Pocket Race Guide - February

Mizuno Liverpool Half-Marathon, March 29

Filling Up Fast…

Mizuno Liverpool Half-Marathon (Merseyside, March 29)
Starting and finishing in the heart of the city centre, the course takes runners on a whirlwind tour of Liverpool's newly developed waterfront. Look out for the RW pacers too - we'll be leading groups at 7-, 8-, 9-, 10- and 11-minute miling.

Sheffield Half-Marathon (South Yorkshire, April 26)
Starting from the famous Don Valley Stadium, this classic road race promises a thrilling atmosphere and crowds of spectators, while offering runners a circular route that's fast, flat and friendly to both beginners and hard-boiled PB hunters.

York 10K - Jane Tomlinson's 'Run For All' (North Yorkshire, August 2)
Hot on the heels of the massively popular Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10K comes the inaugural York 10K. Expect a fab atmosphere and stellar support as you run, walk or run-walk a flat route past some of York’s most attractive landmarks.

National Highlights...

Longleat 10K, February 8

Longleat 10K (Wiltshire, February 8)
Good for: culture vultures
Take a trip back in time around the historic Longleat estate, home of the Marquess of Bath, in the fifth staging of this 10K in particularly stunning surroundings. You'll need to watch out for the hills on the race’s figure-of-eight route around the estate's farmland – a climb kicks off the race and comes back to bite at 7K, before the period drama-worthy finishing stretch. It's a spectacular straight run down hill towards Longleat House which should inspire your tired legs to dig deep for a sprint finish.

More 10K highlights...
26.2 Valentines 10K (Surrey, February 15)
Salisbury City 10K (Wiltshire, February 15)
Hampshire Chronicle Winchester 10K (Hampshire, February 22)
Lions Club of Winslow 0K (Buckinghamshire, February 22)

Dover Mercury Half-Marathon, February 15

Dover Mercury Half-Marathon (Kent, February 15)
Good for: Kentish climbs
You'll steer clear of Dover's famous - and perilous - cliffs in this 600-strong half-marathon, which instead meanders through quiet villages and over the downs of rural Kent. Expect to enjoy a fast opening half with a gentle downhill on the one-lap course, before turning sharply to meet the start of the hills halfway around. Once you've conquered those hills though, you'll be rewarded with a memento mug and there's also the chance to win spot prizes and enjoy plentiful refreshments back at race HQ.

More half-marathon highlights...
Ras Cors Caren Half-Marathon (Ceredigion, February 15)
The Children's Mutual Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon (Kent, February 15)
Sleaford Half-Marathon (Lincolnshire, February 22)

Great East Run 20K, February 15

Elgood's Brewery Great East Run 20K (Suffolk, February 15)
Good for: those partial to a post-race tipple
You and your supporters will be spoiled silly at this 20K road race. As well as a sports masseur for aching limbs, the Great East Run's organisers provide free-flowing hot drinks and snacks for supporters and free soup for finishers, along with a goody bag containing – you've guessed it – a bottle of the sponsor's beer.

This year sees the introduction of chip timing on this peaceful course touring tranquil Suffolk countryside. There are some hills, but the single-lap course is generally pleasingly flat and fast.


Easy Runner Tough Ten, February 22 (© Bob Bowen)

Easy Runner Tough Ten (Somerset, February 22)
Good for: a coastal challenge
Here's a race that certainly lives up to its name, with an unbeatable variety of terrain – beach, road, woodland and one seriously big hill. It’s a tour of Weston-Super-Mare’s seafront and the Avon coastline, plus the Worlebury Woods’ paths and trails, with an engaging course that veers from fast, flat sections to short climbs and long loping downhills.

Belying its name, the Tough Ten welcomes all runners willing to take on the challenge – whether you walk or run across the finish line. Your supporters will also enjoy the café at race HQ, and runners can enjoy a piping hot shower at the finish.

More multi-terrain highlights...
Saucony 10K (Surrey, February 8)
Inca Trail 7 (Somerset, February 15)
The Terminator 11 (Wiltshire, February 22)
Tim Sutton Fowlmead 5 (Kent, February 22)

Great North West Half-Marathon, February 22

Start Fitness Great North West Half-Marathon (Lancashire, February 22)
Good for: all the fun of the fair
Blackpool's many tourists come in search of the simple pleasures of seaside, rollercoasters and fish and chips. But out of season, Blackpool attracts a new breed of visitors – runners. They come in droves, on a mission to crack personal bests on Blackpool's forgiving traffic-free road route along miles of flat seafront.

It's almost certainly the only half-marathon where you can celebrate afterwards with a go on the UK's tallest roller coaster as well as enjoy the race's handsomely stuffed goody bag, technical top and free sandwiches. Another attraction is our experienced RW pacing team, who will be at Blackpool ready to lead groups around the course to come home in a variety of target times.

Belvoir Challenge 26 (Leicestershire, February 28)
Good for: hardy runners with a soft spot for cake
Leave the hustle and bustle behind, and join walkers and runners from all over the UK in rural Leicestershire for 15 or 26 miles of mud, hills and trails across the Duke of Rutland's private estate.
The distance is approximate, the going is gruelling over rough countryside footpaths, byways and tracks – and then there's all those food stops.

With checkpoints every five miles dispensing a huge choice of food – from home-made cake to flapjacks, pizza, soup and coffee, the Belvoir Challenge's organisers are understandably proud of its status as one of the only distance races where entrants are in danger of actually putting on weight.

There's a special sense of achievement that comes with that hot dinner and certificate at the finish. Even if you don't quite make it, you'll be able to retire at each checkpoint and get transport back to race HQ.

More long-distance highlights...
Bustinskin Coastal Challenge 26 (Dorset, February 22)
Muscular Dystrophy Bury 20 (Suffolk, February 22)