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Northants Ultra 34: Garmin Route of the Month
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Saturday 6th June 2009


Tags  Garmin  |  Go Beyond  |  Northants Ultra


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We've got something completely different for you this time in our Garmin Route of the Month series. Triathletes are no strangers to 'going long', with many Ironman athletes regularly scheduling in stand alone marathons as part of their preparations. However, what about going a little longer on the run?

Go Beyond (www.gobeyondultra.co.uk), organise a number of challenging, off-road, single day and multi-stage running events for those looking for "more variation, greater challenges but still retain the competitive element."

This weekend (7th June) it's the Go Beyond Northants Ultra (Shires and Spires), "a 34 mile loop taking in some of the most interesting country houses and historical sites in England and as well as Lamport includes Naseby, Althorp (home of the Spencer family), Cottesbrooke, evidently the house Jane Austen used as the basis for Mansfield Park and Kelmarsh Hall as well some stunning countryside."

We've seen a trend for Ironman athletes to be attracted to events like these. Toby Radcliffe from Team Timex, (sixth in Ironman UK last year) for example, recently won the 85km Nove Colli Run in Italy. Perhaps this can inspire you to 'go ultra'?!

Lamport Hall
The race starts in the beautiful grounds of Lamport Hall, and quickly heads east across sheep grazing fields towards Cottesbrooke Hall.

Look left as you run or walk the quiet country lane and you will be treated to an avenue of trees framing the house where evidently Jane Austin took her inspiration for the book Mansfield Park.

Again sheep are you companions as you run through the impressive gated grounds which present a “nice” hill to get the heart rate up, and offer a lovely panorama of the rolling Northamptonshire countryside as you climb towards Haselbech.

Cottesbrooke Hall
Battle of Naseby
You then turn east onto a short road section which takes you to the historic village of Naseby, site of the great Cromwellian battle in 1645 and through the village, to more lovely villages of Thornby and on through undulating countryside to West Haddon and the equestrian centre at Silsworth Lodge, where they also make some of the finest saddles in England.

Althorp HouseThe route then heads south to the pretty but bustling village of Long Buckby and then onto English countryside for which Northamptonshire does not really get full credit. You then head south to the pretty Great Brington and through a tree lined avenue framing the runners first view of the home of the Spencer family, Althorp.

As you run round the perimeter wall of the estate there are some fantastic views not only of the House but the surrounding countryside too. The route takes in almost all of the estates southern perimeter before heading off to Harlestone and the run through the inevitable golf course.

Holdenby House

Just across the Northamptonshire fields from Althorp lies Holdenby House, a stately home whose royal connections go back over 400 years. Built by Sir Christopher Hatton to entertain Elizabeth I, it became the Palace of James I and the prison of his son, Charles I. Now a family home, the house is the splendid backdrop to a beautiful garden.

The course continues north to Teeton and Teeton Hall before heading to the historical village of Creaton, via a very undulating country lane and the lovely Highgate House just one more example of the beauty in the architecture available in this pretty county.

The final stage of our journey takes us through more fields past the village of Hanging Houghton and onto the Midshires Way section of the Brampton Valley Way and back to Lamport Hall.

Just over thirty four miles of lovely running in spectacular surroundings.


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