A RACE in memory of an ultra-runner and triathlete is returning to the Meon Valley.

Roly's Run is a friendly, off-road event held on November 20, in memory of Rich 'Roly' Walklate, who died in 2018.

The course is a circular route in and around the Meon Valley that takes in some of the local hills, including Beacon Hill and Old Winchester Hill.

It is 80 per cent trail, has some amount of climbing, and has its fair share of mud.

There are three distances to choose from 15, 20 and 40 miles.

Walkers and runners will get a hot meal at the end of the race and as much cake as they can eat throughout the day.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The race headquarters is at Swanmore Village Hall. All three courses will follow a clockwise loop starting at Swanmore taking in Beacon Hill, Exton and Meonstoke.

The 20 and 40-mile runners will continue on the South Downs Way on a climb to Winchester Hill. The 40-mile runners will continue on the SDW before completing a loop covering East Meon, Ramsdean and Butser Hill, returning to Winchester Hill.

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From Meonstoke, all participants will head back on the old railway line to Swanmore via Droxford. The finish will be back at the village hall.

The race is raising money for three charities: Supporting Papworth Hospital Charity, Help for Heroes and UK Sepsis Trust.

Rich received treatment at Papworth Hospital, after which he returned to full fitness and participated in the Everest Marathon.

Hampshire Chronicle:

It is suspected that his death was caused by sepsis. 

He was a supporter of Help for Heroes.

Anna Walklate, Rich's sister, said: “This year will be our fourth edition of the run. We first ran it in November 2019, then in May 2021 and then in November 2021. The 15 and 20-mile routes have been largely unchanged in each of the three previous events. The 40-mile route this time is pretty much the same as last time.”

For more details, visit rolys.run/enter.