The fifth running of the popular festive relay event sponsored by Stewart Clague Services Ltd is precisely one month away on Saturday, December 27.
The event, which also includes a junior fun run, is based on a trail around the Ballannette estate in Lonan. The area is familiar to regular cross-country competitors who take part in league events, although this race uses a different, longer and tougher course.
It is a four-leg handicap relay. Legs one and four are run over two laps of the course (approximately 6.6 miles) aimed at the fitter/faster runners. The minimum age for the two-lap legs is 18. Legs two and three are run over one lap of the course (approximately 3.3 miles), minimum age 15.
As such, a team covers six laps of the route in total, an overall distance of about 20 miles. The handicap will be based on 10 kilometre road times, which are used by the handicappers to provide estimated times for the two-lap and one-lap legs.
The slowest team will set off at 9.30am, with the faster teams following at regular intervals depending on the designated handicap.
The terrain is mainly firm and gently undulating and is comfortable to run on. There is one sting in the middle of the lap as, after crossing Clay Head Road, there is a sharp drop almost down to sea level followed by a short but testing climb back up the other side.
The course is at low level, so should be affected less by weather conditions than the former Millennium Way Relay. It is off-road apart from two crossings of a very quiet minor road, so there is no worry regarding traffic.
Immediately after the conclusion of the relay, at around 1pm, there will be a fun run open to younger athletes aged from seven to 14 on the day. This will be held on a shorter version of the relay course and will be approximately one mile on a mixture of grass and trail. All runners start together.
All competitors in the fun run will win a prize. No entry forms – simply turn up on the day, pay a £2 entry fee and enjoy a run.
There will be a presentation immediately after the event in the boardroom at Ballannette.
Full information and entry forms are on www.manxharriers.com