Standish Woodlands Chase Report by Al Graham

Sat in my car waiting out the rain, and looking at all the other runners in their cars doing the same, I have to say that it looked like it might be an endurance rather than a fun race. But then, with 10 minutes to go before the start gun, the rain lessened to a drizzle, and by the time we’d reached the top of the first hill the sun was trying to make a break through. The race is organised by the Stroud and District Athletic Club and is part of a memorial series for one of their former runners, Roger Briers, and if you complete the series you can join the medals together to form a plaque (which is a nice touch). The Standish Woodlands Chase 10(ish) miler ( is a runner’s race! From the start line you go straight up! For quite a long time. Infact, ‘up’ (and steep ‘down’) is a common feature of the race. However, the woods are stunning to run through and by the time you are on the second loop then you know where you are going and can start to enjoy yourself. The views of the Severn valley across to Wales and into the Stroud valley really take your breath away as you come out of the woods ready for the fast descent to the finish line. The race was really well organised, and all the local runners I met were really friendly. It was a small field with 153 finishers (in which I came 40th) but I don’t think it should become much larger – sometimes a smaller challenging race is really satisfying. I think I’ll be looking to do this again some time!