Races of the Year 2011: Other Distances

Surrey Spitfire 20 Picture credit: John Lines

1. Rough 'N' Tumble 10, Marlborough, Wiltshire
Date in 2012: January 15
Rough ’n’ Tumble’s organisers invite you to enjoy a dirty weekend in Wiltshire – 10.4 miles to be precise. You’ll cover all sorts of ridiculously hilly terrain – but if it all gets a bit much, just think of the delicious homemade cakes waiting at the finish. Enter online.

2. St Valentine's 30K, Stamford, Lincolnshire
Date in 2012: February 12
Forget candlelit dinners, you lot seem to prefer a tough rural race. Great training for spring marathons, the challenging course winds through scenic villages before heading back to the race HQ in Stamford.


3. ALDI Ashby 20, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics
Date in 2012: March 18
Another low-key race that ticks all the boxes, the ALDI Ashby 20 has multiple laps so you can perfect your pacing, well-stocked water stations and a classy hoody as a useful memento of your experience. Enter online.

4. Lincolnshire Wolds 10 Mile, Grimsby, Lincs
Date in 2012: September (TBC)
Leave the fens behind and explore the hilly Lincolnshire Wolds in this single-lap road race. This long-standing event has a loyal field of runners, who value the smooth organisation, great facilities and friendly atmosphere.

5. Stockport 10, Greater Manchester
Date in 2012: Dec (TBC)
The Stockport 10 is notorious for its climbs – two hills packed with twists, turns and false summits. But you’ll be rewarded with a goody bag that has contained eccentric gifts such as cocktail stirrers and a sticker saying, ‘I’ve done the Stockport 10, give us  a kiss.’ Now who could resist that?

6. Grant & Stone Marlow 5, Buckinghamshire
Date in 2012: May 13
Five miles of quiet residential streets with views of the lock and weir along the way – not that you really need a visual pick-me-up to help you round this speedy course, which attracts 2,000 PB-hunters each year.

7. Bramley 20/10, Berkshire
Date in 2012: February 12
The overwhelming feedback from you, the Runner’s World readers, was that for a 20-mile race it is surprisingly beginner-friendly. The course was gentle, the organisation full of thoughtful touches, the marshals had obviously taken their happy pills and the miles simply flew by, largely thanks to views that were consistently easy on the eye. Enter online.

8. Bupa Great South Run 2011, Portsmouth, Hampshire
Date in 2012: October 28
Another member of the dominant Bupa Great Run series, this 10-miler is a tour of the sights of Southsea and Portsmouth – from HMS Victory to the soul-stirring views across the whole of Portsmouth harbour in the last two miles. Enter online.

9. Surrey Spitfire 20, Cranleigh, Surrey
Date in 2012: March 18
A thousand runners flying (or plodding) every year round Dunsfold Aerodrome, home of the Top Gear test track, is a sight to behold. The aerodrome (if not the rest of the undulating course, which takes the field out on to surrounding suburban streets) is as flat as you’d expect – and this variety makes the race perfect for marathon training. Enter online.

10. Canterbury 10, Kent
Date in 2012: January 29
Some of Kent’s loveliest countryside forms a picturesque backdrop for this 10-mile single-lap course, which frames a couple of fierce hills. But never fear: after those two beasts, it’s a carefree career downhill all the way to the finish line. Enter online.