Top five marathon warm-up races

Ashridge Boundary Run 16M

Saturday 15th March, Ringshall

A hilly trail course awaits runners here so by no means will it be a walk in the park. But for the opportunity to get some decent miles with the added benefits of hill work, this is a scenic wonder. The route takes you around the Boundary estate through ancient woodlands and the Ivinghoe Beacon. It’s a circular course on both road and off road terrains. It’s a small local event of approximately 200 participants.

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Zoom Mad March 20M 

Sunday 2nd March, Christchurch

Planning 20 mile race in your marathon training can do your confidence and performance wonders. This one is straightforward, flat and fast. It is a lap-based course all on road and set in rural Dorset. Ideal for beginners and experienced marathoners alike, get signed up to bank your longest training runs in good company.

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Rhayader Round the Lakes 20 Mile Road Race 

Saturday 8th March, Rhayader

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Rhayader Round the Lakes Road Race. The rural event consists of a single lap of an undulating – hilly course. Although, from the feedback from previous participants expect a challenging route. Despite the hills however, the consensus is that the views and surroundings make it all worthwhile. The course follows a series of reservoirs and provides a peaceful 20 miles, expect a friendly well organised race.

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Surrey Spitfire 20M

Sunday 16th March, Cranleigh, Surrey

There is something a bit special about the location of this race, it’s set and starts from the Dunsfold Aerodrome, famous for being the set of Top Gear’s test track. The course consists of two undulating laps through rural surroundings. Previous participants report seamless organisation and a varied interesting course to keep you going through 20 miles of running.

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Cranleigh 15/21

Sunday 16th March, Cranleigh, Surrey

Offering a 15 or 21-mile option this event is timed perfectly as a VLM warm-up for those in training for the big 26.2. The course is predominantly flat and crosses muliterrains but is mainly set around quiet country lanes. Previous participants rate this highly for good organisation and on its value for money.

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