MORE than 300 athletes are expected to do battle at the annual Hardwick X-Stream cross country race on Sunday.
Organised by Bearbrook Running Club in association with Whitchurch Cricket Club, the race is one of the toughest and most prestigious in the off road calendar.
The six-mile course is run in the confines of Manor House Farm in Hardwick Village and competitors must overcome four river crossings, run across ploughed fields, over grassland and along muddy farm tracks to reach the finish line – not to mention an extra chill should the wintry weather remain this weekend.
Last year’s winner, Thomas Beedell of Chiltern Harriers, will be defending his crown this weekend in what he expects to be a typically tough encounter.
He said: “The Hardwick is billed as a proper cross country race and I’d definitely agree with that.
“The characteristics of the course make it a race where you really have to get stuck in and give it a good go if you want a result. There are no half measures at Hardwick.”
Bearbrook is expecting the Hardwick X-Stream (supported by local singer and songwriter, Edei) to run at full capacity but there may be a limited number of entries available on the morning of the race.
Anyone wanting to take part should arrive at Hardwick Village Hall from 8.30am on Sunday to try and secure a starting space.
Entrants must be at least 15 years old and entries on the day will cost £10 for runners attached to a club and £12 to those who are unattached.
See next week’s Bucks Herald for a full report and pictures from the race.