Feel the burn and keep going - we’ve lined up some of the best hilly races to test your legs.
If your legs are ready for a tough off-road run, then this race is a must. Battle against 285m of muddy ascent and descent in this cross-country caper set in the epic North Downs. Pass by the Edwardian grandeur of stately home Polesdon Lacey and on a clear day you can even spot Canary Wharf gleaming in the distance. However, the hills are the real stars of this scenic show. Once you have slogged your way round this rewarding race share the sense of achievement with your fellow runners and a sugar high after tucking into the homemade cakes on offer. Enter online now.
One of Wiltshire's most famous tourist attractions is also home to one of its most satisfying races. Starting in front of the majestic Elizabethan house, runners face an undulating chase along country roads with a steep hill at the start and at the 7K marker. Crowd support comes into its own due to the figure of eight route, so try to soak up supportive cheers before a hillier second half. Pick up speed in the final 800m as you race downhill back to the grand house for a spectacular finish. Then with chip-timed results available in real time, you'll be able to bask in race glory before the aches kick in. Enter online now.
Start this humdinger of a race in style at the tree-lined driveway of historic Hestercombe Gardens. Such tranquillity won't last long - the rest of this race poses a challenge for even the most enthusiastic hill runner. Take on over 1,500ft of ascent and two formidable slopes en route as legs meet their match on the Quantock Hills. If you don't fancy a bumpy 9.5mile challenge, there's also the option of the more undulating Hurtle 5K race. At the finish, revel in your achievement and the loot on offer - a free photo, a well-deserved massage, goody bag, T-shirt and free entry to the popular gardens. Enter online now.
Die-hard runners are back year after year to compete in this lung-busting off-road challenge. Not one, not two, but four hills are waiting to sap legs of energy in this splendid countryside chase near Pewsey village. If conquering those soul-destroying slopes wasn't enough, there are yet more obstacles to contend with. Throw in stream crossings and lashings of mud and your legs will be skidding even on flat ground. If you can handle pain and like digging deep this is the race for you - plus there are famously good homemade cakes as a tasty reward. Enter online now.
Hills come thick and fast in this Midlothian mission. As you bump up and down on this rural lap soak up the stunning views of the snow-covered Pentland hills and try to enjoy the few downhill respites. As you legs cope with near constant climbing on the route you'll pass through a handful of small Scottish villages including Auchendinny, Firth Mains and Rosslynlea. This bargain race could be the perfect endurance test before your spring marathon but it's also a feat worth tackling for its own sake. With a buffet feast awaiting runners at the finish and a bargain price tag, the only complaints will be from tired legs. Enter online now.
Runners return year after year to tackle this hilly half-marathon and it's easy to see why. Miles of idyllic countryside lanes in South Gloucestershire, friendly marshals armed with jelly babies and a wide range of prizes are a considerable lure. And last but certainly not least, there are hills. Face a hill after the second mile marker before an epic assault on your legs as you tackle the Kilcott hill between miles seven and nine. What goes up must come down and the final four miles are almost all downhill, apart from a sneaky incline just before the finish. Enjoy the unusual goody bag prizes, T-shirt and medal at the finish. Enter online now.
Knowl Hill Fell Race in June is a good one:
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