Readers' Top 50 Races 2008: 25-49 Votes

You voted for them... here they are. It's your favourite races of 2008 (25 - 49 votes)


Posted: 26 January 2009

How the results were calculated

This list was calculated using ratings given by respondents on www.runnersworld.co.uk after they took part in the races. We worked out the average of the 'overall' rating runners gave races, to arrive at a figure between 0 and 100%, allowing us to rank them. This chart represents races that received between 25 and 49 responses.

Race Overall score (2008) How many would do it again? No. of ratings (2008)
1 Ullswater 12K, Cumbria
When? November 2
Why? Beautiful lakeside trail race that starts with a half-hour cruise and finishes with a slap-up meal.
What you say "The views over Ullswater are spectacular - although you can’t take your eyes off the ground for long! The hills were definitely challenging, but hey - Wilf's piping hot stew, cake and tea was exactly what I needed afterwards." Maureen Taylor
100
100
29 ratings
2 Puma Garburn 24K, Cumbria
When? May 31
Why? Well-marked trails, robust terrain and just one incline of note make this the ideal introduction for the off-road novice.
What you say "A world of glorious pain, but a great finish with a magnificent crowd to cheer you on." Ojoman
100
99
40 ratings
3 Mull of Kintyre Half-Marathon, Argyll and Bute
When? May 25
Why? As well as the race through Kintyre’s stunning countryside, there’s a weekend of fun - from a ceilidh to tours of the local area.
What you say "A great weekend in Campbelltown. Not only the race itself, but the pre- and post-race activities too. It had a big-city feel in a small-town way." John Galbraith 5
99
100
33 ratings
4 Northumberland Coastal Run 14, Northumberland
When? July 20
Why? Sandy beaches and staggering cliffs provide a breathtaking backdrop to this point-to-point 14-miler.
What you say "Seeing Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance with a line of ant-like runners on the dunes is an image that will stay with me forever. What a beautiful run." Isobel Clarke
98
99
47 ratings
5 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, Highland
When? October 5
Why? Point-to-point race set in stunning Highland surroundings, meandering along the shore of Scotland's most famous loch before heading north to finish in Inverness.
What you say "A very friendly race in a beautiful setting. I had a smile on my face almost all the way, even going up the hills!" smilesnmiles
98
95
42 ratings
6 Coniston 14, Cumbria
When? April 5
Why? Coniston Water may be flat and calm, but the road circling it is anything but – the route through its beautiful mountain backdrop rises, falls and rises again.
What you say "Glorious views over the lake to the mountains make up for the never-ending hills! The support as you run back into town makes this race a must." Toonette
98
100
25 ratings
7 Grizzly & Cub Run, Devon
When? March 9
Why? You’ll need the local fire brigade to hose you clean after 20-plus miles of mud, bogs, hills, rivers and beaches, an experience that keeps Grizzly’s loyal devotees coming back for more.
What you say "It’s addictive. Shingle beaches, bogs, streams and steps plus hills, hills and more hills. Probably the hardest race most people will ever do." Lazybones – The Original
97
96
27 ratings
8 Race the Train. Gwynedd
When? August 16
Why? Exactly what it says on the tin – your chance to race a train over 14.75 miles of roads, lanes, fields and muddy pasture.
What you say "A cross between The Railway Children and The Great Escape, in a staggeringly beautiful part of Wales." Late starter
96
96
35 ratings
9 Rough 'n' Tumble 10, Wiltshire
When? January 13
Why? Steep hills, relentless mud and an impressive selection of home-made cakes attract 400-plus runners to the pretty village of Milton Lilbourne each year.
What you say "This is a hard race, but it certainly isn’t elitist. All are welcome and all runners win their own personal battle with the unrelenting terrain of the Marlborough Downs!" Geoff Twitchen
95
96
40 ratings
10 Meon Valley Plod 19.5, Hampshire
When? February 17
Why? Leg-crumbling hills and lashings of mud make this a punishing cross-country number, whose obstacles are agreeably offset by its beautiful locale and generous refreshment stations.
What you say "One of the toughest races around, set in some of southern England’s best scenery. The finish comes complete with medal, T-shirt and enough free fruitcake to feed Hampshire." Jackie Scarfe
95
86
39 ratings
11 The Harvel 5, Kent
When? June 7
Why? Quirky low-key jaunt through a string of Kent villages, famed for serving beer en route.
94
100
25 ratings
12 Eridge Park 10, Kent
When? September 14
Why? With a route taking in Victorian follies and a Saxon fort, get lost on the tracks and trails through the private woodland of Eridge Park.
94
100
39 ratings
13 Rhayader 'Round the Lakes' 20 , Powys
When? March 15
Why? If climbing 800ft over four miles in the opening stages of this charming Welsh classic doesn’t take your breath away then the spectacular mountain scenery will.
94
96
27 ratings
14 Whipsnade Zoo 10K, Bedfordshire
When? June 1
Why? Join the pack for three laps of Whipsnade Zoo’s fast, flat paths, paced by wallabies, rhinos and other exotic fauna.
94
98
32 ratings
15 Cassidy Lady Godiva Half-Marathon, West Midlands
When? October 19
Why? Big-race atmosphere, rolling hills and enthusiastic support makes this a race to remember.
94
100
37 ratings
16 Buntingford Brewery (Pirton) Boxing Day 3.2
When? December 26
Why? Fancy-dress event It’s sponsored by a brewery, so the memento is suitably festive. Other than that, this fancy-dress event is fun for all the family.
94
98
50 ratings
17 Great East Run 20K, Suffolk
When? February 17
Why? Quaint Suffolk hamlets, a friendly atmosphere and a loot-filled goody bag earn this fixture consistent praise among its loyal field.
93
98
42 ratings
18 Market Drayton Muller 10K, Shropshire
When? July 6
Why? Bulging goody bags, a welcoming feel and rowdy spectator support make this a rewarding jaunt through a traditional market town.
93
100
48 ratings
19 Chippenham Harriers 25th Anniversary Half-Marathon, Wiltshire
When? September 14
Why? One-off celebratory event that so impressed entrants, they're wishing it was an annual fixture.
93
98
47 ratings
20 Classic Freckleton Half-Marathon, Lancashire
When? June 22
Why? One of the oldest half-marathons in the UK and a sell-out year on year thanks to a fast, flat course and thoughtful organisational touches.
93
100
34 ratings
21 Saab Salomon Turbo X Poppyhill, Surrey
When? September 28
Why? Get ready for mud, sand, bogs and marshes as you push yourself to the limits at this extreme trail event.
93
96
36 ratings
22 Brass Monkey Half-Marathon, North Yorkshire
When? January 20
Why? Fast and flat, this mid-winter half has legions of fans and a warm atmosphere to counteract the chilly temperatures.
92
95
40 ratings
23 Leatherhead Fire Station 10K, Surrey
When? November 9
Why? Probably the only race to feature a minature steam railway, this 10K also features a stunning autumnal leaf display in its North Downs setting.
92
100
37 ratings
24 Petts Wood 10K, Kent
When? October 12
Why? National Trust woodland offers a luscious, shady setting for this budding cross-country course.
92
97
47 ratings
25 Evesham Vale 10K, Worcestershire
When? July 13
Why? Multi-terrain jaunt along the pretty waterside paths of the River Avon.
92
97
35 ratings
26 Bluebell Trail 10, West Yorkshire
When? May 4
Why? Some tough climbs and a knee-deep river crossing will test your mettle in this budding off-roader in the heart of Yorkshire.
92
98
25 ratings
27 The Great Clarendon Marathon, Wiltshire
When? October 5
Why? Enjoy classically English rural views in this point-to-point multi-terrain fixture between Salisbury and Winchester.
92
92
40 ratings
28 Trent Park Triffic Trail 10K, London
When? June 29
Why? Tough off-road run set amid the green landscapes of Trent Park, with T-shirts for all finishers
92
100
27 ratings
29 Aldridge 10K, West Midlands
When? June 8
Why? Testing climbs will have you digging deep in this 600-strong road race, praised for its community feel and kooky mementos.
92
100
29 ratings
30 Tidworth 10K, Hampshire
When? November 2
Why? Growing multi-terrain event across Salisbury’s military training ground, with a free T-shirt and medal for all finishers.
92
100
26 ratings
31 Leek Half-Marathon, Staffordshire
When? August 24
Why? Encompassing 1,200ft of ascent, this challenging road race promises panoramic views over the Staffordshire moors and rousing crowd support.
92
96
26 ratings
32 Ashby 20, Leicestershire
When? March 9
Why? With a new course to keep regulars interested, this challenging course takes in the dramatic setting for Walter Scott’s novel Ivanhoe.
91
93
42 ratings
33 Thompson Brothers Stockport 10, Cheshire
When? December 7
Why? A stadium start and finish, two challenging climbs and consistently unusual gifts in the goody bags make this a fun yet feisty listing on the north-west calendar.
91
98
25 ratings
34 White Horse Half-Marathon, Oxfordshire
When? April 6
Why? A flat, rural route takes runners through the chocolate-box pretty country villages of the Vale of the White Horse.
91
94
36 ratings
35 White Peak Marathon & Half-Marathon, Derbyshire
When? May 17
Why? "Small but perfectly formed" - this off-road race run over the Tissington and High Peak trails in Derbyshire is perfect for those who prefer smaller events to the allure of the big city races.
91
89
27 ratings
36 Saab Salomon Turbo X Martinique, Hampshire
When? May 18
Why? Don’t be fooled by the tranquil heathland setting of this off-road challenge – the course includes a gutful of stomach-turning climbs and watery surprises.
91
97
39 ratings
37 Great Weston 5, Northamptonshire
When? May 5
Why? Quintessentially local fixture boasting a handful of short, sharp climbs, plentiful homemade cakes and all the fun of a May Day Fair.
91
96
26 ratings
38 Team Strides Lochaber Marathon, Highland
When? April 27
Why? Quick, scenic and spacious course that barely rises more than 20 metres above sea level.
91
93
43 ratings
39 Darent Valley 10K, Kent
When? May 18
Why? Sail through the elegant villages of Farningham and Lullingstone before enjoying a two-mile descent to the finish.
90
97
29 ratings
40 May Hill Massacre 8, Gloucestershire
When? January 20
Why? Steep hills, plentiful mud and an absence of mile markers combine to offer a gruelling woodland challenge.
90
97
33 ratings
41 Surrey Badger Half-Marathon, Surrey
When? September 7
Why? Track the base of the Surrey Hills on this rural course taking in many historic attractions and boasting a fast, flat finish.
90
93
34 ratings
42 The Humph's Hilly Half, Gloucestershire
When? June 28
Why? Scenic canter through the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds, with some challenging climbs thrown in for good measure.
90
94
26 ratings
43 Poole 10K, Dorset
When? June 1
Why? Enjoy the coastal vistas and sea breezes of Poole Harbour, and the carnival atmosphere of this popular 10K.
90
98
26 ratings
44 Easy Runner Tough Ten, Somerset
When? February 17
Why? Promenade stretches, woodland paths, and a brief spell on the tidal causeway – this two-lap multi-terrain number lives up to its challenging title.
90
100
32 ratings
45 Fuller's Thames Towpath 10, Middlesex
When? April 6
Why? A mix of terrain underfoot is sure to keep you on your toes in this delightful waterside fixture, offering pretty views into Kew Gardens.
90
100
31 ratings
46 Saab Salomon Turbo X Bordon, Hampshire
When? November 23
Why? Push yourself to the limit by tackling mud, hills and bogs galore in this extreme off-road series.
90
88
42 ratings
47 Kenilworth Half-Marathon, Warwickshire
When? October 5
Why? Despite a challenging hill, this fast course could earn you a PB as well as a tour of the charming Warwickshire countryside.
89
100
33 ratings
48 Yateley Road Race 10K Series, Hampshire
When? June 4, July 7, August 2
Why? Three-event midweek series run over quiet rural roads, perfect for monitoring your progress over the summer months.
89
99
40 ratings
49 Ashtead 10K, Surrey
When? September 14
Why? Out-and-back trail run along the paths and bridleways of Ashtead Common.
89
99
40 ratings
50 Sandy 10, Bedfordshire
When? March 30
Why? Popular 10-miler, whose mix of ups and downs leads you through a trio of quaint pastoral villages.
89
97
34 ratings

Previous article
Readers' Top 50 Races 2008: 15-24 Votes
Next article
Readers' Top 50 Races 2008: 50-plus votes

races of the year
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle

Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.