1. Great North Run, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear
Date in 2012: September 15
Not content with Newcastle taking the title of Runner’s World’s best UK running city last year, Tyneside has notched up another victory. From the deafening cries of, ‘Oggy, oggy, oggy’ in the underpass near the start to Geordie wags offering beer en route, the UK’s biggest half marathon is a veritable running carnival.
2. Bath Half Marathon, Somerset
Date in 2013: March 3 - Find out more
A smooth, fast, traffic-free course means the large crowds can enjoy this established race almost as much as the runners. As the course winds its way twice around this elegant spa city, straddling both sides of the River Avon, the cheering never subsides.
3. Reading Half Marathon, Berkshire
Date in 2013: March 17 - Find out more
Many of you reckon the massive roars you receive from the massed supporters when you enter the Madejski Stadium at the end of this half has made this race addictive. And even outside the arena, from its Green Park start and along this speedy course via the university campus, there’s no shortage of lively encouragement
4. Bupa Great Birmingham Run, West Midlands
Date in 2013: October 20 - Find out more
The biggest half marathon in the Midlands –it attracted 18,000 last year- takes its runners on a whistlestop tour of Brum’s famous landmarks including the Bullring, the Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Bourneville and the Edgbaston cricket ground. A wall of noise and live music along the course keeps everyone fizzing all the way to the Broad Street finish.
5. Petts Wood 10K, Kent
Date in 2012: October 14
This picture-perfect Kent village is the ideal setting for a perennial favourite among runners who love its family-day-out atmosphere. After labouring up the tiring hills and through the pretty woodland with crowds on every turn and junction, the tasty samosas handed out at the finish last year were unexpected