The Best UK Running Events To Sign Up For Right Now
We love running races here on Coach. They give your training a focus and the event itself is a great day out to boot. Thankfully, the UK is awash with road races, from 5Ks to marathons, as well as mud runs and adventure races for those who want to go beyond the road.
If you’ve got itchy running-shoe-clad feet and want to sign up for something and start a training plan right now – this very instant – this round-up should help. We’ll highlight the races for which you’ll need to start training in the next couple of weeks, and the ones that have brief periods when the ballots open or will sell out if you wait much longer.
And do keep checking this page because we’ll update it with new races at the start of every month.
The Great North Run
Date: 8th September
The ballot for the world’s biggest half marathon is now open and you have until Monday 4th February to make sure your name is in it. We highly recommend doing so, because the Great North Run boasts one of the best atmospheres of any race in the UK, with crowds lining the route from the middle of Newcastle all the way to the coast at South Shields.
Enter the ballot | £56
Run For Chocolate
Dates: Six events between 27th January-17th March
This series of 5K runs encourages participants to get to the finish line that bit quicker by promising that a steaming mug of hot chocolate will be waiting for them. Races take place at half a dozen venues around the south of England, including Bristol, Southampton and Milton Keynes, from the end of January to mid-March. If you’ve kicked off a couch-to-5K plan to start 2019, this is a fun event to work towards.
Sign up | £25
Sage Reading Half Marathon
Date: 17th March
If you have a spring marathon on your schedule already (and if you don’t, we have a great suggestion below) then it’s always worth signing up for a half marathon in mid March to help prepare for the big one. The Reading Half offers 15,000 runners a spectacular finish line inside the Madejski Stadium and the perfectly-timed opportunity to check on your fitness ahead of a marathon in April.
Sign up | £42.50
Date: 7th April
We reckon this is the best UK alternative to the London Marathon if you’ve not been able to snag a place in the latter. In fact, given the massive crowds at London and the scorching weather runners suffered through in the capital last year, heading up to Manchester a little earlier in April might make going the distance a little easier. The Manchester Marathon has a fast, flat route that starts and finishes near Old Trafford, and with 16,000 runners it’s large enough to enjoy a cracking atmosphere without being so big you get overwhelmed by the crowds. That early April race day means you need to start your training ASAP, however, so grab your spot today and get running.
Sign up | £65
Date: March 30th
Hosted by running club Orion Harriers, this free (though donations are encouraged) 15-mile (24km) cross-country event in Epping Forest in north London is grassroots running at its absolute finest, and close to its toughest as well. You’ll need to get training soon to ensure the undulating, muddy course doesn’t get the best of you, but you’ll have to sign up even sooner, because the event will be full well before the end of January.
Sign up | Free