RW’s Races Of The Year 2003

The Edinburgh Marathon, a new entry at 22

To help you choose which events to enter in 2004, we once again bring the RUNNER’S WORLD Top 100 UK Races of the Year. It’s based on the experiences of the RUNNER’S WORLD team, our UK-wide network of correspondents and, of course, the feedback we received from you, the readers.

Any race that’s made it into our rundown is guaranteed to be a great event. After all, they make up the the top five per cent of a high-quality crop. You won’t agree with all of our rankings. And there are sure to be great races that we haven’t even heard about. That's why we also invite you to see our huge Reader Races of 2003 ratings, and add your own scores and comments for 2004 races.

What you'll find on this page is our overall top 100, with links to the 2004 details where available, and to your comments. We also have six separate pages of top-5s, just for subscribers:

And if you'd like to know a little more about the scoring, it's at the bottom of the page.

Position Race Name (+ last year's position)MonthPoints (/1000)Reader Comments
1 Flora London Marathon (1) April926 Read comments
Hastings Half Marathon (8)
March859 Read comments
3 Nike Run London 10K (13) September858Read comments
4Flora Light 5K (5)September845
5BUPA Great North Run (4)September828Read comments
6BUPA Great South Run (2)October823Read comments
7Swansea Bay 10K (3)September819Read comments
8Bupa Bristol Half-Marathon (14) September810Read comments
9 Wilmslow Half-Marathon (6)March795Read comments
10Glasgow Women’s 10K (10)May791 Read comments
Bath Half-Marathon (11)
March818Read comments
12Tough Guy (9)January786Read comments
Adidas Flora London Half-Marathon (-)
March777Read comments
14Entenmann’s Great Manchester Run 10K (-) May775
15Bupa Great Caledonian 10K (50) May772
16Robin Hood Marathon/Half (7)September772Read comments
17Bupa Great Scottish Run (1/2M & 10K) (17)September769 Read comments
18Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 (35)October760
19Ballycotton 10 (12) August757Read comments
Plymouth Half-Marathon (15)
May757 Read comments
City of Norwich Half-Marathon (60)
June755Read comments
22Edinburgh Marathon (-)June754Read comments
23Run Liverpool 10K/Marathon/Half-Marathon (95/72)October750Read comments
24Windsor Half-Marathon (25)September749Read comments
25Dublin Marathon (41)October749Read comments
26 Sheffield Marathon/Half-Marathon (51)June747
27 Capital Challenge 10K (-)May746
28 Liverpool Women’s 10K (47)May743
29 Lake Vyrnwy Half-Marathon (26) September741 Read comments
30KRUF Cardiff 10K (54)September741Read comments
31Grizzly(28)March736Read comments
32 Potteries Marathon (23)June733Read comments
33 New Forest Marathon/Half-Marathon (34)September731Read comments
34 Waterloo 15K (27)May728
35 Stroud Half-Marathon (49)October728Read comments
Sandal Castle 10K (-)
May728Read comments
37Blackpool Marathon/Half-Marathon (48) June727Read comments
38Fleet Half-Marathon (31)March723Read comments
39Morpeth-Newcastle Half-Marathon (58)January717Read comments
40Blaydon 5.7 (36)June717Read comments
Totton 10K (-)
42 Four Villages Half-Marathon (22)January709Read comments
43Dublin Women’s 10K (45)June708
44 Wokingham Half-Marathon (-)February708Read comments
45Victory 5 (65)December705Read comments
46Barns Green Half-Marathon (90) October702Read comments
47Paddock Wood Half-Marathon (19)March702Read comments
48Manchester 10K (97)May702
49 Mansfield Stars & Stripes Half-Marathon (-) July702Read comments
50 National 10K (99) October701Read comments
Leeds Marathon/Half-Marathon (96)
May701Read comments
52 Cabbage Patch 10 (40)October699Read comments
53Watford Half-Marathon (76)February699Read comments
54Cardiff Marathon/Half-Marathon (-)September698Read comments
55 Percy Pud 10K (dec) (20) November697Read comments
Burnham Beeches Half-Marathon (30)
August697Read comments
57 Canterbury 10 (74) January696Read comments
58 Wolverhampton Marathon/Half-Marathon (-)September695Read comments
59 Lochaber Marathon (32) April695
60 Alsager 5 (57)February695Read comments
61Tough 10 Challenge (52)February693Read comments
62Coniston 14 (33)March694Read comments
63 Leeds Abbey Dash 10K (43)November689Read comments
64 Shakespeare Marathon/Half-Marathon (92)April688Read comments
65 Chichester Priory 10K(-) February688Read comments
66 Brighton Reebok 10K (18)November686Read comments
Ackworth Half-Marathon (44)
March685Read comments
68Flora Light 5K, B’ham (-)September684Read comments
69 Abingdon Marathon (39) October682Read comments
70Reading Half-Marathon (55)March679Read comments
71Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon (67) February678Read comments
Eastleigh B&Q 10K (100)
73British Feelfine 10K (24) August676Read comments
74 Peterborough Half-Marathon (-) March676
75City of Lincoln 10K (53) April675Read comments
76 Great West Half-Marathon (91) May675Read comments
77 Bluewater 10K (-) July673Read comments
78 Dartford Half-Marathon (98) July671Read comments
79 London-Brighton 54 (71) October670Read comments
80 Snowdonia Marathon (-) October669Read comments
81 BUPA Great Ireland Run (37)April667
Kingston Breakfast Run (66) (69)
March666Read comments 83Auckland Castle 10K (-) August665Read comments 84Horwich/BMAF 5K (-) June664 85Stubbington Green 10K (79) January661Read comments 86
Poole 10K (69)
June661Read comments 87North Downs 30K (61) June659Read comments 88Loch Ness Marathon (42)October658Read comments 89
Silverstone 10K (46)
May658Read comments 90
Stafford Half-Marathon (93)
March655Read comments 91
East Kilbride Half-Marathon (-)
June653Read comments 92Great Cumbrian Half-Marathon (88)October652Read comments 93 Race the Train (89) August649Read comments 94
Hillingdon 5 (68)
March646Read comments 95Woking Ten Ten (-)April646Read comments 96 Bramley 20 (29)February645Read comments 97Llandudno 10 (86)November641 98Birchwood 10K (-)July640 Read comments 99 Trentham 10 (-)July638Read comments 100 Isle of Wight Marathon (-)May635Read comments

Scoring Draw

This year we’ve made a few amendments and improvements to the scoring system, which is reflected in some shifts in position and different scores compared with 2002. We’ve scored each race out of 1000, with 250 points being awarded for race organisation; then 150 for course – with higher scores going to races with good PB potential or a challenge; 150 points are awarded for popularity and the overall atmosphere; 150 for unique features; 100 for value for money; 100 for quality of race times and the prize list; and finally 100 points for readers’ feedback.

This new system does mean that there are more movements up and down than in past years. Also, in 2003, there were a large number of new races, as well as some big improvements in quality from some established races, which led to quite a few shifts in position. One race that hasn’t budged, though, is the Flora London Marathon, which is once again our top event. Big climbers this year include the BUPA Great Caledonian Run, the City of Norwich Half-Marathon, Liverpool’s L1310K and the Sheffield Marathon and Half, while top new entries include the pre-London-Marathon at Silverstone, the new Edinburgh Marathon and the Sandal Castle 10K.