Great North Run

ROAD – TOWN - FLAT If you’ve done the UK’S big­gest half marathon be­fore, you’ll know that the chief rea­son it’s so pop­u­lar is not so much the course, which – the Tyne Bridge cross­ing near the start and the fi­nal, thrilling seafront dash aside – is not the

Runner's World (UK) - - Race -

WA­TER OF LIFE HALF MARATHON OF­FROAD - RU­RAL - FLAT They ob­vi­ously can’t get enough of half marathons in Mar­low – this is one of two held there within the space of a month. It starts and fin­ishes right next to the river at Bisham Abbey Sports Cen­tre and, while not ter­ri­bly hilly, the bridge cross­ings, rut­ted paths and stretches on grass will test your legs to the full. Mar­low, Bucks, Oc­to­ber (date tbc), pur­plepatchrun­ning.com

CROSS BAY CHAL­LENGE TRAIL – RU­RAL - FLAT Bored with the same old road-based plods? We’ve got just the thing: this one will not only get you run­ning in two coun­ties (from Lan­cashire to Cum­bria), but takes you across the sand of More­cambe Bay be­fore the tide comes in – bet­ter speed up if you don’t want to wet. Ac­tu­ally, just ac­cept it: your feet are in for a soak­ing. Lan­cashire, Au­gust (date tbc), can­cer­care.org.uk

BACCHUS HALF MARATHON MULTI-TER­RAIN – RU­RAL - FLAT Why wait to finish your run be­fore you hit the bot­tle? At this (in­creas­ingly leisurely) fancy dress jaunt round the Den­bies Wine Es­tate in Sur­rey, you’ll be served wine along the route, leav­ing those slight in­clines feel­ing like Mount Fuji. More wine and a bar­be­cue are but a short stum­ble be­yond the fin­ish­ing line. Sur­rey, Septem­ber (date tbc), eventsto­live.co.uk

BRIGHTON HALF MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - FLAT A beau­ti­ful seafront race that now at­tracts over 15,000 par­tic­i­pants, thanks in part to the wide route – which of­fers am­ple room for over­tak­ing – and the amaz­ing crowd sup­port. For added mo­ti­va­tion there is a finish on Madeira Drive un­der the watch­ful gaze of the Steve Ovett statue – who bet­ter to spur you to a head-down sprint finish? East Sus­sex, Fe­bru­ary 26, brighton­half­marathon.com

HAR­RIS HALF MARATHON ROAD/ TRAIL – RU­RAL - HILLY The Har­ris refers to the is­land of Lewis and Har­ris, bet­ter known for its tweed, but in fu­ture – we hope – also for its sim­ply gor­geous race, which in­cludes stun­ning views of the is­land of Taransay and

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