The Howling Bull Run 

Walford Pre-School Playgroup present:

Sunday 26th November 2017.
Start: 11am

Pre-entry fee: Affiliated runner: £8 Non-Affiliated: £10
On the day entry fee: Affiliated: £10

 Non-Affiliated: £12

gallery/howling bull pic 7 smaller

Course notes

The Wye Valley Walk makes up a large section of the run, but there is also some less well travelled paths, through lots of mixed woodland, over fields, along bridle tracks and through some nice boggy bits.

The run will start in a field next to the village hall – a quick circuit, then onto the paths.

The main climb is between the 1st and 2nd mile, up Leys Hill, getting a few glimpses of the River Wye and Goodrich Castle. At the top of Leys Hill the route flattens out and winds its way over the top of Bulls Hill and Howle Hill through the woods and fields – keep looking out for green arrow signs and the red and white marker tape! There will a couple of road crossings, that will be marshalled, but they are all minor country lanes, so heavy traffic is not expected - sheep and horses are more likely!

The descent starts at about 5 miles, then things get interesting with a route option. Fork left to brave the ‘Suicide descent’. This route is about 0.21 miles, and involves following a small, stony and rutted path, through some sandstone boulders, then down a steep muddy slope, trying to avoid the trees. Caution when re-joining the path at the bottom of the slope, as runners may be coming the other way! Strava link for details: https://www.strava.com/segments/10087116

The right fork takes you down the ‘Bulls Route’. This route is more ‘runnable’ but longer, at about 0.33 Miles. The path soon comes out on the Bulls Hill road, that you run down, until you pick up the Wye Valley Walk again: https://www.strava.com/segments/10087128

When the routes re-join, there will be a short section that retraces the earlier route, before dropping down a tarmac (slippery when wet) lane, back into the start / finish field. Then it's time for tea and cake!

 Background

The Howling Bull Run started out as a vague idea in 2014, as a fundraising possibility for Walford Pre-school Playgroup. Both my children the attended the Pre-school and my wife has been on the fundraising committee for 5 years. Not being a “tombola, jumble sales or Frozen party” person, I started to wonder how I could help; what could I do? Whilst out running around the local paths, the pieces started to fall into place

I have been walking and more recently running around the paths on Howle Hill, Bulls Hill and Leys Hill for about 40 years. As I have been doing more races in the last few years, I realised that my local stomping ground could actually make for some good race routes, for those that like off road courses with a few hilly bits and mud. So I got the maps out, did lots of recces and devised a route of approximately 6 miles.

The first event took place on 14th November 2015. Runners were greeted with some very wet and windy weather - everybody seemed to enjoyed splashing around in the muddy puddles though! We got over 180 people taking part and raised over £800 for the Playgroup. There were a few 'route finding' difficulties, as some of the direction arrows were removed, but everybody was very understanding and had fun anyway! 

The Stava flyby of the 2015 race shows the route finding fun everyone had!  http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#432620999?c=gcnphdsg&z=E&t=1MHqSA&a=x0XJGb7fyBnM1d0ZY3vOGSReyRmSfskZx1TQGfA3yRn_NvAZkEfIGUYayRlKUckZfEDJGb6dyhk_n8cZWOPIGY9zyRnPMsgZ3KnIGebazhlZyMgZe7bvGdUv0xmezsgZsIjaGVqCyBkCB8kZrbrUGQs5yxm3cMgZo1HIGRNbyRkQW8kZgvDIGaxVyRmhLtUZ02TJGdSLyRlcrccZUZDaGdfvaRwfrscZBEfIGWO_zxloLcsZRXbJGZvHyBkMM84ZfTrJGQ

Flyby of the 2016 event - no one got lost this year! http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#833722524?c=gcnphdsg&z=E&t=1OEi1H&a=nJixMc5zBjADlekuh9PnLnMn7i73BuouqVDpLgjb6C6Ia-kuAX7qLu386S5GFOsue43xLhsNCi-hzOku1nEdLwJ36C4MbekuX6DwLh0-hC82_xwvOi_pLil26C6H-ecuCdHqLhyl7i6cC-kuoezqLuqC6i60Xh8xJijrLiLS6S6agekuIqXsLu5r6S4xgKovFt_nLkETBC-FG-wuK6XqLh2X5y6FGu4uBB3yLs3j6C5neOku0gjpLnEI6C7rDesu_YgCMYhQ6i4