Willow's annual 10K is a great race for beginners and experienced runners alike and now includes 5K and Junior 1K route.
The race will be started by our very own Life President, Bob Wilson, who will send runners off on a route that goes through the picturesque grounds of Hatfield House, providing a unique opportunity to explore hidden parts of the estate not normally open to the public.
There'll be a great run-specific warm-up from our professional trainer Martyn Oakey, music along the course, fab food stalls and a physio on hand to ease any aches and pains before or after your run. Plus Willow's own Tiny Tots Scamper for the very little ones, the toddlers and the babes in prams and pushchairs.
Family and friends are welcome to join the cheering teams and everyone will have access to Hatfield House's Stable Yard, with its lovely shops and superb cafe.
The Willow 10K is a great day for all the family.
Event details and schedule
What time will the race start?
The gates will open from 9am and we’ve got a great warm up starting at 10.40am – definitely not to be missed. The run will start promptly at 11.00am. We will phase runners at the start based on expected finish times so please put yourself in the appropriate category – you and everyone else will have a much better experience.
What is the route like?
The route is off road and consists of tracks, paths and grass. Good running or walking shoes are essential. The route is undulating and the finish is a bit uphill so we would definitely recommend you follow a training plan and add in some hill training which should get you to the finish in style!
Can I walk it?
Walkers are very welcome to take part in the 10K but you will need to complete the 10K course in well under two hours, so if you are a power-walker then this is the challenge for you! Alternatively you can opt for the 5K route – our marshals will direct slower walkers to the finish line.
Do I need to raise sponsorship?
Our minimum sponsorship pledge is now £50 and we would really encourage everyone to raise as much as they can. If you're running as part of a team or have friends and family taking part, you can of course fundraise together. If you're worried about fundraising we encourage you to sign up anyway and we can support you with fundraising tips and ideas as well as lots encouragment!
Every penny you raise will help us to continue providing Special Days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds. You will find links to online fundraising pages on your confirmation email. We have been asked if it's ok to raise funds for another charity. We're sorry but that would not be acceptable. This is a fundraising event organised by and for Willow and funds should be raised solely for Willow.
Do you allow dogs?
Dogs are not permitted on the route and our marshals will stop anyone participating with a dog and ask them to leave the race. Spectators may bring dogs as long as they are kept on a lead at all times. If you are bringing a dog, please be responsible and pick up any mess and bring enough bags!
Will there be drinks on the route?
There will be two water stations on the route – the first at around 3.5K and the second just before the 6K mark. We do recommend you start the race well-hydrated and bring a drink with you.
Is there parking?
Yes, there is free parking on-site. Please follow the parking marshal’s instructions and park considerately.
Is there secure baggage storage?
We would prefer, where possible, for friends and family to look after your belongings. The car park is also very near the runners' village. If you are coming on foot on your own, you can leave your bag at the enquiries desk, but it will be entirely at your own risk.
What happens if I suffer an accident or injury during the event?
St Johns Ambulance will be in attendance.
What if the weather is bad?
We’ve experienced gale-force winds, horizontal hail, thunder and lightning and torrential rain as well as lovely sunshine, so we’re prepared for most weather conditions and the event will go ahead if deemed safe for participants.
What else will be happening on the day?
Drinks and snacks will be available, and our team of physios will be there to help ease any aches after the run for a suggested £5 donation to Willow. There will be plenty of other fundraising activities on the day both for adults and children and we will keep you up to date with news of those leading up to the event.
The start and finish is also right next door to the Stable Yard, Hatfield House’s shopping village - you can pop in for some early Christmas shopping or why not treat yourself to lunch in the Restaurant?
Can children take part?
Under 14s can now enter the Junior 1K – a quick out and back run for budding athletes. The Junior 1K will start at 10.30 just before the warm-up, Parents can run along with their children if they wiish. For the very little ones, we will be holding Willow's own Tiny Tots Scamper at approximately 11.10am, once the main race has begun. All children can take part, and mums and dads can hold the little one’s hands if necessary! All children will get a sweet treat on finishing. There is also face-painting taking place in the runners’ village and of course you can visit the Hatfield House Park Farm – entrance fees apply.
When will I receive my running number and timing chip?
Your running number, timing chip and t-shirt (if you have ordered one) will be sent out two weeks before the event.
What happens if I get lost?
You shouldn’t get lost – the paths are all clearly signposted, the marshals will be directing you at any junctions.
Is there a time limit?
If you are still on the course after two hours our sweep up vehicle will give you a lift back to the finish line.
When will the finish times be available?
We expect to publish the times on our website a few hours after the race – this is subject to technical conditions.
Is the race suitable for wheelchairs?
No, the course is not suitable for wheelchairs.
I have a medical condition, can I take part?
It is entirely your responsibility to check with your GP that you are fit enough to take part in any of the runs in the Willow 10K event. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please mark the front of your runner number with a red cross and complete the details on the back of the number. St Johns Ambulance will be in attendance.
Do I have to register before the event?
There are a limited number of places available so we are encouraging everyone to register before the event However if there is capacity we may allow registrations on the day. Please note that registrations on the day are £30 per person.
What facilities will be available on the day?
We will have great caterers onsite on the day. Don't forget to visit the restaurant and shops in Hatfield House's Stable Yard. Hatfield House have kindly offered a 10% discount in the Stable Yard Restaurant and the Gift Shop for all runners with a Willow medal. There will be physios on hand for a post-event massage (for a small donation). There are public conveniences situated in the Stable Yard.
I want some help with training. Do you have any tips and hints?
Yes, you can download the Willow 10K training plans which can be found on our website: www.willowfoundation.org.uk/resources.