Had some last minute-inspiration to run a marathon in the New Year? Don’t sweat it, you’re still in time to enter some of the best in the country…
The Greater Manchester Marathon is a real cracker. Held in Trafford, it gives runners the chance to partake in a fast and flat race. Participants will be buoyed by the great support and entertainment offered on the day. The course has a perfect finish at Manchester United’s famous Old Trafford ground.
Enter here: greatermanchestermarathon.com
You’ll need to take the day off work to run this flat, seven-lap gem of a marathon along a stretch of the Saxon Shore Way between Kingsdown and Deal, but we promise you it’ll be worth it. Held on St George’s Day (a Thursday), the organiser says it aims to celebrate all things English. This means fancy dress, party bags and party food (“no isotonic drinks or fruit, just biscuits, crisps, nuts, cucumber sandwiches and cream and jam scones”). Oh, and there’s also a monster of a medal!
Enter here: saxon-shore.com
This fun event is a great day out for friends and family. The marathon is joined by a 10K and half-marathon, so there’s something for runners of all abilities and experience. The marathon itself is a PB-friendly two-lapper.
Enter here: fyldecoastrunners.com
Milton Keynes used to be renowned for its super-sized roundabouts and concrete cows but since 2012 this Buckinghamshire town has another claim to fame – a great marathon with 4,000 runners that takes you on a single-lap loop through its leafy streets (there are an amazing 22 million trees) and along pretty canalside cycle paths before finishing in the MK Stadium. What’s more, the course has PB potential as there’s only 315ft of elevation. A recently added half-marathon and 1.5 mile Superhero Fun Run (fancy dress essential’!) are held on the same day, the first May Bank Holiday Monday, so it’s ideal for those with weekend work commitments.
Enter here: mkmarathon.com
Now officially the fastest marathon in the UK, the Edinburgh race is the largest of its kind in Scotland. The course is fast and flat and has an elevation drop of almost 40 metres. Over 70 per cent of participants enter from outside of Scotland, making this a real global event.
Enter here: edinburghmarathon.com
Love music? This marathon is the one for you. The start is at the Albert Dock, a few minutes walk from the Liverpool Echo Arena. This fun and friendly event has live bands playing round the course to spur you on, a
great atmosphere and lots of runners in costumes. At the end, you’ll get a very blingy medal and plenty of food.
Enter here: runrocknroll.com/liverpool/
This delightful Dorset event ticks every single box. Will it challenge you? Yes, absolutely! The course is extremely hilly and definately one for more experienced marathoners. Specatacular scenery? In abundance. The route takes in the stunning scenery of the Sydling and Cerne valleys, home to the club-wielding, amply-endowed Cerne Abbas Giant (Britain’s largest chalk hill figure). There’s also a pre race pasta party, beer tent, a hog roast and an ice-cream van at the after party. Did we mention the free tech t-shirt, blingtastic medal and £37 entry fee? Now don’t all click enter at once!
Enter here: whitestarrunning.co.uk