1. For Newbie Runners: Parkrun
Taking place every Saturday morning at over 1,400 locations, Parkrun has become hugely popular among beginner runners wanting to challenge and push themselves. With a strong community and achievable target goals, it’s completely free with no sign-up fee. Just grab your trainers, rock up and take it at your own pace. Don’t be surprised if you end up becoming quite addicted - we’ve known many people who’ve come to rely on this as their regular, weekly fitness slot.
Visit ParkRun.org.uk for information on your nearest location and how you can join in.
2. For Sweating & Socialising: Midnight Runners
It started out as a regular meet-up amongst a small crowd, but now, thousands of members worldwide are taking part in this running phenomenon. Essentially, it’s a 10KM run with boot camp-style exercise stops along the way – think squats, press-ups and circuit-like training. But the best bit? The communal vibe. You run as a group, train as a group, and share the mood-boosting music as a group, too. It’s the ultimate way to socialise, make friends and maintain your fitness levels. Available in eight cities, including Barcelona, London and Sydney, this weekly run has recently opened in Hong Kong too. We expect to see it span across more cities soon. Watch this space…
Visit MidnightRunners.com for membership prices and more information.
3. For Something Fun: Double Dash 5K
Ideal for those seeking something a little less intense, this running event through Regent’s Park is as much about fitness as it is fun. You’ll need a partner to buddy up with as you’ll be tied to their wrist all the way to the finish line, while raising money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. The idea is the run gives you an inside view into what it’s like to jog along with a guide runner, learning your pace, while boosting your teamwork skills. You might want to give this one a practice beforehand.
Visit Rnib.org.uk to sign up and donate, event taking place 11th May.
4. For A Scenic Route: Richmond Runfest
Richmond Runfest is a hugely popular festival that’s selling out faster and faster each year. And, given the beautiful routes on offer, it’s little wonder as to why. Whether you choose the flat and scenic 10K set entirely inside Kew Gardens, or opt for the Richmond 5K through the Old Deer Park, you’re guaranteed to feel at ease without the buzz of chaos and huge crowds. There’s also the option to take part is the marathon on the Sunday, which starts in Kew Gardens, follows the Thames out to Hampton Court Palace and returns back to the Old Deer Park. Whichever you choose, be sure to take your phone for those picturesque snaps.
Visit RichmondRunFest.co.uk for more information on the festival and how to sign up.
5. For Those Seeking A 10K: Asics London 10K
Previously known as The British 10K, it’s now been rebranded as ‘Asics London’ for its 19th year of racing around central London. Taking place on Sunday 21st July, the route will stay the same, giving you the opportunity to run through a traffic-free central London, starting at Green Park, then passing through Trafalgar Square and St James’ Place before heading down to the Thames.
Visit Uk.VirginSport.com to sign up.
6. For A Real Challenge: Red Bull Quicksand
It’s only one mile, but we guarantee, this Margate event will be one of the most brutal miles you’ve ever tackled. Think of it like a speedy tough mudder. Based on the beach, you’ll be running through tiring sand while facing numerous obstacles en route. Last year, there were trenches, rollers and climbs of 23 feet, so you can just imagine the type of challenges you could come across on May 18th. It also promises to be more competitive than before, with set heats taking you through to semi-finals and the finals. Definitely not for the fainthearted.
Visit RedBull.com to find out how you can participate.
7. For The Atmosphere: Ealing Half Marathon
It’s been voted the UK’s best half marathon for three years in a row, which we can only assume is down to there being less traffic and leafy scenery. You can expect fully-closed roads for a comfortable run with significant crowds cheering you on as you pound the pavements. The special signs and chanting is said to be one of the key things that make the race feel so special. Prepare to get the #EalingFeeling. Taking place on Sunday 29th September.
Visit EalingHalfMarathon.com for more information on how to take part.