Ultimate Race Guide 2016 - January June 2016

Page 1

■ 5K ■ 10K ■ HALF MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN


100 BEST RACES

■ 5K ■ 10K ■ HALF MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

THE SUFFERING 5K MUD RUN 12 MARCH 2016

This 5K obstacle run through the idyllic grounds of Rockingham Castle is described as an ‘entry-level race’, but don’t be fooled. It’s tough. And great fun too! So if you love a bit of mucky tomfoolery this is the one for you. Expect mud, water and a lot of laughs as you work your way round the course and its 15 obstacles. thesufferingrace.co.uk

THE LEICESTER CITY 5K WINTER SERIES 3 FEBRUARY 2016

This race takes place in Victoria Park, Leicester and features multiple laps of the park. The course is undulating with frequent water stops and distance markers at every kilometre. It’s a traffic-free course with supervised bag storage. All finishers receive a medal, prizes and finish line goodies. nice-work.org.uk

THE GRAVESEND FLOODLIT 5K 4 FEBRUARY 2016

An evening run, this event starts at 7pm in the Cyclopark in Gravesend and is ideal for those wanting to push a bit harder and work on their speed during the winter months. The two-lap, floodlit race (which is part of a series of six) is on the tarmac cycling track located within the new Cyclopark facility near Gravesend. The self-contained course also incorporates plenty of car parking, great spectator viewing and refreshment facilities. The races are on a trafficfree undulating course and suitable for all abilities. nice-work.org.uk

RUN ETON DORNEY 6 FEBRUARY 2016

The Run Eton 5K race is the perfect winter training run. Ideal for notching up a quick time, the route circles the 5K lake and offers smooth, flat and fast paths and roads. With Windsor castle visible in the background, and memories of Team GB’s achievements still lingering in the

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

air, there’s no reason not be inspired for this one. Whether you’re looking to beat your personal best or not, don’t miss out! votwo.co.uk

RUN FOR CHOCOLATE 5K 5 MARCH 2016

Chocolate lovers, this race is calling you! The emphasis is on fun for this event. You won’t be timed so forget about that PB and concentrate on having a good time. Bring your friends and family along to cheer you on – they’ll love the party atmosphere, live music and unlimited luxury hot chocolate. Sounds like heaven! runforchocolate.co.uk/reading/

MILTON KEYNES FESTIVAL OF RUNNING 5K 6 MARCH 2016

This event starts at 10am at the Xscape Centre, Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes and is a onelap course through town and rural settings that is flat with some undulations. It has frequent water stations and distance markers are located at every mile. All finishers receive a medal and this event, as part of a festival, offers competitors that big-race feel. Perfect for a fast PB, as all routes are fast and well marshaled. mkrun.co.uk

INVERNESS 5K FUN RUN 13 MARCH 2016

This entry-level race is great for all types of runners, from experienced racers to children just starting out. The route heads towards

Inverness City Centre before crossing the River Ness, then heading under Ness Castle and alongside the river. Runners then cross through the Ness Islands before heading into Queens Park Stadium. The race is beautifully scenic, and great fun! invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk

THE BRIGHTON CHICKEN RUN 5K 20 MARCH 2016

Do something eggstraordinary on the Easter weekend and take on this fun run round Hove Park. It’s a real family affair, with options for a one-mile chicken run and a 500m chicks dash for the little ones. All entrants will receive a chicken costume, finisher’s medal, finisher’s drink, a Nando’s goody bag and (of course) a chocolate egg! You can also claim one week of complimentary British Military Fitness classes when you sign up. brightonandhovechick.wix.com/ brightonchickenrun

HEROES RUN BRIGHTON 5K 15 MAY 2016 - TBC

The Heroes Run 5K, held in aid of Brightonbased charity Pass It On Africa, is an occasion like no other. Entrants sign up for the event, and then decide to run as either a hero or a villain. On race day, participants then face off ready for battle (or running, in this case). The course flows along the seafront and turns back at Hove Lagoon, before then finishing at the start point. So, mask or cape – you decide! heroesrun.org.uk



100 BEST RACES

■ 10K ■ HALF-MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

RUN BRISTOL 10K MAY 2016 - TBC

© DENIS CHAPMAN

Fancy beating your personal best? If so, the Run Bristol 10K might be for you. The race starts and finishes in Bristol’s historic Harbourside, taking runners on a fast point-to-point loop. The route sees participants travel along the Harbourside, Portway, through Avon Gorge and twice under Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. The race is wonderfully scenic and suitable for all types of runners! runbristol.com

ENDURANCELIFE COASTAL TRAIL SERIES DOVER 16 JANUARY 2016

The Coastal Trail Series is truly incredible – just ask our Project Trail team, who recently completed the Gower half-marathon in the 2015 series (see page 96). Whether the race is in Suffolk or Northumberland, 44-miles in length or 10K – it’s bound to be special. This race sees runners take on a wonderful course situated near the iconic White Cliffs tower. The coastal path, which skims the Kent Downs, makes for a fantastic route, and for one of the most challenging but exciting on the series. endurancelife.com

VICTORIA PARK 10K 24 JANUARY 2016

Held in London’s oldest park, dating back to 1845, in vibrant East London, this race is fast, flat and perfect if you’re after a personal best and is suitable for runners of all abilities. But why not take it slow and enjoy the beautiful and historic setting which is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. theraceorganiser.com/victoria-park-10k.html

MAD DOG 10K 7 FEB 2016

Some like to dress up, some like to take it seriously. Either way, this 10K is one of the best around. Taking place along the Southport shore line, this race is fast and flat and is perfect for anyone looking to run a quick time. It’s also a

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

great event for fun runners, and those who dress up really do add to the fantastic race-day atmosphere. The course can get quite narrow at times, and the wind can prove tricky, so prepare well! maddog10k.co.uk

QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK 10K RUN 13 FEBRUARY 2016

This new park is situated at the heart of east London and you might know it better by its original name: Olympic Park. It was renamed to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The race is a 10K jog through the park to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, while taking in the impressive, world-famous London 2012 Olympic village – the perfect way to make yourself feel like a world-beating athlete. There’s also has a 5K option if you prefer. bhf.org.uk

WHERE’S WALLY? FUN RUN 20 MARCH 2016

This race is back; bigger and better than ever taking place in Clapham Common for the first time. Fancy dress is a must for this fun run, though you won’t be hard to spot wearing Wally’s outfit in south London. It’s a real family affair with a 10K, 5K and 1K options available. All adults are asked to fundraise £100 to help the National Literacy Trust support those in need. literacytrust.org.uk/support/fundraising_ and_events/fun_run

THE GLENLIVET 10K 10 APRIL 2016

This race takes place in the stunning Glenlivet Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, giving it the title of the “most beautiful run in Scotland” according to some critics. The start and finish of the event are based at the Glenlivet Distillery and every runner will receive a special event memento, a “wee dram” and a goody bag. What’s more, all funds raised will go to the Scottish Charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. The race has raised over £100,000 for the charity over the last seven years. A mustrun for anyone who feels they need a stiff drink after every race… chss.org.uk/supportus/fundraise-for-us/ events/glenlivet-10k

CITY OF LINCOLN 10K 17 APRIL 2016

The City of Lincoln 10K, which is a part of the Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All 10K Series, is as good a race as you’ll come across. The event is run by the Asda Foundation, and is a fantastic occasion for both runners and spectators. Full of character, the location fits the bill in terms of scenery and atmosphere, making the day a lively and entertaining occasion. The course takes in some of this historic city’s most famous landmarks, including the spectacular cathedral and the Roman city walls, and there’ll be performers around the course helping to keep you going. It is also pretty flat, so those at the front could clock a quick time! runforall.com



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100 BEST RACES

■ 10K ■ HALF-MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN BUPA LONDON 10,000 30 MAY 2016

© THOMAS LOVELOCK FOR BUPA LONDON 10,000

Starting and finishing in St James’s Park, this 10K takes in all of London’s main attractions. The race has runners pass the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament among others on their way to the finish line. It also features the British 10K Championships this year, with eligible British athletes being given complimentary entry to the event. London’s capital plays a great host to this popular run! london10000.co.uk

CONTI LIGHTNING RUN 12HR 10K

CHELTENHAM CHALLENGE

1 MAY 2016

19 JUNE 2016

Taking place in Walton upon Trent’s Catton Park, this event requires you to run as many times as you can around the 10 kilometre offroad course. Runners have 12 hours to tally up as many laps as possible, and can run it solo or as part of a team – with participants switching after every lap. This race is the ultimate test of strength and endurance. And, for those in groups, tactics and teamwork is a must! provelosupport.co.uk

This off-road race offers a scenic course using the Cheltenham Circular Footpath, Cotswold Way and Winchcombe Way. It raises money for charities including County Community Projects, MS Society and Macmillan, and starts and ends at Cheltenham Racecourse. There’s also a 5K, half and full marathon. cheltenhamchallenge.org.uk

BUPA GREAT MANCHESTER RUN

Organised by the charity Sussex Beacon, this is one of UK’s most popular races. Starting on Madeira Drive – on the seafront – runners head north past the Brighton Pavilion before turning back towards the coast, and ultimately the start point. The course is fun and enjoyable, and the atmosphere on raced day is just as good! brightonhalfmarathon.com

22 MAY 2016

Televised live on BBC TV, this race isn’t to be missed. Europe’s leading 10K starts and finishes in Manchester City centre, and includes a ‘runthrough’ shower and a few ‘Bands on the Run’ throughout the course. So, there’s no need to worry about a lack of music or refreshment on the day. More than a quarter of a million runners have taken part in this fantastic race, so add to that number and sign up! greatrun.org

MY FAVOURITE RACES “The Bath Half is my local half-marathon so even though I ran one of my slowest 13.1-milers there, I love it. it not only starts on one of the most beautiful streets in the city but also shows you the real community spirit that exists here behind all the Georgian gorgeousness – you’ll find crowd support almost all the way round.” – Liz Hufton

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

BRIGHTON HALF MARATHON 28 FEBRUARY 2016

THE SEMI-MARATHON DE PARIS 6 MARCH 2016

It may be the fashion capital of the world, but it’s time to swap couture for trainers to take on the Paris half-marathon. The race takes you past all the tourist hotspots and it’s relatively flat and fast. semideparis.com/us

MILTON KEYNES HALF MARATHON 6 MARCH 2016

Taking place under the Festival of Running, this

race is a real treat. Starting on the central dualcarriageways of Milton Keynes, runners then get to enjoy a beautifully scenic and winding run towards the finish. The half marathon, given the date of the race, is ideal for those wanting to train towards the London Marathon. But, it’s also aimed towards new and fun runners, so there’s no reason to hold back! mkhalf.co.uk

GLOBAL ENERGY INVERNESS HALF MARATHON 13 MARCH 2016

A huge turnout of 3,400 runners took part in the half marathon this year, and it’s expected to be just as popular next year, too. The race starts along the banks of the River Ness, following the river it then continues under the impressive outline of Inverness Castle before finishing at the city’s Queens Park Stadium. Suitable for all types of runners, the friendly atmosphere and scenic route makes for an enjoyable occasion. invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk

BATH HALF MARATHON 13 MARCH 2016

This ‘big city’ race is a real cracker. Starting and finishing at Great Pulteney Street, runners tackle two loops of a fast and flat course. Including both sides of the river Avon. It goes through the centre of the city on a route that’s been unchanged since 2006. The nature of the course, and its traffic-free conditions, also means this has great personal best potential! bathhalf.co.uk


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Registered charity numbers 225971 and SC039426



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100 BEST RACES

■ HALF-MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

VITALITY NORTH LONDON HALF MARATHON 20 MARCH 2016 Like your team sports, well then this might just be for you.The ultimate stadium to stadium half, last year’s route has been reversed meaning you finish your 13.1 mile journey INSIDE the iconic Wembley Stadium connected by EE - creating what has to be The Greatest Finish Line in the World!Incorporating the mighty Saracens' Allianz Park at the half-way point, follow in the footsteps of legends and cross the finish line inside Wembley Stadium. Kick off your new year with a bang at the Vitality North London Half Marathon and sign up today!

© ANTHONY UPTON

northlondonhalf.com

ADIDAS SILVERSTONE HALF MARATHON 13 MARCH 2016

Silverstone is full of famous memories, but now it’s time to create your own. The motor racing circuit plays a superb host to this fantastic race, which is a suitable choice for both novice and experienced runners. The flat course makes this approachable, but beatable. So whether you’re aiming for a quick time, to run your first halfmarathon or to ready yourself for the London Marathon, this is for you. adidashalfmarathon.co.uk

VITALITY LIVERPOOL HALF MARATHON 13 MARCH 2016

This scenic half-marathon, through the streets and parks of Liverpool, is a real catch. The race starts and finishes around the Pier Head area, with the predominately fast and flat course meaning a personal best time is very achievable. The only incline comes after the one-mile mark, when runners make their way up Upper Parliament Street. The final stretch

MY FAVOURITE RACES “I ran a PB at the Reading Half-Marathon (going back some years unfortunately!) so it has to go down as one of my favourites. I’m no footie fan but running through the tunnel into the Madejski Stadium to finish was absolutely incredible – the acoustics made it sound like there was a capacity crowd cheering me home from the stands!” – Liz Hufton

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

along the prom can also be quite windy, so save yourself for the end! runliverpool.org.uk

THE HASTINGS HALF MARATHON 20 MARCH 2016

Circumnavigate the ancient town of Hastings, starting at the seafront and following the route of William the Conqueror towards Battle, round the back of the town and down to the famous Old Town and fishing village of Hastings. Although tough for the first part of the course, runners have produced some very fast times, as the last two-thirds is flat or downhill, and then the finish is on the promenade. Fantastic crowd support. hastings-half.co.uk

THE BROOKS FLEET HALF MARATHON 20 MARCH 2016

Now in its 34th year, this is one of the longestrunning half-marathons in the UK. Extremely popular around Fleet and its surrounding towns, the race uses a flat course and takes runners across a mix of urban and rural roads. The event is perfect for those planning to run April’s London Marathon, and a few thousand participants are expected to again turn up on the day. This is a well organised and friendly event, so give it a go! fleethalfmarathon.com

CAMBRIDGE HALF MARATHON 28 MARCH 2016

Events don’t get much better than the

Cambridge Half Marathon. Beginning on Victoria Avenue and ending on Midsummer Common, the race passes some of the city’s most iconic locations. Places including the Market Square and the Round Church are featured on the route, which takes runners on two laps around the stunning course. The roads are pretty flat, too, which makes for a great run! onestepbeyond.org.uk

WARWICK HALF MARATHON 3 APRIL 2016

Organised by the British Heart Foundation, this race is both good fun and in aid of a great cause. The half-marathon starts and finishes at Warwick Racecourse, following an undulating route through the town and its beautiful countryside. The course is suitable for all types of runners, and includes a section on trafficfree, tarmac roads. Nice and scenic, it makes for a great day out with friends and family. bhf.org.uk

VITALITY READING HALF MARATHON 3 APRIL 2016

Ideal for both the experienced and novice runner, this event caters for everyone. The fast a flat course begins at Green Park and then heads through the town centre of Reading. Runners then make their way through the stunning grounds of the University campus before finishing inside the Madejski Stadium. The course can be run quickly, but it is also a great choice for new and leisurely runners. readinghalfmarathon.com





100 BEST RACES

■ HALF-MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

VITALITY RUN HACKNEY HALF MARATHON 8 MAY 2016

© ANTHONY UPTON

Want to get a new PB? Then this fast and flat race through Hackney and the iconic Queen Elizabeth Royal Park is for you. Enthusiastic spectators and live entertainment lend a carnival atmosphere to the event, lifting you over the finish line. If you don’t fancy taking on the full 10K, then there is a 5K option available too. runhackney.com

ABP SOUTHAMPTON HALF 24 APRIL 2016

This run is the perfect event for first-timers and old pros alike. Starting at Hoglands Park this is a fairly flat route – but you can expect a unique ascent up the Itchen Bridge, which will be closed especially for the event, so you can expect some spectacular views over the river and the city’s commercial centre and out to see towards the Isle of Wight. abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk

GOZO HALF MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

If you fancy a half-marathon overseas, then try this half-marathon on the Maltese island of Gozo. The island is full of rustic, rural charm which you won’t find on Malta. Last year, 420 runners turned out for the event, which is approaching its 40th anniversary, so it’s ideal if you’re not a fan of big crowds. gozomarathon.org

MY FAVOURITE RACES “I ran my first half at the Salomon Richmond Half Marathon and it was one of the best races I’ve ever taken part in. I never thought I could run 13.1 miles (especially not in under two hours), but the route was so varied and scenic, I was completely distracted from my achy legs and felt as though I was at the finish line in a flash! It is a mixed trail, road and path course, and takes in gorgeous views of the river Thames – I’d definitely recommend it.” – Jenny Bozon

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

SIGLION SUNDERLAND HALF MARATHON 1 MAY 2016

After five years based at the Stadium of Light, the Sunderland Half Marathon (and the Sunderland City 10K) has a new home at Keel Square, a symbol of the city’s renewal and regeneration. Although this takes the race closer to the city centre, most of the city’s most iconic landmarks will remain on the route. Although the organisers can’t promise good weather, spectacular coastal views and a brilliant atmosphere are guaranteed. sunderlandcity10k.com/sunderland-cityhalf-marathon

TINKERBELL HALF MARATHON WEEKEND 5-8 MAY 2016

Head to Anaheim, California, grab your fairy wings, get your pixie dust out and get ready to fly through the magic kingdom as you join Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys for this amazing race. There are events for the kids and races of various distances so everyone can join the fun and earn their wings at the spectacular Disneyland Resort. rundisney.com/tinker-bell-half-marathon/

HENLEY HALF MARATHON TRAIL RUN 8 MAY 2016

If you’re not a local then this is a great opportunity to visit the beautiful Henley On Thames. The trail run starts and finishes at Temple Island Meadows, the official start line

for the Royal Henley Regatta. There’s a 10K option too – but the cut-off time for the marathon is 3hrs 30mins, making it achievable if you’d like to mix running and walking so you can enjoy the scenic route at your own pace. f3events.co.uk

PLUSNET RUN FOR ALL LEEDS HALF MARATHON 8 MAY 2016

This highly-rated race is bursting with life, as well as hundreds of people. As one of the largest annual sporting events in Leeds, Yorkshire’s biggest hospice run raises money for a number of local and national charities. The race starts on The Headrow and finishes in Cookridge Street – to the side of landmark Millennium Square – taking in the city centre and suburbs. So join the fun, and enter this brilliant event! runforall.com

MBNA CHESTER HALF MARATHON 15 MAY 2016

Chester is full of character, and this race is no different. Starting at Chester Racecourse, the route runs north-west out of the city before turning back and finishing outside of the Town Hall and Cathedral. Runners get to travel across some (usually very welcome!) wide roads, and the fast and relatively flat nature of the course allows for a smooth start to finish run. Bursting with energy and life, this race is definitely worth a go! ale.niftyentries.com/ChesterHalfMarathon



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100 BEST RACES

■ HALF-MARATHONS ■ MARATHONS ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

SNOWDONIA HALF MARATHON 22 MAY 2016

Snowdonia National Park is a runners’ paradise. Starting and finishing in the village of Llanrwst, this scenic North Wales race is wonderfully inspiring. Deep forests, rocky mountains and cascading rivers accompany participants on their way to the finish. But beware, as the surroundings make for an incredibly tough and gruelling race. The hill towards the middle is a real test! Are you up for the challenge? runwales.com

EMF EDINBURGH HALF MARATHON 29 MAY 2016

Following the fast Edinburgh Marathon route, this half-marathon is just as quick. The course is incredibly flat so makes for great first-time racing, and it’s also ideal for those seeking a personal best time. The 13.1 mile race results are recorded via a chip timing system and put up onto the website within 48 hours. edinburgh-marathon.com

MY FAVOURITE RACES “The South Downs Half is a brilliant race, the beautiful South Downs hills to challenge you, lots of friendly folk to cheer you on and a great opportunity for a picnic at the end.” – Tina Chantrey

SOUTH DOWNS HALF MARATHON 18 JUNE 2016

This trail race sets the tone early on, so don’t expect an easy ride. The start of the halfmarathon sees runners tackle a one-mile climb up the South Downs Way to the radio mast at the top of Butser Hill. Then at three miles, runners are given a timely break with a descent, before joining the full marathon group down Staunton Way. Hilly and testing, this is a real offroad challenge. 209events.com

ROYAL WINDSOR HALF MARATHON RIVER TRAIL RUN

SALOMON TRAIL HALF MARATHON WALES

Experience the historic Thames Valley with this fantastic race which starts and finishes at the foot of Windsor Castle. Follow trail paths along the banks of the River Thames passing key landmarks which make Royal Berkshire so special. There’s a 10K option too – but the cut-off time for the marathon is 3hr 30mins making it achievable if you’d like to mix running and walking so you can admire the sights at your leisure. f3events.co.uk

TORBAY HALF MARATHON 26 JUNE 2016

This half-marathon in Torbay is a great choice for all you seaside lovers. The Devon location plays the perfect host to this coastal classic, which now enters its 24th year. Starting and finishing on Paignton seafront, runners are taken on a two-lap route where they’ll head towards Torquay – passing Torre Abbey and the Princess Gardens before returning to

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

Paignton. This event has a real buzz, so sign up! torbayhalfmarathon.co.uk

JCP SWANSEA HALF MARATHON 26 JUNE 2016

You’ll be able to take in the sights of Swansea if you take on this race which starts and ends in

the heart of the city; from the historic Swansea Castle, to stunning views over Swansea Bay and the famous St Helen’s rugby ground. As you head towards the Meridian Tower, the fast and flat promenade onto Swansea Marina will give you perfect conditions if you’re aiming for a PB. Expect this to be a lively event. swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk

© EDDIE MACDONALD

22 MAY 2016.

18 JUNE 2016

Wales’ Coed y Brenin forest, in Snowdonia National Park, is a place of amazing beauty. So as you might well imagine, running within its surroundings is pretty amazing. The halfmarathon race lets you do just that, as runners are taken on fully marked trail single track as well as forest roads and paths. The event also holds a marathon race, so there’s something for everyone. This is a must for all keen off-roaders! trailmarathonwales.com


32

nd Hastings

Half Marathon plus

Mini Run for 11-16 ages

Sunday 20th March, 2016 - Start 10.30am Organised by

The Lions Club of Hastings Registered Charity No. 293745

Enter now by going to our website:

www.hastings-half.co.uk

“To celebrate the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, runners are encouraged to dress in 1066 costume�


100 BEST RACES

■ MARATHON ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

BRIGHTON MARATHON 17 APRIL 2016

STEYNING STINGER MARATHON 6 MARCH 2016

This isn’t called the ‘Stinger’ for nothing. Taking place on the South Downs, between Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea, the race simply heads up towards the top of the Downs. Best described as a cross-country hill run, unsurprisingly the hills pose the biggest threat to runners. The course covers countryside, roads and four hills (also known as ‘stings’). So hold on tight, as this is one bumpy ride! steyningac.co.uk

NORTHAMPTON RUNNING FESTIVAL MARATHON 3 APRIL 2016

This country park race is set in the picturesque grounds of Delapre Abbey, a location perfect for a marathon run. The Delapre Lake, alongside the historic 14th century building, adds to the charm of the race – which sells itself on the beauty of the surroundings. Runners follow a 3.5K loop that is made up of

MY FAVOURITE RACES “I love The Brighton Marathon! I ran it in 2011 and had the best race experience ever. Despite my sports watch not working throughout the entire race, the loud cheering, the crowd support and the atmosphere kept me going, even though it was very hot. My funniest memory is of a man in his front garden hosing all the runners down! Sounds a bit dramatic, but we all needed it!” – Christina Macdonald

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

open grassland, trails and a section of lakeside running. Suitable for the novice and experienced racer, try it out! gobeyondsport.co.uk

PLUSNET YORKSHIRE MARATHON 10 APRIL 2016

History buffs will enjoy this scenic race which starts and finishes at the University of York. You’ll wind your way through the quaint city centre before you head out into the countryside and back again, turning at Stamford Bridge. It’s Yorkshire’s biggest marathon, and a popular event, so register fast to secure your place. theyorkshiremarathon.com

ASICS GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON 10 APRIL 2016

As the UK’s flattest and fastest marathon, this is a must for anyone who is chasing a PB. Cheering from an outstanding crowd of supporters as you cross the finish line at Manchester United Football Club will leave you feeling like a legend. You can expect great entertainment too and a real buzzing atmosphere. No wonder it’s been voted the UK’s Best Marathon for two consecutive years in the Running Awards. greatermanchestermarathon.com

GREAT WELSH MARATHON 17 APRIL 2016

Over 60 per cent of those who have taken part

© EDDIE MACDONALD

This is one of the UK’s most popular events. Renowned for its lively and exciting atmosphere, the event seems to grow bigger and better year on year. Weaving through the streets of Brighton, the race then continues alongside the bright blue of the ocean before finally ending on the city’s magnificent seafront. This picture perfect marathon boasts a support and feel like few others, so join in the fun! brightonmarathon.com in this event have come away with a personal best. That’s a pretty impressive statistic, isn’t it? Well it comes as no surprise given the race’s incredibly flat and fast course. The traffic-free route is both undulating and quick, taking runners in and around Llanelli’s Millennium Coastal Park. This scenic run is a real treat, so don’t miss out! greatwelshmarathon.org

ROTARY SHAKESPEARE MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

Starting and finishing in Stratford-upon-Avon, this race takes runners on a two-lap course through the town and its surrounding countryside. The route is pretty flat and mainly covers road or gritty terrain. The event donates over 60 per cent of your entry fee money to charity, and prides itself on being run by volunteers and only having a few sponsors. So, help out a little and enjoy a fun and friendly race in the process! shakespearemarathon.org.uk

BLACKPOOL MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

This fun event is a great day out for friends and family. The marathon is joined by 10K and halfmarathon distance races, so there’s something for runners of all abilities and experience. The longest race follows a two-lap course over fast and flat tarmac terrain, making for a quick run. So, those personal best chasers out there have a real chance of notching up a speedy time! fyldecoastrunning.org


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100 BEST RACES

■ MARATHON ■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

© EDDIE MACDONALD

The London Marathon is one of the world’s showcase running events, drawing in worldclass athletes, regular racers and funrunners. First held in 1981, the race has since exploded in size but tends to still follow a similar route. The course is relatively flat and fast and runners are taken from Blackheath through to Buckingham Palace. This highly rated race is extremely popular, so if you’re accepted to run – make the most of it! virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

MILTON KEYNES MARATHON

HALSTEAD AND ESSEX MARATHON

2 MAY 2016

8 MAY 2016

The Milton Keynes Marathon has a total elevation of just 315 feet, so ready that stopwatch. The race takes place on a trafficfree course, so the potential is there for a quick time. The route sees participants take in one single loop, on scenic lake and canal side ground. Starting and finishing inside the MK Dons stadium, this is a must race! mkmarathon.co.uk

DEEP RIVER ROCK BELFAST CITY MARATHON 2 MAY 2016

Most of the course is reasonably flat, but expect a few hills through miles nine to 14. ASICS is the official partner for the event and will be offering training advice to all runners via MY ASICS; a free online service to help you achieve your running goals. Expect amazing support from the crowd too and there’s a fun run option too so the whole family can join in the Bank Holiday fun. belfastcitymarathon.com

MY FAVOURITE RACES “For a first marathon the Shakespeare Marathon was a great experience, with stunning scenery, a friendly race you can run where you aren’t crushed by the crowds and the opportunity to spend the weekend visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace.” – Tina Chantrey

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

This run, although mainly taking place on roads, makes use of the area’s rolling hills, forests and quiet back roads. It attracts runners from far and wide, with some in the past making the journey all the way from Dubai just to compete. Smooth running and well organised, this pretty race is great fun. halsteadroadrunners.org.uk

BRATHAY WINDERMERE MARATHON 22 MAY 2016

This marathon takes place in the heart of the Lake District. Starting and finishing at Brathay Hall in Clappersgate, runners are taken through Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-onWindermere and Ambleside. Tough at times but friendly enough for most runners, this scenic event is certainly one for the calendar! brathaywindermeremarathon.org.uk

RICHMOND PARK MARATHON 22 MAY 2016

If you’re looking for a race with fantastic scenery, this is for you. The marathon takes place in Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Parks and the capital’s biggest enclosed space – so it’s the perfect place for a longdistance race. The course is made up of three laps of the park, with the first being longer in length than the last two. The route is not the easiest, but the setting makes for a great occasion! richmondparkmarathon.co.uk

EDINBURGH MARATHON 29 MAY 2016

Now officially the fastest marathon in the UK, you won’t want to miss this one. Now in its 13th year, it’s the largest of its kind in Scotland. The course is fast and flat and has an elevation drop of almost 40 metres, perfect for achieving a personal best. Over 70 per cent of participants enter from outside of Scotland, making this event a real global occasion. Don’t miss out! edinburgh-marathon.com

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL LIVERPOOL MARATHON 29 MAY 2016

Love music? This marathon is the one for you. The start line is on the Liverpool Waterfront at the Albert Dock, a few minutes walk from the Liverpool One Shopping complex and Liverpool Echo Arena. There are live bands playing around the course to spur you on, a fantastic atmosphere and lots of runners running in costumes. At the end, you’ll get a very blingy medal and more food than you can carry. Brilliant fun. uk.competitor.com

BOLTON HILL MARATHON JUNE 2016 - TBC

This is one of the toughest marathons around. The course boasts a total ascent of 2,997 feet – reaching 1,050 feet on the first climb alone. Some of the features include going over Winter Hill, past Rivington Pike and down the 63 Miners Steps. This one is brilliantly brutal! hillrunner.org.uk


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100 BEST RACES © THOMPSON / KINETIC SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

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SOUTH DOWNS RELAY MARATHON 18 JUNE 2016

As trail races go, this is one of the best. The route takes in some of the South Downs’ most stunning scenery, and offers runners a real taste of the beautiful location. The race itself great fun, too. Starting at Slindon College, the relay race – consisting of teams of four – is split into quarters, with each member running a separate leg. 209events.com

GIANT’S HEAD MARATHON, DORSET (PICTURED) 25 JUNE 2016

Named after the famous Cerne Abbas Giant which is on the course, this race is not for the faint hearted. Not only is it run off road, up and down hills and over a not-strictly-marathon length 26.5 miles, but you’ll have to cope with the sight of a huge chalk ‘member’ on your way round. Stop giggling at the back! whitestarrunning.co.uk

MIDNIGHT MARATHON (TALYBONT-ON-USK) 25 JUNE 2016

The Midnight Marathon, held in Wales’ stunning Brecon Beacons, is one gruelling challenge. Runners are given between 5:30pm and midnight to finish the race, which travels through forests, over streams and up mountains. The course follows part of a route used by the British Special Forces, so don’t expect an easy ride. Prepare for one big adventure! brutalevents.co.uk

VODAFONE MALTA MARATHON 28 FEBRUARY 2016

This holiday hotspot is home to many medieval structures. Runners will feel like they’re taking a cultural tour as the island has been described as ‘one big open-air museum’. Don’t be worried about over-heating, in February the thermostat averages around a cool 13°C – just right for a long distance run. Whether you opt the full or the half-marathon you can expect both routes to be predominantly downhill. maltamarathon.com

ZURICH MARATO BARCELONA MARATHON 13 MARCH 2016

This urban circuit is one of the most attractive in Europe, passing by the main city landmarks. This event has a real festival feel. As well as the marathon, you can also take part in a free 4K breakfast where you can enjoy breakfast after the race. zurichmaratobarcelona.es/eng

JERUSALEM WINNER MARATHON 18 MARCH 2016

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This event mixes physical challenge with exquisite landscapes, fresh mountain air and unique culture and heritage sites showcasing 3,000 years of history. There are also options for a half marathon, 10K, 5K and a 800m community race, so everyone can get involved. jerusalem-marathon.com/indexEn.aspx

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

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100 BEST RACES

■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

MARATHON DES SABLES 8-18 APRIL 2016.

Named by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on race on earth, this event is one for the bold. Runners are expected to be self-sufficient as they make their way though the Sahara Desert, the world’s most inhospitable climate, in five to six days. Mental strength will be just as important as physical fitness to make it through this challenge. However those who are brave enough will have a once in a lifetime experience and form lifelong friendships. marathondessables.co.uk

PARIS MARATHON 3 APRIL 2016

The Paris Marathon is one of the biggest races on the international circuit. Starting at Champs-Elysées, the course heads down the Rue de Rivoli before weaving through the outskirts of east Paris. The flat course makes for a smooth and enjoyable race. schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/us

VIENNA CITY MARATHON 10 APRIL 2016

Take a tour of Vienna’s modern and historic sights: run by the beautiful River Danube, past the famous opera house and Schönbrunn Castle. We doubt Ultravox will be belting out as you cross the finish line, but there will be plenty of crowd support to keep you going. vienna-marathon.com/?lang=en

NN ROTTERDAM MARATHON 10 APRIL 2016

This marathon weekend combines top sporting action with a festival feel. The programme of

MY FAVOURITE RACES

“I’ve run the Jerusalem Marathon twice, despite finding its numerous hills extremely challenging. It has breathtaking views of the Dome of the Rock, a section through Old Jerusalem where you’re quite literally running in the footsteps of Jesus, and a festive vibe at the fete-like finish.” ­– Lisa Jackson

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

events includes fun runs for the kids, a pasta party and a quarter marathon. Money raised goes towards Jeugdsportfonds, which creates sporting opportunities for children from lowincome families. nnmarathonrotterdam.org

sites. So, race your way to the city’s Retiro Park in style, and top up that tan in the process! es.competitor.com/madrid

BOSTON MARATHON

The Toronto Marathon is not only wonderfully scenic, but it offers fantastic PB potential. In 2013, over half of the event’s participants clocked a personal best time. Starting at Mel Lastman Square in North York and ending at Ontario Place, the speedy race takes runners along a fast and downhill course. torontomarathon.com

18 APRIL 2016

Who wouldn’t love to run the world’s oldest marathon? From its humble beginning in 1897, the Boston marathon has become an iconic race. Starting from the rural New England town of Hopkinton it finishes at the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square at the heart of the city. As you would expect from such an established event, the facilities second to none. baa.org

ZURICH MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

Noted for being well-organised, this race loops through the city centre so you an expect an amazing crowd of spectators to cheer you on. It’s not exactly flat – but there are no sizeable hills of note either so this is a great choice if you’re after a more intermediate challenge. zurichmarathon.ch

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MADRID MARATHON 24 APRIL 2016

This marathon, although quite hilly and challenging, is extremely popular. The route is changed and adapted each year, but the course usually takes in most of Madrid’s most famous

GOOD LIFE FITNESS TORONTO MARATHON 1 MAY 2016

HARMONY GENEVA MARATHON 8 MAY 2016

Switzerland is a stunning country, and this city marathon is truly delightful. The course includes the picturesque city centre, some beautiful locations and scenic countryside areas. Considering the nature of the country, the route is relatively flat too. harmonygenevemarathon.com/en

VOLKSWAGEN PRAGUE MARATHON 8 MAY 2016

This race plays host to around 10,000 runners including elite athletes and goes through the streets of Prague, where the architecture and scenery will keep you occupied while you run. You’ll get free entry to selected museums and historic sites, so you can make a weekend of it. runczech.com


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100 BEST RACES

■ MARATHON (OVERSEAS) ■ OBSTACLE/ULTRA/FUN

HELL DOWN SOUTH 16 JANUARY 2016

Longmoor Camp is the official home of the original HellRunner event. This race is tough and it’s grim, and now it’s wilder and wetter, hillier and hellier than ever. So lace up, wrap up and prepare to do battle with whatever this race throws at you. hellrunner.co.uk/helldown-south

GREAT WALL MARATHON 21 MAY 2016

Races don’t get much more spectacular, or physically demanding, than the Great Wall Marathon. China’s iconic landmark is globally recognised, and tourists travel from far and wide to walk it. So, what is it like to race on? Tough – really tough. The stunning route sees runners travel through the lower valley and into the villages, on a monstrous journey. Buoyed by fantastic support, there’s no reason to shy away from this one! great-wall-marathon.com

COPENHAGEN MARATHON 22 MAY 2016

Runners will get to enjoy the sights of central Copenhagen as they make their way round this route which starts and finishes at the harbour front on Islands Brygge. The course is mainly flat so it’s a good overseas option for firsttimers. Little ones can take part in the mini marathon so there’s family fun to be had all round – the perfect break! copenhagenmarathon.dk/en

SCOTIABANK OTTAWA MARATHON 29 MAY 2016

Canada’s largest and fastest marathon is now in its 42nd year. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital as you take on this fast course which is perfect for first-timers and those seeking a personal best. The event is the finale of the Ottawa Race Weekend which includes a health and fitness expo, various races for

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

runners of all abilities and ages and a pasta dinner at the Marriott hotel so you can carb up before race day. Check out the weekend schedule for full details. runottawa.ca

TRANSYLVANIAN BEAR RACE 4 JUNE 2016

If you’re looking for something different, you’ve found it. This course will take you through unspoiled wilderness, and the unique cultural heritage and landscape of Transylvania – home of Dracula! If bloody tales of vampires haven’t already scared you then – warning – this race is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a tough route and the local wildlife includes wolves and bears that will make any fictional blood-sucker look cute and cuddly. However, if you are brave enough to take this on, you will be rewarded with a spectacular race. transylvanianbearrace.com

BRUTAL 10 13 FEBRUARY 2016

Even though this 10K event uses only natural obstacles to challenge your resolve, it really is brutal. Expect a lot of hills, water, mud and uneven ground so make sure you’re wearing sturdy trail shoes to see you through. Great fun on your own or as part of a team. brutalrun.co.uk

SPRING WOLF 9-10 APRIL 2016

Whether you take it on as a lone wolf or as part

of a pack, this 10K off-road run will test you to your limits. The course is littered with manmade and natural obstacles. This is really wild running which will take you through woods, lakes and fields. thewolfrun.com/entry

THE MIGHTY DEERSTALKER 12 MARCH 2016

So the organisers admit this isn’t a fun run, but we can’t help but feel runners are in for a good time with this pitch-dark race deep in the Scottish borders. Sign up for the full marathon, but if that gets too much you can drop out at the halfway mark then make your way over to the after party to enjoy grub, beers and bands. Don’t forget your headtorch! ratrace.com/mightydeerstalker2016

LIDL KINGSTON BREAKFAST RUN 3 APRIL 2016

If you’re training for a marathon this spring, or just fancy a step up from 10K or half-marathon, this is the perfect testing ground to see how far your endurance has come. And it’s better than slogging out another long run alone! The course runs through the historic and pretty market town of Kingston-Upon-Thames and you can choose from various distances from eight to 20 miles, making this event a great practice run if you’re marathon training. Once you cross the finish line you’ll be rewarded with a goody bag from Lidl for your effort. humanrace.co.uk/event/lidl-kingstonbreakfast-run/



100 BEST RACES

BEAR GRYLLS ARCTIC SURVIVAL EDINBURGH 21 MAY 2016

With survival expert Bear Grylls putting his name to it, you can guess that this race will be no walk in the park. As the name suggests, you’ll face extreme temperatures and will have to overcome many obstacles to get to the finish line. It’s all about fitness, agility and a bit of common sense wouldn’t go amiss. mudstacle.com/event/bear-grylls-arctic-survival-edinburgh/2016-05-21

DIRTY DOZEN LONDON

KESWICK MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL

16 APRIL 2016

19-22 MAY 2016

It may well be a super-friendly race – but that doesn’t mean it’ll go easy on you. Expect more than 20 obstacles to stand between you and the finish line on this 12K course. Afterwards you can warm up at the event village where you’ll find plenty of food, drinks and entertainment. dirtydozenraces.com/race/13

GRIM CHALLENGE BEAST IN THE EAST 9 MAY 2015

This super tough 10K will test your mettle. Make your way though the mud, sand and hills of the country’s best motocross circuit. But be warned, going downhill is just as tough as the uphill, so there’s no rest for the wicked at this event. grimchallenge.co.uk/beast-event-info

JUDGMENT DAY 21 MAY 2016

Designed to push runners to the limit, this will be the first Judgment Day trail run at Pippingford Park in East Sussex, where there’s 1,000 acres of hills and trails to play on. Choose from a 10K or half-marathon distance race – but expect both events to be tough. The course is a closely guarded secret, though stunning scenery and challenging terrain can be taken as definites. Obstacle runners looking to take on a longer course will enjoy the challenge. judgement-day.co.uk/events/pippingfordpark-trail

Ultimate Race Guide 2016

Catering for runners of all abilities, the Keswick Mountain Festival is made up of numerous trail running events from 5K to ultra trail marathon. Each race offers a real mixture of terrain and runners can expect wide open trails, tough descents and open valleys all set against beautiful scenery. Afterwards you can camp out at the Festival Village where you’ll be able to listen to live music, sample great food and drink and try your hand at various activities (which hopefully won’t involve more running). keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/sportingevents/run/

WILLOW WARRIOR 12 JUNE 2016

Unleash your inner warrior with this muddy obstacle course. You’ll need agility and speed to successfully dodge paint guns, crawl under cargo nets and take on the giant slippery slope to name but a few of the natural and manmade obstacles. Go it alone or compete as part of a team – you’ll have fun either way! willowfoundation.org.uk/willowwarrior

URBAN ATTACK SUB ZERO 18 JUNE 2016

The Milton Keynes indoor snow arena is being transformed into a spectacular mountain scape especially for this event. It’s a race against time as you weave your way in and out of pine trees, and a few other obstacles. You’ve got six minutes to beat the clock. Afterwards head

over to the warm Bavarian themed spectator zone for some Schnapps and a good time – the perfect way to recover! urbanattack.co.uk/sub-zero-milton-keynes. aspx

RACE TO THE KING 25-26 JUNE 2016

Sounding like a chapter from Lord of the Rings, this is a suitably epic journey. It doesn’t matter if you walk, run or jog. What does matter is that you enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the South Downs on this 52-mile ultra-marathon challenge. Starting near Arundel, the undulating route takes you through the South Downs National Park for a climatic finish on the steps of Winchester Cathedral, the burial place of the first Kings of England. racetotheking.com

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGIONS MAJOR MIDLANDS 12 MARCH 2016

There’s not much we can tell you about this race at a brand new venue for the Midlands. That’s because it’s top secret. However we’re guessing runners should prepare themselves for obstacles, mud, wild terrain and some pretty cold water. So you had better be fighting fit to take on this special challenge, but don’t worry – a 40-strong troop of elite troops will line the course ready to offer you encouragement and a helping hand should you need it. britmilfit.com/major-series/events/midlands

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