Readers' Races of the Year 2004

You voted for them... here they are. It's your favourite races of 2004


Posted: 18 January 2005


Stoop 5, Yorkshire - 1st in 3+ Votes category - Photo by David Brett

If you submitted one of our 9000 race ratings in 2004, very many thanks indeed. Whether yours was one of 260 for the Great North Run, or the sole rating for September's Quicksand 15, your scores and comments are now helping runners up and down the country to decide where to race each weekend.

The ratings

We've divided the 2004 ratings into two tables:

Who'd have thought...

As well as highlighting dozens of hidden gems and heralding the hard work of clubs, organisers and marshals around the country, our new rating system threw out some fascinating results, including:

  • You're more interested in atmosphere and organisation (68% correlation with Overall score) than value (57%) or scenery (53%)
  • You feel more strongly about races without PB potential (hilly races and off-road challenges, perhaps). (-11% correlation)
  • Your ratings sometimes defied conventional wisdom in spectacular fashion. See 'Flak corner' below, for our take on this.
  • 93% of race-raters say they would do the event again - so someone's doing something right...

Super kudos to...

What's hot and what's not in the minds of some of the country's most frequent racers? Check out the ratings pages of our top 12 star raters: Wiz (Merseyside, 32 ratings); The Bevster (Scotland, 27); Pooh Bear (Essex, 26); Grecian 2000 (Beds, 20); jd (Essex, 20); Spoony (Essex, 20); Gil John (Sussex, 19); Christopher Day (Lincs, 19); Peter Osborne (Essex, 19); Reddy (Berks, 19); and CraigB (Kent, 19)

Add your rating; see more ratings...

Your opinion counts! To rate a race, find it by searching backwards on our event search page, click the race name and scroll to rate it at the bottom of its page.

You can see all ratings using the event search, or the 'latest ratings' pages.


Flak corner

Departures from conventional wisdom For example: is the Flora London Marathon really only the eight-best marathon and the 38th best race in the UK? Not by most counts of what constitutes a good event, but that's what the reader voice says this year. One explanation may be that some races suffer under the pressure of expectation (you're told the London Marathon will be a highlight of your life; you probably don't go into the Leatherhead Fire Station 10K with the same hopes).

Another way of looking at the 'overall' rating figure is as the probability that you'd have a good time if you were a typical runner in the race. In which case, 96 per cent of the field at the Saab Salomon Hellrunner had a good time. And 87 per cent of the London Marathon field had a good time. Does it automatically make the Hellrunner a better race? (Discuss!) We're confident that once you've added your own judgment about some of the comments and scores, and taken them in conjunction with our magazine editors' and experts' ratings (see our February issue, on sale in January), you'll have some very valuable insight into the country's races.

Missed from the calendar A few key races - including the Grizzly, Swansea Bay 10K and Windsor Half - were missed from our race calendar last year. This made it harder for you to rate them (you had to search for another occurrence of the race and change the rating year to 2004). We've added the ratings to our tables, but boosted the 'number of votes' for these races to more fairly reflect last year's voting pattern. And we're redoubling our efforts for this year's race calendar.

Irish races For software reasons, Irish races don't make it into our race calendar or rating system at all at the moment - a particular blow for the Connemara Marathon and Ballycotton 10, which took the top spots in our '3-9 votes' category last year.


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