10 Mile Races

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04/11/2012 at 18:16

I'm a race organiser and I was just looking for some advice regarding 10 mile races.  The Great South Run stands out as the largest 10 miler in the country but beyond that there doesn't appear to be many 'big' 10 mile races in terms of the number of entrants or the scale of the events.  Beyond the most popular races, e.g. London Marathon, half marathons and marathons can reguarly attract 10,000+ runners.

I'm just seeking peoples opinions as to whether they think this is because there is less demand for the distance, or is it the case that there aren't enough large scale 10 mile races being organised?  Any feedback on your experiences with 10 mile races would be gratefully received?

04/11/2012 at 18:26
I only do small scale 10 milers. The ones with huge numbers put me off. Did the great south run 3 years ago and never again. The start was so crowded I couldn't get up to race pace until after 2 miles due to so many people starting off in the wrong pens. If you can solve these issues you may get more serious runners taking part.
I also think that a lot of the charity joggers like to do an event with the word "Marathon" or "great" in the title as it may help with their sponsorship attempts.
04/11/2012 at 18:33

I personally love 10 milers, you just don't see that many advertised.  I love them as they are a nice step up between the 10k and half, so I have used them when I have been taking newer runners up to their 1st halfs.  Maybe its a timing thing with them?

04/11/2012 at 18:38

It's an excellent distance. i do the Templeton 10 (near dundee) every year and it's a great event. who can say why they have less allure/demand? i guess the word marathon (half or full) has a lot of a attraction for those seeking a challenge. 10ks are catchy? i dunno.

all i know is that i like ten mile races.

04/11/2012 at 18:38

Nick, 5k, 10k, half and marathon seem the most often raced distances, but 5mile and 10mile do have that certain factor of being a lot more rare, so usually attract good calibre fields anyway.

The south east has Maidenhead and Cabbage Patch. Both have fields that aren't particularly high, say between 1,000-2000, but the quality of runner is always high. (international level runners winning it)


If you don't have any other 10miler within say 50miles, and you pick the right time of year, I'm sure you can have a great niche to bring the runners in.

Where are you based?

04/11/2012 at 18:45

I think the 10mile suffers from not having marathon in the title. A 10k is (sort of) half of a half marathon. So each step up is double the distance...10k, Half, Full. A 10 mile does not fit in. I have just done the fast Bideford 10mile event with a field of just over 200. The Bideford half (also fast) fills to its maximum 1500 in no time, but I think it benefits from being in the spring. Most 10 mile events around here are off road and seem to attract hundreds not thousands. Why not organise a half? I love 10 milers, the distance seems to suit me. But many seem to be a bit gimicky like the Black Death Run in Somerset which seems popular and has a good hard course. Would suggest good marketing, good gimick, well chosen location is a good formula

04/11/2012 at 18:50

I like 10 mile races - I did the Templeton 10 today (how did you do dude?), and did my fist race at this distance in March. Really enjoyed both of them.

04/11/2012 at 18:57

10miles is a good distance. You don't feel smashed like a 10k, and you don't feel knackered like a half.

Is definitely a good entry to halves...

04/11/2012 at 18:57

10 miles is the traditional club runners distance. Something to do with being able to break the hour for the distance. There's an attractive symmetry about it. So breaking 70,80 90 mins equates rather nicely with minute per mile pace.

A flat 10 miler is a winning distance. 

04/11/2012 at 19:06
10 milers seem to attract the more serious runners. Not sure why they do not attract the charity brigade.
04/11/2012 at 19:18

Millsy, you might want to look at the Great South Run, 17,000+ finishers, massive charity event before generalising like that!


04/11/2012 at 19:24
Oops forgot about that one.
04/11/2012 at 20:07

Hiya alison. Sadly I couldnt take part this year. was working. it's a great (but challenging) course though, one of my favourite races.

04/11/2012 at 21:25

agreed that 10 miles is pretty much my favourite distance.  I have done club ones, and also the Harlow 10 and thames towpath, down near Richmond, in recent years.  Both were excellent and did seem to attract more serious runners than 10k / HMs I've done.

04/11/2012 at 21:41

Battersea Park has a couple of 10 milers a year, I think, in their Saturday series.  Lovely races.  Pancake flat, no sharp turns, plenty of water stations.  But you have to like multiple laps!

04/11/2012 at 22:11

There's the Bramley 10 miler, between Reading and Basingstoke, usually in February or thereabouts. Run in conjunction with a 20-miler (same course, two laps) and is pitched as a prep for the Reading Half or London Marathon.

 Edit: the OP asks for opinions - I'd love to see more 10 milers. It's a great distance and as Stevie G says it's a good halfway house between the 10K and half.


Edited: 04/11/2012 at 22:12
05/11/2012 at 01:13

At some point during the early days of my running, I read that you couldn't consider yourself a real runner unless you could do 10 miles in under a hour and that became my number one running goal.

In 2008 when I felt I was in sub 60 shape, I searched high and low for a 10 mile race that had sub 60 potential (checked previous years results to see how many had run under the hour) and they were few and far between. I'd've travel anywhere in the uk for the right race. I entered the Leighton Buzzard 10 and that would've been a 330 mile round trip, but I DNS that as I was feeling a bit rough a couple of days before and it would've been too far to go to come up short. I had to wait 8 weeks until my next chance.  This one was only 55 miles away and thankfully was a success (58:59 Preston)

Out of curiosity I've just searched for "local" 10 mile races this year and there were five within 40 miles, back when I was a reasonable runner I'd've said three of them weren't suited to a fast time for me, but the other two had definite potential.

I'd be lucky to break 70 mins now.

Edited: 05/11/2012 at 01:13
05/11/2012 at 08:19

10 milers used to be one of the classic distances for club runners and in the very old days the national xc was 10 miles not 9. 5Ms were also popular. I don't really like running for over an hour anyway... but for the non-club runner who's picked up the idea that running is all about doing marathons, even for their first race, 10M I guess may not make much sense.

05/11/2012 at 09:29

In my naive days not knowing much about race distances I was very happy to come across a couple of 10 milers which I could use as stepping stones from the common 10k to the half marathon, in prep for my first marathon.  So if you time it right, I think there is definitely a place not only for a 10 mile race in its own right, but also for this progression.  Since this time, I joined the club that organises one of the 10 mile races and you'll now find me on lead bike. 

05/11/2012 at 10:13
I am a relatively new-ish and slow-ish runner and 10M is my favourite distance - long enough to challenge endurance but manageable, but that might be because I ran a nice flat race (cabbage patch)
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