The Month AheadStockport 10, Greater Manchester, Dec 12
The Stockport 10 was one of the first races to use our online entry service and with over 200 RW members entered so far, it's clear its popularity has grown over the years. Starting at the local Woodbank Stadium, it’s a testing course with two significant hills along the way, the first coming at the first mile mark.
Eight miles later, the real test begins, with a half-mile long drag up to the finish. On its own, it's probably not too much of a worry, but after nine miles of racing it's sure to drain the last of the energy from your legs.
Bedford Half-Marathon, Beds, Dec 12
Apparently so many people entered this race last year it had to change its name and move home. No seriously, with so many runners on the start line in 2003 and a new road bypass threatening the race, a change of venue was needed. So say hello to the Bedford Half-Marathon, formerly known as the Great Barford Half-Marathon.
Despite the course change, the out-and-back route still tours the scenic Bedfordshire countryside and remains, possibly, the last half-marathon of the year. (It starts 45 minutes after the Turkey Trot Half). Watch out for the local band playing carols at the start and finish.
Ely New Year's Eve 10K Cambs, Dec 31
Some days are just made for racing, with New Year’s Eve definitely being one of them. Now in its fifth year, the Ely New Year’s Eve 10K is an example of blissful winter running, complemented with a beginner-friendly atmosphere. Scenic hamlets and quiet country roads, peppered with gentle undulations make the course top-notch too. Once you’re over the finish line you can take home a goodie bag that includes a bottle of locally brewed beer.
New Year Box Hill Knacker Cracker 12K, Surrey, Jan 1
Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? Because entering more races in 2005 has to be one of them. And why not start with this cracker of a race.
Picture the scene: You awake from your anticlimactic New Year's Eve celebrations, don your favourite race kit and head for a start line at the wonderfully striking Box Hill, in Surrey. In store are four hills from which you'll see views right across the North Downs. Just one day into 2005 and you'll already have a medal around your neck. Is there a better way to kick-start your year?