Gosforth 10K (September 1, Cumbria)
Back in a Flash 5K (September 2, Wiltshire)
Westonbirt 10K Tree Trot (September 5, Gloucestershire)
Take the chance to run round the Forestry Commission’s stunning showpiece Westonbirt Arboretum at its most beautiful. The autumn showing of this stunning collection of trees is a riot of reds and golds, and is especially lovely in the fading twilight, which is perfect, as the race starts at 6pm.
The single-lap course is gently undulating, following the Arboretum's well-kept and traffic-free gravel trails – and if you’re not up to a PB, not to worry – the surroundings are more than enough to tempt runners to take the race at a slower pace.
When you’re done, you’ll be rewarded with a certificate, T-shirt and goody bag, but you might just find that isn’t consolation enough for having to finish this beautiful race.
More 10K highlights...
Alderney 10K (September 5)
Pumpkin 10K (September 19)
Faversham 10K (September 20)
Eridge Park 10 (September 13, Kent)
This long-running race boasts a small and friendly field and a cracking off-road course, with some changes for 2009. The race organisers promise an even better course - get ready for woodland trails, plenty of mud, steep and narrow tracks plus a tour of the Eridge Estate Deer Park, an ancient Saxon fort, Victorian follies, springs and a loop of the local fishing mecca, Furnace Pond.
With a completely traffic-free route, this is a brilliant chance to escape the rat race and enjoy some uplifting and beautiful views. Pack your trail shoes and get stuck in for a muddy, invigorating morning spent tramping around this tough and hilly course. Once you’re done, you can even retire to the beer tent for a hard-earned pint.
More 10-mile highlights...
Cotswold Classic 10 (September 13)
Dorset Demon 10 (September 20)
The Harvest Trail 10 (September 27)
Anglesey Marathon (September 20, Gwynedd)
For a small and special marathon experience, head to the Isle of Anglesey. The race enjoys a glorious setting in peaceful North Wales, one of the UK’s best-kept secrets thanks to its stunning coastal setting. This road marathon showcases Anglesey’s charms – and its hills – in spectacular fashion, with a beautiful route and warm welcome from the local crowds who turn out to line the mostly rural route.
Once you’ve completed the tough course and defeated its killer finish, you’ll be treated to a goody bag and a medal, proving that as well as making the most of its lovely setting, the Anglesey Marathon is great value for money.
More long-distance highlights...
Dunstable Downs 20 (September 13)
Diss 15 (September 27)
Wycoller Hoof 18 (September 27)
Victory 5 (September 20, Hampshire)
The fleet of foot should head to Portsmouth for this swift and slickly run five-mile road race. With a suitably grand start and finish in the local athletics stadium, this popular race sees a large field take on a famously flat and fast course.
The race has been staged since just after World War II, and its longevity as one of relatively few five-mile races has good reason. If you’re keen to take on the tough course records, there’s a £300 reward – and a tempting £2,000 total prize list.
But however you perform on the day, you’ll find a well-oiled racing machine complete with showers, refreshments, race photos and massage on offer at the finish.
More 10K highlights...
Sidmouth Festival 10K (Devon, August 9)
Reepham Summer Sunday 10K (Norfolk, August 16)
Caernarfon 10K (Gwynedd, August 30)
Ocean Spray Grimsthorpe Castle 10K (Lincolnshire, August 31)
City of Salford 10K (September 27, Lancashire)
Head to Lancashire to test out the inaugural City of Salford 10K. Fresh from the people behind the popular City of Manchester 10K, this new road race shifts its sights to take in Salford Quays and the rest of this up-and-coming area. The flat course kicks off in the Lowry Plaza, the heart of Salford Quays, before heading over the Lowry Bridge past the Imperial War Museum and along Manchester United’s home at United Road before looping back to the quay.
Fittingly for a big-city 10K, the City of Salford 10K promises a warm welcome to runners of every standard, from nervous first-timers to seasoned club runners – and every finisher in this chip-timed race will also be rewarded with a T-shirt and goody bag.
Macclesfield Half-Marathon (September 27, Cheshire)
Runners come back year after year to take part in the Macclesfield Half-Marathon, and with good reason. What can we say except that it's a perfect local race: friendly marshals and rowdy crowd support help a large field scale the course’s tough hills, and the road route weaves its way through a backdrop of beautiful Cheshire scenery.
Once you’ve scaled the hills, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views over the Cheshire plain towards the Jodrell Bank telescope.
There’s even a swimming pool at the finish to ease tired limbs – the icing on the cake for hard-working runners.
More half-marathon highlights...
Dunstable Downs Half-Marathon (September 13)
South Lakes Half-Marathon (September 26)
Netherthong 10K (September 27, West Yorkshire)
Join a small and friendly field to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this stunning – if hilly – jaunt around West Yorkshire, packed with tranquil and beautiful scenery straight out of the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine.
Forget your 10K PB – in this race, even the start line isn’t flat. The road course heads out from the village of Netherthong into the charming surrounding countryside – and up and down its hills – before heading back for a killer uphill finish.