Races of the Year 2010: Half-Marathon

Run along the sands at the Mull of Kintyre Half-Marathon

1. Mull Of Kintyre Half-Marathon

Argyll and Bute, May 30   

It was good enough for Paul McCartney and Wings, so it's surely a perfect setting for a race. The lure of this weekend-long festival of racing lies in the overall event experience as much as the race itself. Sure, the flat route along Cambeltown Loch and Westport Beach is a feast for the eyes, but how many races do you know that offer a post-race ceilidh and a song-writing festival? Enter online now.

2. Trionium Midsummer Munro Half-Marathon

Surrey, June 19  

Competitors have to conquer 3,000ft  of ascent – the equivalent to a Scottish Munro – to get to the finish. They were compensated along the way with views over Surrey’s North Downs, and a wonderful Blitz spirit among the runners to help each other keep going over the hills. Enter online now.

3. Trionium Leith Hill Half-Marathon

Surrey, March 7    

Entrants climbed to the top of Leith Hill, the highest point in Southern England, to see views of London and the Downs. Post-race facilities got top marks, as runners had a muscle-relaxing swim in a pool at race HQ. Enter online now.

4. Surrey Badger Half-Marathon

Leatherhead, September 5  

The route of this multi-terrain half takes in the best of the Mole Valley countryside. The course encompassed Tarmac, bridle paths, grass and plenty of mud; great organisation meant the race ran smoothly and the marshals were some of the most vocal around. Enter online now.

5. Chippenham Half-Marathon

Wiltshire, September 12  

This is one of those races that performs solidly year on year, and this edition was no different. The mainly flat course took runners through the streets of Chippenham and surrounding villages, where they encountered little traffic, excellent marshals and a big, supportive crowd. Enter online now.

6. Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon

Kent, February 28

Even the damp conditions couldn’t spoil the mood at this popular half. Drummers and cheerleaders encouraged runners as they battled the rain and a fiendish mile-long hill, before being greeted by legend Dame Kelly Holmes at the finish. Find out more.

7. Shell Four Villages Half-Marathon

Cheshire, January 17 

This annual chase between four Cheshire villages returned for its 29th year. After flat beginnings on rural roads, miles 8-11 provide a hilly, energy-zapping challenge. Morale improved on the downhill dash to the finish line with spirits raised even higher by the ‘Half-Marathon Ale’ in the goody bag this year.

8. Classic Freckleton Half-Marathon

Preston, June 20  

Frequent water stations, sponges and a cooling hose down near the finish helped runners fly in Flyde, despite the midsummer heat. This event is the UK’s oldest half-marathon. Runners once again dashed around flat roads to rousing cheers from locals before collecting a rucksack memento. Enter online now.

9. Water of Life Half-Marathon

Buckinghamshire, March 21  

Runners followed the Thames Path between Marlow and Henley, before looping back to the start through spectacular countryside. Kissing-gates and grassy terrain made this a slow but rewarding race, with runners appreciating the African drummers en route. Enter online now.

10. Worksop Half-Marathon

Nottinghamshire, October 31

After a sharp uphill start away from Worksop town centre, runners explored the idyllic grounds of Clumber Park. Comic sponge station signs and a Halloween-themed T-shirt brought a fun flourish. The downhill mile to the finish also produced a final charge from tired legs.

11. Reading Half-Marathon

Berkshire, March 20

12. Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon

London, October 9

13. BUPA Great North Run

South Shields, September 18

14. Bedford Harriers Half-Marathon

Bedfordshire, December

15. Brooks Paddock Wood Half-Marathon

Kent, March 27

Find out more.

16. Sheffield Half-Marathon

Yorkshire, May 8

Enter online now.

17. Hastings Half-Marathon

East Sussex, March 20

Enter online now.

18. Llanelli Waterside Half-Marathon

Carmarthenshire, March 6

Enter online now.

19. ASICS Watford Half-Marathon

Hertfordshire, February 6

Enter online now.

20. Liverpool Half-Marathon

Merseyside, March 27

Enter online now.