13 of the best half-marathons to sign up to this summer

Sir Mo Farah won the Vitality Big Half in London this March, racing across the line in 61 minutes and 40 seconds, beating last year’s London marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru by three seconds.

Whilst Farah now has his sights set on the London marathon, hoping to become the first British male runner to win the race in 33 years, if you’re inspired enough to sign up to your own half-marathon, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites this summer.

How long does it take to train for a half-marathon?

Whether this is your first half-marathon, or your thirtieth, both our beginner and improver half-marathon training plans recommend you take around 12 weeks to properly prepare your body for the distance.

The best half-marathons this Summer in the UK:

Get inspired and start your training plan now, in time for the following summer races: 

Poole Festival of Running – Poole Half Marathon, Dorset

When: Sunday 3rd June 2018, 9.00am

Where: Poole Park, Dorset, BH15 2SF

Lowdown: A good one if you’re trying to achieve a PB, this fast and flat course starts out from Poole Park, around Upton Country Park then back along Poole Quay. As part of the Poole Festival of Running, they’ll be a great atmosphere. The race has a no headphone rule due to traffic. Friends of Poole Park will be running a baggage tent where you can leave your bags in return for a small donation.

Race for Life Leeds Trail Half Marathon, Leeds 

When: Sunday 3rd June 2018, 9.00am

Where: Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Off Selby Road, Leeds, LS15 0AE

Lowdown: This multi-terrain, women-only half marathon raises money for Cancer Research UK. The course will take you over a mixture of hills, grass, forest tracks and paved roads. There's no bag drop, so turn up ready to run. 

Cost: £29.99

Wimbledon Common Half Marathon, London  

When: Sunday 3rd June 2018, 9.30am

Where: Wimbledon Common, Richard Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Roehampton Vale, London, SW15 3PQ

Lowdown: This picturesque, multi-terrain race is put on four times a year by RunThrough. You’ll do two laps of the same off-road course, and although it might not be one for a PB, your legs will love the downhill stretch at the end.

Cost: £26

Southend Half Marathon, Essex 

When: Sunday 10th June 2018, 9.30am

Where: East Beach, Shoeburyness, Essex, SS3 9SE

Lowdown: A relatively flat, traffic-free 13.1 miles along the seafront, the Southend Half Marathon is a great option for wheelchair users. The annual half-marathon is run by Havens Hospices and there is also a 3K Family Fun Run.

Cost: £21 affiliated runners, £23 unaffiliated runners

Salomon Trail Marathon, Wales 

When: Saturday 16th June 2018, 10.00am

Where: Coed-y-Brenin, Gwynedd, Wales

Lowdown: This trail half marathon races around the picturesque roads and paths of the Coed y Brenin forest in the Snowdonia National Park. It's a tough race, but if you're a trail running fan, you'll love the adventure.

Cost: £28.00

Torbay Half Marathon, Devon  

When: Sunday 24th June 2018, 9.00am

Where:  Eastern Esplanade, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6AG

Lowdown: A traffic-free half-marathon, which will take you on two laps of Torbay, starting and finishing on Paignton seafront. It’s a flat race, with prizes for the fastest finishers and best costume (if you feel like dressing up).

Cost: £24 affiliated runners, £26 unaffiliated runners

Related: The best 50 running races in the world

Hitchin Hard Half Marathon, Hertfordshire 

When: Sunday 24th June 2018, 9.30am

Where: Hitchin Priory, Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 2DL

Lowdown: As the name suggests, it’s no walk in the park, but this hilly half-marathon has some beautiful views. The route takes you from Hitchin Priory up to the village of Preston, and a loop round the surrounding hills.

Cost: £19 affiliated runners, £21 unaffiliated runners

Hadrian's Wall Half Marathon, Northumberland

When: Sunday 24th June 2018, 10.00am

Where: Edges Gree, Haltwhistle, Northumberland, NE49 9PP

Lowdown: A race with a difference as you run close to a section of Hadrian's Wall, with up-close views of this World Heritage Site. It's a mixed-terrain path with approximately 4.6 miles of road, but you'll also run on grass and through the forest. 

Cost: £28 affiliated runners, £30 unaffiliated runners 

Race for Life Half Marathon – Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 

When: Sunday 1st July 2018, 9.00am

Where: Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3AZ

Lowdown: An all-female race raising money for Cancer Research UK. The route around the Clumber estate is relatively flat, with a few hills and is mainly a road race. There’s no bag drop at the event, so turn up ready to run.  

Cost: £29.99

Secret Half in the North, London 

When: Sunday 1st July 2018, 11am

Where: The secret location is revealed 48 hours before the run. Runners will meet before the run near Highgate Tube Station, London, N6

Lowdown: A half-marathon with a difference, this 13.1 mile run takes you through North London, whilst solving a murder mystery set in 1873. Definitely not one to sign up to if you’re after a personal best, but it will be one to remember.

Cost: From £39.00

Related: Why you need tempo runs in your training plan

Bath Two Tunnels Half Marathon, Bath

When: Sunday 8th July 2018, 11am

Where: Brickfields Park, Oldfield Park, Bath, Avon, BA2 1LX

Lowdown: A fast and flat course that takes you through Bath, this run has two of the longest underground sections of any running race in the UK. A two lap out and back half marathon course, with a total of 8km+ underground.

Cost: £29 affiliated runners, £31 unaffiliated runners

SimplyHealth Great Aberdeen Run, Aberdeen 

When: Sunday 26th August 2018 

Where: Aberdeen 

Lowdown: It's only the second year of the Great Aberdeen Run, which takes you round Aberdeen, soaking up some of the city's most famous landmarks. 

Cost: £36 

Richmond RUNFEST 

When: Sunday 16th September 2018

Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Kew Green, TW9 3AB

Lowdown: As part of the Richmond RUNFEST, there is a full and a half marathon taking place in Kew Gardens, Ham House and Hampton Court Palace. With Great Ormond Street (GOSH) announced as the headline charity, this year's race weekend will be Peter Pan themed, transforming Kew Gardens into Neverland for the 8,000 finishers. Disney fans, this is one for you. 

Cost: £34

Not quite ready for a half-marathon? Why not start off with a 10K and have a browse of upcoming events.