Closing SoonHastings Half-Marathon (East Sussex, March 11)
A 4,000-strong field is expected for this long-standing seaside half, renowned for its hilly start and promenade finish. Expect live music, post-race video coverage and enthusiastic crowd support.
Llanelli Waterside Half-Marathon (Dyfed, March 11)
The beautiful (yet blustery) Millennium Coastal Path makes a great setting for this relatively new out-and-back half, run mostly on flat tarmac, with a few mildly undulating dirt-track sections thrown in.
Filling up fastAsics 16 Mile Kingston Breakfast Run (Surrey, April 1)
Despite the early start, more than 3,000 runners have already signed up for this flat, fast race run along the banks of the river Thames from Kingston’s historic marketplace to Hampton Court Palace.
Sheffield Half-Marathon (South Yorkshire, May 20)
Feel like an elite athlete in this urban half, which boasts a stadium start and finish, an out-and-back city-centre course and great PB potential.
Leeds 10K - Jane Tomlinson's "Run For All" (June 24)
An exciting new city 10K, taking in all of Leeds’ iconic landmarks, and sure to be a major charity fundraiser.
National HighlightsThe Dentdale Run (Cumbria, March 10)
Both a great build-up race for a spring marathon and a challenging event in its own right, this hilly 14-miler starts and ends in that corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park that is actually in Cumbria. Now in its 23rd year, the race attracts several hundred runners each year, who take on a figure-of-eight course that quite literally leads the field up hill and down dale. Although not one for the faint-hearted, first-timers needn’t be discouraged: RW readers frequently praise the camaraderie surrounding this event, from the friendly, supportive locals to the post-finish cake spread.
Bungay Black Dog Marathon (Bedfordshire, April 1)
One of East Anglia’s longest-standing marathons celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and its 2007 staging promises to be one of the best yet. Starting from a new venue boasting a full range of facilities, the route loops round the Waveney Valley between Bungay and Beccles, taking in some testing hills in the opening miles. Marathon entrants will face this challenge twice, since the full 26.2 mile comprises two laps of the elliptical course. Keen competition is expected since the race plays host to the 2007 Suffolk Championships, but if you’re hoping for a PB, prepare yourself for windy conditions – even on still days, the exposed rural route can be fairly tough going.
Not running a marathon this spring? For all you short-race specialists and beginners out there, here are three 10K races with historical connections.Sherborne Castles Rotary 10K (Dorset, March 18)
Follow in the footsteps of the Ironman competitors in this challenging multi-terrain 10K, set in the grounds of Sherborne Castle. Originally designed by Sir Walter Raleigh, the estate gardens were later flooded by “Capability” Brown to create a 50-acre lake, forming a beautiful backdrop for this rural race. A few tough inclines and the course’s mud-fest potential are more than outweighed by this stunning scenery. Of course, if you don’t fancy the full 10K, you can always make the most of the 5K or 1,500m fun-run options.
City of Lincoln 10K (Lincolnshire, March 25)
Lincoln’s biggest road race enters its eleventh year, and promises to be just as popular as ever, with a field of around 4,000 expected to line up at the Longdales Road start. Comprising one lap of the city’s historical precincts, the race route incorporates Lincoln’s renowned Roman Mile Prime (whose Latin definition reads, quite literally, “a thousand paces”), and passes the imposing Cathedral, home to one of the few extant copies of the Magna Carta. A regal finish in the grounds of Lincoln’s Norman Castle, once home to William the Conqueror, completes the course.Sevenoaks Rotary Knole Park 10K (Kent, March 25)
Join in the first running of this off-road 10K set in the magnificent Knole Park, one of the few deer-parks in England to have survived the past 500 years and the only one in Kent. Despite losing 70 per cent of its trees to the Great Storm in 1987, major replantation, together with an 800-strong herd of fallow and sika deer, has helped Knole maintain its reputation as a popular National Trust attraction. It provides a great backdrop for this inaugural charity fundraiser.
More 10K highlights...