1. GLORIOUS MUDMy feet are happiest when covered in a slick of mud. It offers a challenge on the trails but above all, it makes the run fun. It's one of the only times as an adult you can get away with playfully splashing around and there's nothing more satisfying than sinking your feet into a sticky mud puddle.
2. LOCAL TRAILSSneaking just an hour out of London by train has taken us to some amazing running routes to the North, South, East and West of the city. It's opened my eyes to the brilliant views and hills you'd never believe were so close. Plus each race HQ was runner friendly, located just a couple of minutes walk from each train station.
3. EVERYONE'S WELCOMEWhether your trainers are usually pavement clean or your legs are seasoned off-road runners, there's a distance to satisfy everyone. These events have been used as training for multi-day desert ultras or as a first taste of trail running. The full marathon offers an advanced distance but sets off early enough to allow slower runners to take on the challenge, with the half marathon and 10k distances setting off at later so everyone finishes as similar times.
4. HOMEMADE CAKEAny trail runner knows that a good race ends with cake. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's good fuel at the start, too. So much love has gone into making the Trailscape series a success and the proof is in the pudding...err the time spend to home bake enough cake for a tribe of hungry runners.
5. COMMUNITY ATMOSPHERECompetitive yet friendly, encouraging and fun, Trailscape offers a community feel that's so familiar at trail events but none have been quite so caring of their entrants, ensuring there's a full proof emergency plan and enough signs to stop anyone getting lost. But whilst they mean business they've not forgotten their sense of humour – the course is dotted with signs that will make you giggle even if you're struggling up a hell of a hill.
6. YOU CAN BRING YOUR PETGet big brown eyes begging to go with you when leaving for your run? Bring your best friend with you and join the other canicross runners. They're even catered for at the water stations with their own drinking bowl.
7. SMALL FIELDSmall village HQs mean small race fields. Running alongside fewer people is far less intimidating for those new to trail. When you're paying extra attention to where you're stepping, being able to have a clear view of the ground you're running on is really useful. For the experienced speedsters, fewer competitors means there's more chance of winning the thing.
8. MARSHALSEach of the four Trailscape races managed to nab the friendliest, most enthusiastic and helpful marshals in the land. Without them, us runners would most probably be lost, hungry and in not quite as good a mood.
9. YOU CAN WIN FOR BEING NICENot everyone can be fast and finish on the podium but anyone can win a prize. In the encouraging spirit of the event, spot prizes are awarded for lending another runner a pair of tights or rescuing a stranger's mobile phone from the trails or taking the silliest, muddiest selfie.
10. SOUVENIRS YOU ACTUALLY WANTEvery finisher, no matter your chosen distance, gets a medal and a t-shirt you can (and actually want to) wear whilst training. If you do the series, that's half your kit for the week.
Thankfully, the Trailchase series will be back in the winter. For more information, keep an eye out here.