Trailscape Series – North Race Review

On Saturday 18th October trail running came to London in the form of the first Trailscape Series’s race…Trailscape or Rail To Trail series are basically 4 trail races which are extremely accessible to anyone living in London. All 4 races are within an hour by train of London! If you fancy reading more about Trailscape, the idea behind it and how it all started head over to my previous blog post here here

On Saturday early morning BecsEmma, Jen and I took a train to Newport, Essex (yeah baby) to tackle the first race of Trailscape series. It was a cool Saturday outing with some trail running – Becs was running full marathon as a preparation for her MdS in April and Emma, Jen and I tackled the half marathon course or 15miles according to ‘Trailcape language’.

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - The Dream Team

Muddy countryside trails, great weather (read no rain) and a perfect atmosphere with some dirty shoes… that’s all I really need for being happy. To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to train as much as I would want to but I didn’t care much. I was quite happy that I found finally time to run and I thoroughly enjoyed the race. Although I must admit that at some point I completely forgot that I was racing; I was running on my own for 80% of the race so I guess this was to me like a normal long-ish weekend run. The course took us thorough some pretty muddy fields (check the photos below) and I quickly ended up running with snow mud shoes on. This was pretty cool, you know a bit of extra weight always helps. I somehow came 3rd female but it was a small race.

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - muddy shoes

Why I love it and you will do too

  • It’s on trails – no road! What’s not to love about that – remember road is boring!
  • The journey will take you max 1h on a train
  • The start line is literally 2 minutes, if not less,  away from the train station – yep, no more taxis, buses or any other additional transport (and money)!
  • Uber friendly atmosphere – I don’t know about you but I don’t like massive races anymore. It’s overcrowded, queues everywhere, no atmosphere or community love
  • It’s perfect for trail running newbies so don’t worry if you’ve never done a trail race before
  • Well-marked course with some funny/inspirational  signs (like this) alongside the course
  • 3 distances to pick from: 10K, Half or Full marathon
  • The race HQ is in the town hall so say goodbye to Portaloos and say hi to amazing cake table!
  • It’s on SATURDAY which mean you still have a full Sunday to spend

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - The Cake Table

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - The Medal

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - Race HQ

Trailscape Series - Rail To Trail -  Race #1 Review - Newport, Essex - The Course Map

What you will need for your first Trailscape race

Nothing more that you would normally need for a road race – shoes and preferably some clothes. The mandatory kit is not strict at all so no need to panic there. Just make sure you have some running shoes with at least some grip otherwise you will struggle. Depending on what distance you’re doing, make sure you take some water with you. There are water stations but if you get lost, you’re on your own. Another important thing especially if you are tackling longer distance is a phone (charged!) – no not for your running selfies; it would be good to let organisers know you that you got lost so they can find you.

So let’s recapitulate;

  • trail shoes and clothes
  • water
  • phone

Convinced? Then sign-up for the next race which is Cuxton! If I still haven’t won you over do let me know your reasons/doubts in the comments below. Otherwise I will see you on 29th November!


East – Cuxton, Kent – 29.11.14 (Saturday)

More info and to sign-up click here

Trailscape series - East - Cuxton, Kent - Trail Running

Lenka Istvanova

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