Hambleden, Oxfordshire - 24th March 2012
2012 entries are now open at Early Bird Prices! Click here to enter.
“We came, we saw, we cantered”
With the 2011 event a fond memory, 2012 is upon us, and almost time to go horsing around once again, for a third year running in the beautiful Hambleden Estate.
In the year of the Olympics, the Thames Valley seems the perfect place to host the finale of the Notorious Night Run series. Whether you sign up to run the daylight 5k(ish) or the torchlit 10k(and a bit), you’ll enjoy a right royal romp through a private equestrian estate: followed by our Notorious after-party, with legendary live music and local hospitality, and a comfortable conclusion as you drift soundly away in our onsite camping area.
Fancy dress is part of the fun, with riding regalia top of the what-to-wear list. When the gun goes off, a stampede of flat caps and horsey headscarves will gallop across the show field and over the first of many genuine horsejumps, for the benefit of their supporters.
Then it’s through the woods, over rolling hills and green paddocks to overcome natural and manmade obstacles such as Derby Bank, Sleepy Hollow (where the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name was filmed), and the Final Furlong - you get the picture.
For the 10k, don’t forget your headtorch: we guarantee you’ll need it!
- 2012 Prices
- The Venue
- The Event
- The Course
- Weekend Timetable
- What to wear
- Safety Matters
- Tackling Obstacles
10k - Team of 5
10k - Team of 10
It’s hard to believe the Hambleden Estate is only 40 miles from Central London, with a tranquillity and charm more akin to rural England. Between Henley on Thames and Marlow, nearby villages are quintessentially English, with picturesque cottages nestling amongst the Chiltern Hills.
The Estate hosts event throughout the year, which can be viewed here. For full details on finding the venue, click here for our “Getting there” page.
Giddy up, here’s the deal. Two distance choices, with both runs featuring plenty of challenges, Horseplay is intended to be suitable for any reasonable runner to complete, and whilst it’s a genuine all-terrain undertaking, the onus is on fun.
If you’re part of a group, you can include a club or team name in the entry form, but since we record your individual time, you can run at your pace.
The Horseplay 5k(ish) – Shorter, but it’s not Pony Club
Starting at 1530pm, this is more pony trek than Grand St Leger. Our 5k course is a real wet and muddy challenge, but it’s half the distance and runs in daylight, so caters to those wanting to have some fun, without the full physical commitment (or dark bits). You’ll still need to overcome your fair share of genuine horse jumps, and not just in sight of the start and finish!
Run duration between 30mins and 1 hour.
The Horseplay 10k (and a bit) – The main event
Starting at 1800pm (or a bit later if it’s a bright day), this is the one to go for if you want to achieve full nocturnal champion jockey status. Pitting you against the same equestrian features as the 5k, we send you further afield to tackle an extra level of challenges as darkness descends!
More distance, more hills, more gradient, more fun! Don’t forget the headtorch - you’ll need it to overcome watersplashes, steep banks, thick mud and some seriously slippery bits on your way to the Final Furlong, and the roar of the crowd at the finish!
The 10k route features a well-signposted drink station approx halfway.
Run duration between 1 and 2 hours. Be prepared!
The Horseplay Afterparty
After all your equestrian exertions, it’s time to refuel, “rehydrate” and relax. We’ll have local food and drink available throughout the day for you and your spectators, so once over the finish line, grab some nosebag and make a beeline for the Party Tent. After the informalities of Prize Giving, we leave you with our live band to party until midnight. Stay onsite in our camping area, or designate a driver to get you home safe. Perfect.
Friday 23rd March 2012
1800 - Gates open for Parking and Camping
2200 - Gates close
Saturday 24th March 2012
1200 - Gates open for Parking, Camping, Event Village, Catering
1300 - Registration opens (for 5k and 10k)
1515 - Registration closes
1530 - 5k start
1545 - Registration reopens (for 10k)
1745 - Registration closes
1800 - 10k start (we might push this back slightly if it’s too light)
1900 – Music starts in the Party Tent
2045 - Prize giving in Party Tent
2100 - Live band in Party Tent
2330 - Catering and Bar close
0000 - Party Tent closes, Event Village cleared “Thank you, and goodnight!”
0000 - Gates locked, strictly no access
Sunday 13th March 2012
0800 - Catering opens in Event Village
1200 - Campsite to be cleared, Gates close.
In honour of our auspicious surroundings, we feel it befitting to dress appropriately. Expect to rub shoulders with many in jodhpurs and riding hats, Harris tweed and headscarf, or with the bit between their teeth as a pantomime horse. By all means accessorize with horns, riding crops, hobby horses and over-size Pony Club rosettes.
However, please remember the physical demands at the heart of this horseplay. Consider your fancy dress choices in respect of the activities, the weather, and other participants; keep it safe and fun for everyone.
- A technical baselayer will help regulate your temperature.
- Off-road, or Trail shoes are more likely to keep you upright.
- Lower leg cover may offer protection from the odd scratch or scrape.
For the 10k, you will need a good headtorch, with fresh batteries!
If you’re short of any kit, click here to check out deals in the Rat Race Store.
Bring full body cover options with you, should the weather deteriorate in the final hours before your run, and seriously consider the other recommended items mentioned in the website, such as energy snack, drink, first aid kit and whistle – all contained in a small pack or pockets. There is a water stop on the 10k, but please do not solely rely on this if you think you will take a while to complete the course.
During your run look out for the signs of others on the course seriously struggling or injured and report this to the next course marshal, event first aider, or bail-out with them, to a point of help. If you see someone in trouble: HELP, you are the nearest person to be able to assist. In reality, incidents like this are extremely rare, and you will be amongst hundreds of people having a jolly (if not strenuous) time. Any participant who gives up their race to aid a fellow participant will receive a free event entry next year.
We’ve tested and practiced all the obstacles in this event ourselves, and now we require that you tackle them sensibly, and with the knowledge that you can make decisions independent from any verbal instruction from marshals that may be present. Here are some guidelines for safe practice that you must note;
- Consider bypassing an obstacle if you lack confidence, have appreciable fear or are - carrying an injury
- Ensure that the approach, and the obstacle itself are clear from obstruction
- If there is a marshal giving instructions, pay close attention
- If choosing to help participants, do so carefully, with their consent and without ‘launching’ them
- No stunts or ‘showboating’ should be attempted
- Pay attention to your surroundings, keeping head, arms and hands clear of any protrusions
- Spot your landing before jumping or lowering yourself from any obstacle
- Land with both feet. Bend your knees to absorb any shock
- Move away from the obstacle promptly
- Complete the obstacle ONCE only
- Do not rush. Do not barge or jostle with other participants. Do not drink the water
- Remember to smile!
You can find full T&Cs here which do mention some safety matters.
Timing will be conducted by electronic chip tied to your shoe, which we’ll give you at registration, and collect at the finish. Please use as instructed.
You’ll receive a tech t shirt before the start (you don’t need to wear it in the race), and each finisher will hobble away with a rosette to pin to their bridle.
Prizes to the value of over £500 will be awarded to male and female runners recording the fastest times, in the form of adventure sports kit to the value of:
|10k 1st Stallion - £80||10k 1st Mare - £80|
|10k 2nd Stallion - £50||10k 2nd Mare - £50|
|10k 3rd Stallion - £25||10k 3rd Mare - £25|
|10k 1st Colt (M16-17) - £30||10k 1st Filly (F16-17) - £30|
|10k 1st Old Nag (M50+) - £30||10k 1st Mature Mare (F50+) - £30|
|5k 1st Stallion - £50||5k 1st Mare - £50|
Take look around for more information about the Horseplay event, or any of our other Notorious Night Runs via the “Notorious Series Homepage” in the menu at the top left of this page.
If you’ve read enough, click here to enter online, and we’ll see you there!