This week, London Marathon started to release the results of the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon ballot. If you have discovered that, sadly, you’ve not got that golden place, it doesn’t have to put a dampener on your marathon aspirations. There’s plenty more brilliant alternatives, which some would even argue beat the VMLM in terms of a first-time marathon experience. Here’s five London alternatives definitely worth taking a look at.
ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon
7 April 2019
A marathon with unbeatable entertainment and incredible crowd support, it’s unsurprising that the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon has been awarded the official title of ‘UK’s Best Marathon’ for two years running. Branded the UK’s ‘flattest’ marathon, it’s ideal for first-timers and those shooting for a marathon PB. Enter here.
EMF Edinburgh Marathon
26 May 2019
Now officially the fastest marathon in the UK, you won’t want to miss this one – which is also the largest of its kind in Scotland. The course is fast and flat and has an elevation drop of almost 40 metres, perfect for achieving a personal best. The fantastic all-encompassing route takes in some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks as well as offering picturesque views along the East Lothian coastline. Over 70 per cent of participants enter from outside of Scotland, making this a real global event. Enter here.
Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris
14 April 2019
As one of the biggest races on the international circuit, this world-renowned event couldn’t offer a more glitzy or iconic backdrop for your first marathon. Starting at Champs-Elysees, the course heads down the Rue de Rivoli, before weaving through the outskirts of Paris. The course takes runners into Paris’ largest park, Bois de Vincennes, and takes in some of the city’s most famous landmarks. If you’re planning a European mini-break for 2016, this could be your perfect excuse! Register here.
14 April 2019
Arguably one of the most iconic UK marathons, this seafront marathon has attracted runners in their thousands since its inauguration in 2010. The Brighton Marathon Weekend is an all-embracing three-day running event, comprising an Exhibition, Mini Mile Races and culminating on Sunday in a 10K before the main event. Due to high demand this year, the Brighton Marathon will be re-opening its entries over the next few weeks. Entries reopen soon – register your interest here.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon
26 May 2019
With over 30 live bands on route, you certainly won’t be short of entertainment on this fun-filled course. Probably one of the most exciting marathons on the calendar each year, the event kicks off with incredible live music at the Liverpool Waterfront at the Albert Dock – and the fun doesn’t stop until after you’ve crossed the line. Entries start at £45. Register here.
Baxters Lock Ness Marathon
6 October 2019
If you fancy an autumn marathon to keep you motivated through the summer months, the Baxters Lock Ness Marathon is a superb choice. The course is one of the most scenic out there; it starts in the highlands between Fort Augustus and Foyes and drops down to the banks of Loch Ness to follow the stunning shore along the northern tip of the loch. A family-friendly affair, the event also hosts a Wee Nessie children’s race which, this year, saw 200 pre-school children cross the line. If you want to make a weekend of it, it’s perfect for a family weekend away. Entries start at £46. Click here to enter.