Iconic local race. Very well organised. Challenging hills. Very popular with Spring marathon runners so enter early! Singing on route seems to help achieve a PB.
The 31st Folksworth 15 was held on 19th Jan 2020 in perfect conditions. The race is organised by Yaxley Runners who pull out all the stops to ensure the 500 runners have a great experience.
Entries go live in early November and it is possible to request email notification in advance. There is no waiting list but there is an entry transfer system until the week before the race. Runners collect their number, chip and pins on the day.
Group photo. Lots of smiley faces just before the run. (Photo: Thanks to Heather Revell).
The race headquarters is in the local school where there are ample toilets/portaloos , bag drop, and refreshments. Folksworth is easy to find, just off the A1. It is a rural area and parking is either in local farms/businesses or along the road. This is well directed and marshalled by local runners and residents and runs very smoothly. There is even a shuttle bus system to take runners to and from their cars if they don't feel inclined to walk.
The 15 mile route consists of two laps, each has three challenging hills so be prepared for 6 hills totalling about 650 feet of ascent. The road is very quiet with little traffic.
The first hill is the infamous Morborne hill where runners pass the 500ft Arqiva mast that transmits FM radio and some digital radio services to Peterborough and surrounds. However, despite Morborne's reputation it is the two following hills that are a bit more challenging but perfectly doable. Bullock Road hill is longer and more draining on your legs while the third hill at Caldecote is steep but it heralds the end of the first loop and the end of the race when you push up for a second time. Many people seem to divide the route into the six hills and count them off which helps pass the time. There are marshals at all the crossing points and along the route giving encouragement as you go along.
The 2020 Folksworth was blessed with very cold, still, bright and sunny weather. Parts of the first loop were quite slippery this year but this did not prevent the course record being broken!
The race ends at the back of the school and finishers receive medals, technical tee-shirts, chocolate bars, crunch bars, bananas and water. Well worth the effort and very worth the entry fee.
About forty Werrington Joggers ran Folksworth 15 in 2020, in addition, there were many others from our club marshalling, giving encouragement, in the sweeper car or just helping out in the generous way that Werrington Joggers has become known for. Thanks to them and the organisers.
The first Werrington woman was Josey Garratt and first Werrington man was Dan McDonald. Congratulations to them and to all those who completed the race and even achieved Pbs. Two others, who will remain nameless (Chas Campen and Cath Hunt) require a mention as they also achieved PBs but seemed to be employing a new and probably banned performance enhancer. They went past me near the end of the race singing something that sounded like Sweet Chariot. Well done them, but is singing allowed? And what were they drinking? Well done to them.
Finally Folksworth 15 is my all-time favourite run. I highly recommend it to every one of every ability in the club. Werrington does a pre-race Sunday Run at Folksworth in December which is a great opportunity to test the route without any pressure and decide whether it's for you.
Here's hoping that Folksworth will keep going for another 30 years.
Deirdre Fee. Jan 2020