Rainforest Foundation Taut 10K (London,
London's Victoria Park, which is fringed by the Hertford Union Canal, boasts lakes and fountains, and also holds the annual Rainforest 10K. Run along three laps of flat parkland trails, it's an opportunity to experience some of London's most tranquil running surroundings. And as it's the same venue as the Nike 10K, on October 16, it's a great chance for a reconnaissance run.
Bronte Way 8 (Keighley, October
Don’t let the fact that the Bronte Way 8 is classified as a fell race put you off – the off-road course is entirely runnable. If you do need to pause for breath though, be sure to take in the magnificent views across the Bronte Moors, and see if you can find some literary inspiration to help you pen a review for our Rate A Race listings when you get home. If the scenery doesn’t free your imagination, maybe the bottle of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord at the end of the race will.
Be prepared to run with a waterproofs, compass, whistle and map; however long it takes you to complete the course, you’ll have earned that drink at the finish.
Liverpool 10K (Merseyside, October
As far as city-centre races go, they don't come much more comprehensive than the Liverpool 10K. Created after the L1310K's final year in 2004, it's a new race that shows off the best of what Liverpool has to offer, within just 10 kilometres of pancake-flat running. Starting outside the famous Liver Building, the route runs along a brand new road, heading north towards the Crowne Plaza and the Atlantic Tower, before a swift u-turn at 1.5K.
Then it's simply a case of counting off the sights of the city as you race past the Albert Docks, the Anglican Cathedral, the River Mersey, the Old Garden Festival site and finally the Marina. You can expect a field of around 4000 runners.
Prince's Trust 10K @ Legoland (Berks,
October sees the second annual Prince's Trust 10K @ Legoland. The majority of the off-road course has been retained last year, and the distance verified. Starting within the grounds of Legoland, the race heads straight into High Standing Hill Woods (Crown Estate property), which is not normally accessible to the public.
Cue off-road running at its most serene, with some tough undulations, but plenty of rewarding views over Berkshire as runners leave the woods. Make sure you've got enough in the tank for the sharp uphill finish! There's also a 4K fun run for children held within the Legoland grounds.
Saab Salomon Hellrunner: The Devil's
Revenge (Hants, October 23)
If last year's Hellrunner proved one thing, it was that the tougher you make an race sound, the more people you're likely to attract to the start line. So it's probably no surprise to read that the organisers have tweaked and manipulated their course to create 'The Devil's Revenge'. As they told us, "There were a few too many smiling faces at the finish line in 2004." Surely they're confusing unadulterated relief with genuine joy?
So what can you expect for round two? More tough hills, followed by, er, more tough hills, and of course plenty of shoe-swallowing bogs along the way.
At least this year they'll lay on some showers. Perhaps the devil has a heart after all?
Snowdonia Marathon (Gwynedd, October
Rated as one of the UK's toughest races by Runner's World's editors, and one of the most spectacularly scenic by our website members, a race preview of the Snowdonia Marathon was well deserved. It may not reach the peak of Wales' highest mountain, but with two climbs of over 900ft it's just about as tough as road racing gets.
The out-and-back course that encircles Snowdon starts from Nant Peris. The first major obstacle comes into range within the first four miles, with a 900ft, lung-busting climb up to Pen-y-Pass. Of course, there are further climbs along the way, but they're nothing compared to what you'll face at mile 21. 'Wales's Wall' as it's aptly called, is a long track up to Llanberis that peaks at 1000ft. An event not for the faint hearted, but certainly a must-do on any adventurous marathon runner's race schedule.