Run Alton Towers took place over the weekend of November 12th and 13th. This is the week after the park closes to the general public following the fireworks. Of course the downside to this does mean it is also Remembrance Sunday. The Alton Towers 10K and Kids Race did however take place on the Saturday so this need not be an issue.
Why Participate in Run Alton Towers
Starting and finishing at the iconic Towers, with races for all abilities for the whole family. A great fun and supportive route with a fantastic themed medal at the end. But let’s be honest the main pull of these races are the access to the rides afterwards with smaller queues than usual!
Despite the fact that there were less people, and shorter queues, I am pleased to see that Alton Towers Resort recognised the fact that their Ride Access Pass was still necessary and in use.
Another great reason is because it also in support of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
What Else is Included with Run Alton Towers
These, along with free parking, are just some of what is included for the price of your entry. Also included are free official race photos, chip timed results, discounts from sponsored brands; water both during and post-race as well as other goodies – such as amazing Bounce snacks!
Due to the chip timing results are live immediately! Times varied from 32:39 to over 2 hours.
Run Alton Towers Event Village
It was easy to find the Event Village where there were a number of stalls. However, these did not seem the most organised. Pre-orders weren’t able to be fulfilled properly and this was only what I witnessed on the Saturday morning. This may be down to the individual stall though.
What time to Arrive for Run Alton Towers
The 10am start was welcoming as it wasn’t too early – especially as we had travelled there that morning. However, we were advised to get to the carpark between 7-8am. As we stayed at the hotel our parking was at a different place and there was no such need to arrive quite so early!
It said that the monorail was on and we saw it moving but the station said it was closed. From the hotel to the park I believe it is a 2km walk. Either way even with the walk, a toilet stop, and a bag search it didn’t take too long to get into Alton Towers. Our entry tickets, race number and chip timer had arrived in the post.
Run Alton Towers 10K
The Run Alton Towers 10K had good support around the course. With characters such as the Teletubbies, plenty of marshals cheering people on, encouraging signs, and even children giving out sweets. Plus there were several pacers!
It was nice to start and finish in the park, passing all the rides. This was particularly good as the lady I ran with hadn’t been for a good many years and so I could explain where we were in the park, and what the rides were. Also we got a bit of a sneak-peak at the Lightopia Christmas Wonder attractions.
There was a great, and lively warm up session with plenty of portaloos before the race. Actually there was so many that I think I went twice and not once did I have to queue!
After the warm-up we went to line up at the start line by time when we expected to finish. This obviously makes sense so that the faster runners do not end up being caught behind people who are not quite so fast.
However, those of us expecting to take over an hour were not lined up by the time the race started. There just wasn’t the room. I understand the reasoning but it just felt a little un-inclusive that they counted the runners down to the start whilst we were at the front of the warm up stage still.
The Alton Towers 10K Race
Spectators had to be at a certain part of the park by a certain time if they wanted to see the runners go by the start. As us runners headed to the start it was nice to cheer on the faster runners going passed us. Because the start line said “Finish” on it I was completely oblivious to the fact that we had started. I was too busy soaking up the atmosphere!
Alton Towers 10K Course
The course is described as undulating and I have seen somewhere it being described as flat – I am not sure which hill that person lives on!
For me I would say that it wasn’t too bad as we were jeffing 30:30 (read more about jeffing and how to set up alerts on your watch). Also because I had not ran that distance in a long time we were taking it easy. Super glad we did because, oh-my, did my legs feel those inclines afterwards! There was also at least one hill where we agreed just to walk it!
Apart from the hills the only other grumble about the Run Alton Towers course was the sheer amount of carpark. To be honest I was expecting more of the gardens, but it was pointed out that this probably isn’t safe with all the steps (and water!).
Downside of Alton Towers 10Km
The biggest complaint I have about the Alton Towers 10K race is that when we were in the final throes of the course we were told to move to one side as the kids race was also on at the same time. This meant that things were very congested. It was especially hard when jeffing.
It was nice to be able to encourage, and even support some of the children. But it didn’t feel very inclusive when you’ve just run over 9km of a hilly course and then you have young children sprinting passed you! Also I felt that the finish line photos were more concerned with the children also.
Times are ranked by the gun time and not the chip time at all – you can just see your chip time results. Guess that’s the same as most races but it just made me realise that if you care about your rank you really need to get your estimated time right.
Of course the rides also broke down – but you are going to have to expect this, especially during the colder months I expect!
At the end we received a welcome bottle of water, a decent sized themed medal and some snacks. This included Bounce which tasted amazing!
Alton Towers Resort Hotel
We also got a good rate on the Alton Towers Resort Hotel. Staying at Splash Landings included free entry into the water park, a game of golf and breakfast.
We were in one room with a double bed and bunks. Breakfast was an all you can eat buffet – this needed booking in beforehand. There are a variety of restaurants for the evening but we opted for room service. However, for two pizzas it said it would take about 30 minutes and it took 120!
Also note that when you check in £5 is taken from a card – but it doesn’t actually get taken, it’s just a security deposit.
Costs for Run Alton Towers 2023
- Spectator tickets: £18 child £22 adult
- Kids Race £23 (this year was 1.5km and open to kids of all ages, adults are more than welcome to join their child).
- Early bird 5k £36 without t-shirt £46 with
- Early bird 10k £38 without t-shirt £48 with
- £40 early bird half – no t-shirt £50 with (this has a strict 3 hour cut off time)
- £180 for 6 entries
Use ALTONRESULTS10 for 10% off
Age Restrictions to the Races
5k – 11yrs
10k – 15yrs
Half Marathon – 17yrs
Disclosure I have previously worked with Merlin Attractions.