Bowood House & Gardens, there’s a 1.2 mile swim in Bowood Lake, followed by a single-loop 56-mile ride through the unspoilt Wiltshire countryside before completing their epic journey with a three-lap 13.1m run through the Bowood Estate.

Henley Triathlon, Henley-on-Thames
When: 10 July 2022
££: £56
What to expect: This is the 13th year of Henley Triathlon which takes place at Henley Leisure Centre and within the grounds of Gillotts School. The swim (400m) takes place in a heated pool, followed by a cycle around rural Oxfordshire (25km) and a flat grass run (5km). There’s also a super-sprint and women-only race (200m swim, 12.5K cycle, 2.5k run) and a children’s race with a relaxed, family atmosphere in 11 Jul (£25).

Castle To Coast, Windsor
When:
23 July 2022
££:
£160
What to expect:
A new event on the triathlon calendar and the clues in the name. You’ll be swimming, cycling and running from Windsor the coast… Brighton to be precise. This is an epic one day race that kicks off with a 2K swim at Eton Dorney, then a 67-mile bike ride down to Hassocks, finishing with a half marathon trail run down to Brighton’s sea front.

Newbury Triathlon, Newbury
When: 4 Sep 2022
££: £45
What to expect: Newbury Sprint Triathlon is open to newbies to the sport and seasoned athletes. You’ll kick things off at Northcroft Leisure Centre’s heated outside 72m pool for a 300m swim, followed by a 22K cycle that takes you out to Welford Park (home to the GBBO tent) and back again for a 5K run around the town. It’s a friendly event that’s perfect for beginners.

RUNNING

ParkRun UK
When: various dates
££: FREE
What to expect: Parkrun organises totally free 5K timed runs in 730 locations (and counting) around the world open to all ages and abilities. All you need to do is search your hometown to find your nearest run, sling on your trainers and go! Parkrun also organises junior races. It could be the next step from from your Couch to 5K app. Your local ParkRun can be found in Newbury, Prospect Park, Thames Riverside or Woodley in Reading. Dinton Pastures Country Park and California Country Park in Wokingham, Bracknell, Sandhurst Memorial Park and Braywick Park Maidenhead and Upton Court in Slough.

Run Dorney Lake, Eton
When:
Monthly
££: £20/£25/£35
What to expect: If you’re new to competitive running or just want to push yourself to a new distance, the flat course at Dorney Lake is perfect to build stamina and confidence, with 5K, 10K and half marathons to run. It was also a London 2012 Olympic venue so you imagine you’re going for gold and bask in your own glory. Next event is scheduled for 8 Jan.

Reading Half Marathon, Reading
When: 3 April 2022
££: £40-£70
What to expect: 
You set off from Green Park and finish at the Madejski Stadium and there’s 13.1 miles of flat and hills in between. Lots of London Marathon runners do this one in advance of the big one, but it’s open to all abilities and always has a great vibe. Also 3k family Green Park Challenge.

RunFestRun, Englefield House, Theale
When:
20-22 May 2022
££: Days tickets from £40. Weekend tickets with camping from £130
What to expect: Chris Evans’s baby – a man who loves to run and party at the same time. Now in its third year, he started RunFestRun to bottle the elation you feel at completing a challenge. We love the sound of the 3K Sunset Shuffle, but there’s also a family fun run and a 2.5K family road race, as well as more traditional 5K/10K and Half Marathons for the super keen. Your reward? Join the kids rave, silent disco and live music while sinking your gnashers into a gourmet burger. Camping available.

Newbury Racecourse 5K/10K/Half, Newbury
When:
19 June 2022
££:
£20-£26
What to expect: A relatively new race to the competitive calendar but one that is flat, so you can push for a PB. Gallop around Newbury Racecourse over 5K, 10K or a Half Marathon. You’re running laps, one loop for 5K, two for 10K and four for the half. See you in the Winner’s Enclosure.

Down Tow Up Flow Half Marathon, Marlow to Windsor
When: 
24 Jul 2022
££: £35
What to expect: 
A flat multi-terrain half marathon that takes you along Berkshire’s stunning waterways, with rural, urban and historical outlooks. A friendly atmosphere and, as a point to point race, you can park your car at the finish and get whizzed up to the start by coach.

Windsor Running Festival, Windsor Great Park
When: 25 Sep 2022
££:
£27.50 (10K), £39.50 (HM)
What to expect:
Windsor’s iconic half marathon with royal sight seeing thrown in so you keep putting one front in front of the other. After the last two years the idea of running up the stairs is enough the make me wheeze, but if we start training now, we could be ready. Shall we? Team Muddy – I will, if you will.

Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon, Oxford
When: 16 Oct 2022
££: £51
What to expect: A scenic 13.1 mile route around Oxford’s historic buildings and universities with a buzzing atmosphere of onlookers lining the streets. The route is mainly flat, so go for that personal best! See you at the finish line with a large G&T.

FANCY SOMETHING A DIFFERENT?

Woman on tough mudder obstacle course

Running off Christmas
When: Jan
££: FREE
What to expect: I love this idea! Organised by Great Ormond Street Hospital, Running off Christmas is a sponsored new year challenge to run as far a you can in January. The idea is to run 31 miles in the month, wherever and whenever you want, whether you run a mile a day or run a few times a week.

Ice Breaker SUP Series, Bray Lake Watersports
When: 9 Jan and 13 Feb
££: £15 per race (five race total)
What to expect: Paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. So if your fitness involves floating then this is the race for you. There are a variety of courses including technical, distance, river, sprints and the super lap. Each race is roughly 6-8km. Everyone’s welcome to take part, even if you only learnt the day before and we use a division system so that you will be racing against others of a similar speed. 

Color Obstacle Rush, Windsor
When: 
7 May 2022
££:
£34.90
What to expect:
Putting the fun into running, The Color Obsctacle Rush will finish with you looking like a unicorn. But first you have to tackle the 5K obstacle course, with 20 inflatable obstacles, 8 colour stations, space hopper racing and water fights, plus 20 music zones, a chill out area… and much more!

Muddy Dog Challenge, Windsor
When:
17-18 Sep 2022
££:
£35 (£25 without a dog)
What to expect:
Got a pooch or just love being around dogs, then this race is paw-fect. Windsor’s Muddy Dog Challenge in aid of Battersea Cats and Dogs Home is a 2.5K/ 5K obstacle course. Lead the way through parkland, forest trails and formal gardens to the finish line. You’ll be barking mad not to do it.

Tough Mudder, Culden Faw Estate, Henley
When: 21-22 May 2022
££: £10-£105
What to expect: This one’s all about getting muddy so, naturally, we’re all for it. The Classic Tough Mudder is an 8-10 mile race including 25 obstacles and – you guessed it – rolling around in loads of mud. There’s also a shorter, 5km version with 15 obstacles. It’s not all grown up fun, there’s a one mile little mudder for kids aged 5-12 for just £10.

The Little Welly, Henley Showground
When: 11-12 Jun 2022
££: Course & festival £22.50
What to expect: Little Welly specialises in obstacle courses for kids and returns for its sixth year in Henley with a new location at the Showground, new obstacles, entertainment and a longer course. The course is a hop, skip, jump and dash through loads of challenges, taking in streams, trails, mud and woodland. Oh, and did I mention it’s the biggest obstacle course for kids in the UK? If that doesn’t tire out the little blighters, what will? Then there’s the accompanying festival with – deep breath – kart racing, rope climbing, circus skills workshops, live music, helter skelter, laser tag, climbing wall, pony rides and loads of family activities.

The Maverick Adidas Terrex Original Oxfordshire 2022, Stonor Park Henley
When: 3 Dec 2022
££: £20/£25/£30
What to expect: A test of endurance and wildlife spotting skills. This epic trail run around the Stonor Park in Henley with three route options – 7k, 11k, 13k. Set in the stonking Stonor Estate it’s a fairy-tale location with Red Kites and fallow deer to distract you from the ferocious climbs and descents reaching gradients of 22% in parts. Do this and you’ll have earned your Christmas blow out for another year.

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