Closing Soon...Rainforest 10K (London, November 2)
Help protect endangered rainforests by signing up for this multi-lap charity run in North London’s Finsbury Park.
Eddie's Half-Marathon (Highlands, November 2)
Quintessentially local race known for its pastoral views, friendly field and few modest inclines.
Filling Up Fast...
London Santa Run 10K (London, December 6)
Join more than 1,000 Santas in Battersea Park for the third staging of this charity fund-raiser - Santa suit included.
Hastings 100th Anniversary Marathon (East Sussex, December 14)
Commemorative one-off challenge on the picturesque South Coast, offering a testing course, fantastic spectator support and a feel-good factor second to none.
Guy Fawkes 10 (North Yorkshire, November 2)
This year sees the 25th staging of this race in Ripley, near Harrogate, and organisers are expecting 1,000 runners to join the celebration. Finishing in the stunning surrounds of the courtyard of Ripley Castle, the scenery and atmosphere take precedence over PB potential.
It’s a tough road race, and is noted for its challenging hill sections, such as the one at Birstwith, which has the honour of being classed one of the most daunting hills in UK races. Top-class marshalling makes this race stand out, with virtually all the marshals being club runners, making them very friendly, knowledgeable and encouraging. The goody bags have also always been praised, and with a long-sleeved technical T-shirt, this year promises to be no exception.
Stevenage Half-Marathon (Hertfordshire, November 2)
A popular two-lap race in Hertfordshire, which comprises long stretches through the local parks and the extensive traffic-free cycle networks in the town. One of the key features of the course are the cycle path underpasses, which runners weave in and out of during the race, providing an endless series of small ascents and descents to negotiate. Another popular feature is the start and finish at the Ridlins Wood Athletics Track. The course is suitable for all runners and has definite PB potential. Organisers have set a race limit at 1,200 with no entries taken on the day, so make sure you don’t miss out on this popular race by entering online today.
Bexhill Seafront Poppy Half-Marathon (East Sussex, November 9)
After a four-year break, this East Sussex half-marathon is back and raising funds for the Royal British Legion. The new course has changed from the out-and-back route to four laps along the town’s seafront. The race start has also moved to Polgrove Park, with each loop of the course going through the park, perfect for spectators to cheer on runners.
The flat course means fast times are possible for those runners looking for a PB, assuming you are not running into the strong headwind that can whip up off the English Channel. The roads around the park and seafront will be closed for the event and this year sees the introduction of chip timing.More coastal highlights…
Gosport Half-Marathon (Hampshire, November 16)
Jersey Half-Marathon (Channel Islands, November 16)
Puma Hellrunner: Hell Down South (Hampshire, November 16)
There’s nothing bog-standard about this bog-filled trail race at Longmoor Training Camp in Hampshire. Take a trip into the unknown along this course, which is measured at somewhere between 10 and 12 miles. The course has no mile markers to let you know your progress but you shouldn’t notice when you find yourself wading through the bog of doom and scrambling up the hills of hell – two of the natural features that make this race one of the wettest and muddiest around. Their locations near the start and finish of the course are designed to make them great spectator attractions too.
More off-road highlights...
Cardiac Arrest 8 (Buckinghamshire, November 2)
Wedgnock Winter Mud & Mayhem 10K (Warwickshire, November 8)
Saab Salomon Turbo X (Hampshire, November 23)
Hog Dash 7 (South Yorkshire, November 23)
Heanor Xmas Pud 10K (Derbyshire, November 16)
There’s no avoiding an early dose of Christmas cheer at this race in rural Derbyshire, where all finishers receive a large Christmas pudding for their efforts. The race starts from the tranquil setting of Shipley Country Park’s woods, hills and trails. After noting the comments by runners from previous years, a new and improved course has been set. Runners can expect a moderately hilly course running on tarmac and paths through the rural countryside and picturesque village of Smalley before finishing at Osborne’s Pond, one of a series of reservoirs in the park.
More 10K highlights...
Uffmoor Shuffle 10K (West Midlands, November 2)
Wiltshire 10K (Wiltshire, November 9)
Barnsley 10K (South Yorkshire, November 16)
Boscombe 10K (Dorset, November 23)
Crowborough 10K (East Sussex, November 30)
Sospan Road Runners Multi-terrain 10 (Camarthernshire, November 23)
Named after one of Wales’s most famous folk songs, Sospan Fach, this popular Welsh race has been going for over 20 years now.
The beautiful multi-terrain course is made up of one lap through Pembrey Country Park, where runners get the opportunity to test themselves over tarmac paths, forest trails, sandy tracks, gravel and a short section along the beach at Cefn Sidan on the last quarter of the course.
Even the sea plays a part, with the large tide in the Lougher estuary dictating the exact date that the race can be held each year.
[Photo by www.photo-fit.net]
Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half-Marathon (and 5K) (Norfolk, November 30)
Despite the name, this race, one of the most popular half-marathons in the east of England, starts at the Royal Norfolk Showground a few miles east of Norwich itself, and is run in the surrounding countryside. Weather permitting, runners can expect good support from the friendly residents and local villages along the two-lap course, and their impromptu water stations provide relief for those in need of rehydration.
The course does have its undulations, but nothing too challenging, meaning beginners can enjoy it, while seasoned runners can look for a quick time. There’s a limit of 3,000 entrants, which is likely to be reached well in advance of the closing date.
Downton Half-Marathon (Wiltshire, November 30)
It hasn’t taken long for this race – now in its fifth year – to establish itself in the racing calendar. The race starts and finishes in the village of Downton in Hampshire and skirts along the edge of the New Forest National Park. The scenic course has beautiful late-autumn views, and is run all on rural roads with mildly challenging sections of hills through the villages and undulating country lanes. Both beginners and more experienced runners are warmly welcomed, and most people return every year.
The atmosphere after the race is excellent too, with runners having the opportunity to swap stories and catch up over a complimentary hot drink and a bun before the prizes are awarded.