Cross country races take place over the winter (mostly October to March, inclusive). They can be any distance up to ultras and 24-hour endurance events, though most are between three and six miles in length. Distances will be approximate,

Terrain can be almost anything apart from tarmac roads. In East Anglia we are blessed with being able to run on beaches, through forests, across farmland and across and along rivers and streams. Expect to get wet and muddy at times, so always take a full change of clothing. Start/finish locations can be very basic and very rural. A Dryrobe or large towel might come in handy for a post-race change; likewise a flask of coffee.

Kit need not cost a fortune. Road trainers might not give sufficient grip but cross country or trail shoes can be picked up cheaply from online retailers such as Decathlon. In very muddy or icy conditions, cross country spikes can give extra grip and confidence. On forest trails, you might get away with road shoes.


SOAR Suffolk Winter League

BBDRC are members of the League and we organise one of the events. Races for seniors will be around 5 miles in length.

Runners MUST wear official Club kit-notably the Scimitar design, not the Tri kit or older versions. There is no pre-entry. Simply turn up at the venue well before the start time, find the Club reps and pay £5 cash (seniors) or £2 (juniors). Run the race and, just as in parkrun, collect your finish position token as you finish. The important bit is to return your position token to the club rep as soon as possible. The reps collate the results and they want to finish and have a cup of tea and cake. You may get a frosty reception if you depart for a half-hour cool down before thinking about handing in your token.

All ages and speeds are welcome though the league does have a No Walking rule. This was introduced a few years ago after a particularly wet and cold December event where the tail runner turned up dressed to run and followed the last participants who walked the whole route. The tail runner narrowly escaped hypothermia.

As with many events, you will be competing against others in your five-year age category. Your category is determined by your age on the day of the first race of the season.

2023 – 24 events




29th October 2023


3rd December 2023


14th January 2024

Haughley Park

28th January 2024

Horseheath Racecourse

11th February 2024


18th February 2024



East Anglian Cross Country League. The Wednesday League.

The EACCL was originally founded in 1963. It was organised by the Military in East Anglia. Races are held on Wednesday afternoons (the time when armed forces personnel and UEA students have time off for sport and recreation). Ten years ago, the League was in danger of folding as RAF and Army bases closed. Jude Durrant took over the reins and the League is now organised by civilians.

If you have never tried cross country and doubt your abilities, then the EACCL is probably your best starting point. Participants range from school age up into the 80s. All paces are welcome, though if you will be taking longer than 70 minutes to complete the course, please let us know so we can keep an eye out for you.

The League organises a series of ten events, predominantly in Norfolk, over the period October to March. Races usually start at 14.30 and cover 3 – 6 miles. Just as with parkrun, the EACCL depends on runners entering their details onto the League database. Registration is free and is a one-off process unless your details change. At the finish of each event runners receive a position token (as in parkrun) and these are scanned by finish staff together with the runner’s personal identity tag (which is often, but need not be, their parkrun barcode).

The tenth race of the season ends with a buffet and prize presentation. Prizes are awarded to the winning individuals in five-year age categories, to winning teams and to those who have run all ten races.

BBDRC do not currently enter a team into the League. Doggies tend to run for Sportlink (free, once you’ve purchased a vest or T shirt) or as Individuals. Individuals currently pay £5 for the season i.e. 50p a race.

Background info is here:- 

2023 – 24 events





Cart Gap Beach

1st November 2023


Mousehold Heath

15th November 2023


Caister Beach

29th November 2023


Whitwell Station

13th December 2023 2pm Start


Blickling National Trust

17th January 2024 2pm Start


Shouldham Warren

31st January 2024


Chilton Fields Rugby Club

14th February 2024


New Venue TBC

28th February 2024


Cawston Park

13th March 2024


Catton Park

27th March 2024


Ryston Runners Winter Races at Shouldham Warren

Ryston Runners organise a series of six races at Shouldham Warren, West Norfolk. Shouldham Warren is a Forestry Enterprise woodland. Facilities are very basic and the location can be very cold. Routes are “undulating”. You can enter races online.

2023 – 24 events


October 15th 2023


November 12th 2023


December 17th 2023


January 14th 2024


February 11th 2024


March 10th 2024


Norwich Road Runners Horsford Cross Country Series

Three races for the mudlarks. Run on trails in Horsford/Felthorpe woods. The trail sections are twisting but easy running; the bog crossings are not. Be prepared to find mud in places it has never been found in before. The organisers string ropes across the bogs for a very good reason. Four laps so four bog swims!

2023 – 24 events


December 3rd 2023


February 4th 2024


March 3rd 2024

County Championships

Usually take place on the second Sunday in January. You qualify to take part by either being born in the county or by having lived there for the last 9 months. You can only take part in one county. Don’t think this is just for the fasties; all abilities are welcome. Races for seniors will be 10km. See County Athletics websites for further details. Be aware that Suffolk, especially, has an early date of last entry-possibly well before Christmas. Plan well ahead. Expect a tough run, but a deep sense of satisfaction when you finish.

Reepham Runners Whitwell cross country

Run in January from the picturesque Whitwell railway station. Starting on the lovely Marriotts Way, runners soon deviate into bog, mire and ditch. Be prepared for chilblains. A total change of clothing is a MUST and a supply of warm water might come in handy. Lovely cake at the Station café and the trains are a good entertainment for supporters. 2024 date not known.

West Acre Wild 10km

First event. Date: 19th November 2023

Stody Estate cross country

Organised in February by North Norfolk Beach Runners. Farmland and tracks which can be muddy. Good cake. Date 25th February 2024

Houghton Hall cross country

Another trail and farmland event organised in November by West Norfolk AC. Date: 5th November 2023


There are other events springing up all the time. Keep an eye on Total Race Timing and Run Anglia facebook feed.

Health warning: This information was current at the time of writing (October 2023). Do check times, dates, locations and costs before attending.