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For some, the period between Christmas and New Year is a bit of a write off. But while a lot of people will be recovering from an over-indulgent festive period, others will be looking for the perfect sports events to work off that turkey.
Whether you’re a runner, swimmer or cyclist, there is something for you around the UK. We’ve picked out five events to see out 2017 with a flourish and welcome in the New Year as fit as a flea.
Christmas day is probably one of the quietest days on the road in central London. For cyclists in the capital, this 16 mile ride around some of the most well-known streets of the city, setting off from Cutty Sark Gardens, has been a regular Christmas feature for over a decade.
Following the banks of the Thames, riders cross Tower Bridge to transverse the West End, Hyde Park and many other recognisable landmarks in London.
Once the two hour ride is complete, some will visit the Beirut Cafe in Edgware Road to enjoy a lunch before heading home. The rest, we assume, head straight back to add the finishing touches to their Christmas dinner.
For those in the north of the country, you too can explore what a great city has to offer during your sporting exploits. Starting off at Chester Racecourse, or
The Roodee as it is known, runners track the ancient city walls that defended this Roman city from attack hundreds of years ago.
A 6km run takes in views of the historic walls, the impressive Chester Cathedral as well as the waters of the River Dee along the way. Though it’s not the most testing of events, it gives runners the perfect opportunity to work off those extra pigs-in-blankets they probably didn’t need!
More information: http://northernrunningguide.com/race/chester-round-the-walls-race
In a age where every other run is timed, tracked and published online for the world to see, there’s something different about the Winter Warmer. For a start, no competitor is allowed to bring GPS units or watches on their run.
In fact, the lack of timepieces actually act as a way of determining the winner of the race. At the start of the 10km contest, each competitor must predict the time it takes them to complete the course. The closest you get to your actual finishing time, the more chance you have of landing one of the prizes.
This charity event tackles a relatively flat course around the countryside trails close to Macclesfield in Cheshire.
It’s back on a bike now and a journey down south to Cranborne Chase, Area of Natural Beauty, for a bike ride that encompasses 23 miles across the counties of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
The route is a generally easy one, though the organisers have professed to adding in one or two tricky technical climbs along the way. The might not be the event for the overly competitive though, as it is not timed and there are now prizes for coming first. You can of course time yourself on Strava if you so wish.
Everyone is a winner in the end though (as long as you’re a beer drinker), as the event culminates in an Ale Festival in the village of Sixpenny Handley. Just be careful not to undo all the good work you’ve done on the ride!
More information: https://www.dorsetroughriders.co.uk/drrt
While the other events listed may put your fitness to the test, the annual ‘dook’ in the waters off Broughty Ferry, Dundee, tests your ability to cope with cold. Since 1891, residents and visitors alike have braved the weather to take a dook, or for those south of the Scottish border, a plunge, in the waters of the river Tay.
This full day event proudly boasts that it has never had to be cancelled. What’s more, in 1989, before competitors could enter the water, organisers had to pickaxe their way into the frozen waters before the event could start.
With prizes for fancy dress, live music and plenty of food and drink, this Tayside institution provides a lively start to the new year.
More information: http://www.yeaaba.org.uk/the-dook
Whichever event you decide to run, swim or cycle this Christmas, make sure you’re covered. Our Sports Accident Insurance can protect you if you are forced to miss work through a sporting injury, and covers you for a range of other potential costs.