Races of the Year 2012

If 2011 was the year when adventure racing came to the fore, 2012 saw more traditional races fighting back with a vengeance. Your top rated events for the past 12 months in most categories saw both old favourites and new traditional-style events pulling out all the stops to get the fundamentals right.

Better marshalling, bigger and better goody bags, course tweaks and more on offer at race HQs all featured highly on the feedback you gave in your race ratings.

This back-to-basics approach shows that while running is evolving and continuing to diversify in order to appeal to a wider audience, the bedrock of the running scene – good, amateur-funded, not-for-profit races – is as firmly rooted as ever in our sport.

So get your 2013 diaries at the ready – our Races of the Year roundup is full of more awesome races than you’ll have time to run.

Top Ten 10Ks
Top Ten Half marathons
Top Ten Marathons
Top Ten Other Distances
Top Ten Trail
Top Five Adventure
Top Five Scenery
Top Five Atmosphere
Top Five PB Potential
Top Five Beginners

How did we work out the rankings?

We selected the most popular events with more than 25 ratings on runnersworld.co.uk.

To avoid duplication – and the prospect of a few races sweeping the board – we have only listed each race once in a single category. If a race appeared in a distance top 10 (eg 10K) as well as another (such as Scenery) we have left it in the distance chart. If a race scored well in two non-distance categories (eg Atmosphere and Scenery), we have kept it in the category in which it scored highest.

Although the rounded performances of races that have scored well in more than one category were undoubtedly impressive, we wanted to share more of the huge range of races you loved last year.

You may notice that despite the wealth of races in this review, we haven’t included any 5K races. Well, it seems you fast and furious short distancers keep your cards close to your chest, as we simply didn’t have any 5Ks with enough ratings to include. Please note that the dates next to each race are from the 2012 event. To find out the date and more info for 2013 races, go to runnersworld.co.uk/events.

How to rate a race

Your opinion counts! To rate a race, find it by searching backwards on our event search page, click the race name and scroll to rate it at the bottom of its page.

You can see all ratings using the event search, or the 'latest ratings' pages.