Urban fringes, woodland trails, stunning views and much-loved landmarks. Here’s what to expect from Beyond Trails - four trail running events in four different cities taking you beyond the pavement, beyond the tarmac and beyond your usual route.

A low key start

If you’ve found yourself here, you’ve probably got some races under your belt - perhaps even huge events like the Great North Run or a city marathon. If so, you’ll be familiar with the hype and party atmosphere that builds at the beginning. At Beyond Trails, however, there’s a very different vibe - far more relaxed and low key. Arrive in plenty of time with your essentials - your water, map, fully charged GPS watch/device and kit - and get ready to mingle, chat and prepare mentally for the adventure ahead.

Getting started

After a quick safety briefing, it’s time to make a move. Take it steady for the first mile or so to tune into your body and warm up gradually. Keep checking in with yourself - how’s your rhythm? Shoes and kit feeling OK? Are the route markings clear? Getting familiar with them early – and the intervals at which they’re placed – will pay off later if you end up taking a wrong turn.

First checkpoint

Hopefully your pre-event prep will mean that you know what’s coming on the route ahead and when to expect the first checkpoint and aid station. Take some time to have a drink, a bite (if needed), visit the loo and make any adjustments to your kit. Then it’s time to get back into that running rhythm again, feeling renewed and refreshed. Let’s do this!

The tough(er) middle section

We say ‘tough’ because it’s at this point where many runners need to dig deep. Try to cope with the challenge as positively as you can: slow down, walk a section and have a snack or a drink. If you need to, come to a complete stop.

Remember that very few entrants actually run a Beyond Trails route from start to finish – the vast majority take it by mixing up running and walking. Tell yourself you’ve got this - and rely on that strong mindset.

Finish line feels

If you’ve studied your route, you’ll know when you’re hitting the final stages of the course - but after all those miles, it can feel like a bit of a slog. Yes, you’ll be tired - maybe even exhausted. Yes, you might be feeling a bit of pain. Heard of ‘hitting the wall’? This might be the moment you experience it.

Now is the time for your mindset to really pull you through. Tell yourself you’ve trained for this moment. Keep your energy up with food and water. Break the distance down into chunks and focus on the immediate stretch ahead. Slow down if you have to - hey, you’re about to tick off a serious achievement, no one’s judging.

Finally, cross that finish line with pride - you’ve definitely earned those bragging rights.

Ready to take on a trail challenge? Find out more here.