Bronte Way 8
Closing soon: Bronte Way 8
(Keighley, October 8)
Don't be put off by the fact that the Bronte Way 8 is classified as a fell race - the off-road course is entirely runnable.
Discovery 10K (Essex, October 14)
More than 500 runners from around Europe will be making the trip across the Channel for this seafront event.
Great Eastern Run
(Peterborough, October 15)
Among the bumper crop of 13.1-milers on October's race calendar, one of the most high-profile is the Great Eastern Run. Held in Peterborough for the first time in a decade, the race offers a great reason to visit the city that’s famous for producing... um, Erasure.
The flat course kicks off within the grounds of the city’s cathedral, before heading north past Central Park (no, not that one) and through Peterborough’s heady suburban scene.
Expect decent crowds lining the closed roads, especially along the final few miles past the River Nene to the finish near the city-centre Embankment.
SiS Sandhurst Poppy Hill Trail 10K (Surrey, October 15)
209 Events seem to have a knack for turning interesting UK locations into successful race venues. This month has already seen Mike Gratton & co turn Jersey into an adventure racing ground for the Jersey Challenge, and in under two weeks Sandhurst Miltary Academy will play host to another gem.
English Nature’s protected forest and heathland are usually closed to the public, but they’ll be opened up for the small field running this off-roader. The course comprises two laps of trails through mixed woodland and open fields, with just enough hills to break things up.
Maidstone Half-Marathon (Kent, October 22)
Never judge a race by its name. The Maidstone Half Marathon may start and finish in Kent’s leafy county town, but most of the route takes you along the not-so-leafy A20.
After an undulating first five miles, the one-lap course starts to get more picturesque with a tour through the sleepy village of Hollingsworth. From then on it’s a challenging course, with more than 20 hills of varying severity – passing the tantalizing pub at Pilgrim’s Way – before heading back to Maidstone for the Finish.
More Half-Marathon highlights...
Dartmoor Vale Half-Marathon ( Devon, October 15)
Leicester Half-Marathon (Leics, October 15)
Worksop Half-Marathon (Notts, October 29)
Exmoor Stagger 15
Exmoor Stagger 15, October 22
(Somerset, October 22)
With Runner’s World forum members calling it "the best cross country race ever", the Exmoor Stagger 15 was always a shoo-in for October’s Race Preview. Find out if it lives up to its promise by racing through some of the South’s most testing terrain, with 3,300ft of climbing – and some glorious views of the Somerset moorlands, notably from the race’s highest point at Dunkery Beacon.
Well-equipped aid stations offer Jaffa Cakes, Jelly Babies and enthusiastic marshals, all the better to keep you going through the challenging mix of rough terrain and tracks.
If 15 miles of this seems too much, try the six-mile event on the same day.
Saab Salomon Hellrunner: the Devil Strikes Back (By 'eck, it's tough up north!) (Cheshire, October 29)
In the beginning there was Hellrunner, an off-road adventure race including notorious sections such as The Wetlands and the famed Hills Of Hell. For 2006, the Devil Strikes Back (and heads north) with not one but two gruelling Hellrunner challenges.
The first of this year’s two events (the second follows in November) takes place in Cheshire’s Delamere Forest Park. For one day only, this shady oasis will be transformed into a cauldron of off-road mayhem along 11 miles of tough, twisting trails, waist-high bogs and killer hills.
The Finish line will bring redemption... but only to successful Hellrunners.
More off-road highlights...
Bronte Way Trail 8 ( West Yorks, October 8)
The Military 10K (Surrey, October 14)
Bestwood Country Park 10K (Notts, October 22)