Cheltenham 10K (Gloucestershire, October 3)
Bask in a grandstand finish at this new 10K, held within the Cheltenham Race Course grounds - home of horse racing's famous Gold Cup.
Highgate 5K Fun Run (London, October 4)
Scale the hills and heaths of Highgate in this short and snappy fun run, and you-ll also raise money for the Whittington Hospital Charitable Fund.
Filling Up Fast...
Gosport Half-Marathon (Hampshire, November 15)
Get set for your next PB over this famously fast and flat course. The course has been tweaked for 2009 so you can get away even faster at the start.
Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half-Marathon (Norfolk, November 29)
Go east for the 25th anniversary of this ever-popular race through rural Norfolk, the last of seven races in the England Athletics East Road Running Grand Prix Series.
Badger Bite 4 (Shropshire, October 4)
This rapidly growing race is back to hit the tracks and trails around the Shropshire village of Badger for the sixth time.
A small, hardy and friendly band of runners, made up of a mix of serious club contenders and fun runners, will be out in force to enjoy a charming trail run through quiet countryside, before retiring to the local pub for the prize-giving, drinks and a hard-earned roast dinner.
With an unusual race distance, unusual prizes and celebrity guests, the Badger Bite is the perfect antidote to bustling big-city races.
Henley Half-Marathon (Oxfordshire, October 11)
The Henley Half-Marathon is taking over a stunning corner of middle England for another year, and you’d be mad to miss out.
The bad news is the race’s dreaded hill - it’s long, steep and it’ll hit you after eight tiring miles. The good news is that once you’ve reached the top, you can get back to enjoying the lovely middle-England scenery while cruising on down to the finish. The stretch of the single-lap course along the river Thames is gob-smackingly beautiful, and the rest of this race is as charmingly bucolic as you’d expect rural Oxfordshire to be.
For the 2009 race, the organisers have also tweaked the start times to make sure the 10K and the half-marathon runners don’t get in each others’ way.
More half-marathon highlights...
Leicester City Half-Marathon (October 11)
The Perkins Great Eastern Run 13.1 (Cambridgeshire, October 11)
City of Salisbury Half-Marathon (Wiltshire, October 18)
Dartmoor Vale Half-Marathon (Devon, October 18)
Gin Pit 5 (Lancashire, October 11)
Whether you’re a newcomer to trails or a hardy old hand at off-road running, the Gin Pit 5 stands out. A small and friendly race with quietly lovely scenery, this is a well-timed return to off-road running as the summer road season draws to a close.
The three-lap course is also pleasingly traffic-free - but not without its challenges. The route is studded with enough hills to keep you on your toes, before sloping downhill at the end for a satisfyingly fast finish.
The Hilly Clothing Company Richmond Castle 10K (North Yorkshire, October 18)
Runners return year after year to this corking 10K race. In fact, the Richmond Castle 10K may just have everything a runner could want – its tough, hilly course presents ample challenge, the memento is a specially designed technical top and to top it all off, the race finishes with its own justifiably popular beer festival back at race HQ.
From Richmond’s charming cobbled market square to the banks of the River Swale, the Richmond Castle 10K’s course is a scenic gem. After dragging yourself up the slopes of Sleegill (that’d be where the ‘challenge’ comes in), runners are treated to an epic finish in the grounds of historic Richmond Castle.
SimplyRun Welcombe Wobbler 10K (Warwickshire, October 18)
Get away from it all on this tranquil course deep in the Warwickshire countryside. You’ll earn some stunning views from the summit of the course – the Welcome Wobbler 10K scales some of Warwickshire’s toughest hills. The uneven ground and steep climbs make this course a challenge – but it’s worth it for the stunning panoramic views across Warwickshire’s autumnal countryside. Take on two laps of this challenging course, or opt for the ‘Trembler’ – a single 5K lap.
Another thing that sets this race apart is the atmosphere – the course profile means the friendly field forgets any ideas of getting a PB in favour of a morning of muddy fun.
Race organiser Trionium boasts, "There's tough, and there's Trionium." The new Greensand Marathon is no exception, with a blend of tough climbs, breathtaking scenery and harsh cut-off points. Within the 26.2-mile course, you’ll scale an entire vertical mile – a whopping 5,200ft.
Taking in the Trionium races’ usual stomping ground, the peaks of south-east England, the rural course will be bathed in spectacular autumn colours as it traces the trails along the top of Surrey’s Greensand ridge.
For the truly hardy, there’s also the chance to try a marathon treble, with the Greensand Marathon book-ended between the perennially popular Beachy Head Marathon and the big-hitting city-based Dublin Marathon.
More long-distance highlights...
The Great Clarendon Marathon (Wiltshire, October 4)
Jog Shop Jog 20 (Sussex, October 11)
Hogweed Major Muggle 15.9 (Gloucestershire, October 17)
Founders Challenge 26 (Surrey, October 18)
Spires & Steeple Challenge 26 (Lincolnshire, October 18)
Brentwood Multi-Mile Marathon (Essex, October 25)
Great Yarmouth Road Runners East Coast 10K (Norfolk, October 25)
The new and improved Great Yarmouth Road Runners East Coast 10K still comes with PB potential as standard. But now it kicks off in the lovely setting of the freshly rejuvenated St George’s Park before taking in Great Yarmouth’s charming historic quays as well as the famous Golden Mile.
But none of the race organisers’ tweaks stop the road course being just as fast and flat as ever. There’s also a tantalising cash prize list – and even if you miss out on a slice of that, there’ll be a memento for all finishers.
Over the Hills 12K (Wiltshire, November 1)
Take on this tough, scenic race and be prepared to plough up and down fields, through woodland and along road, mud and gravel tracks. Whatever the surface, the Over the Hills 12K is traffic-free and charmingly rural. You’ll follow the banks of the river Avon before plunging into the water itself to ford the river and then head off along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath.
The Over the Hills 12K is a tough race scrambling over mixed terrain, but there’s ample reward in the charming rural scenery and the company of a smallish field of friendly runners.