Our Top 10 Popular UK Distance Running Events (Which one will you take on next?)

Running is one of the healthiest sports on the planet. If you enjoy this exciting pastime, you might want to see if you have what it takes to compete. Here in the UK, there are a wealth of competitions that you might wish to take part in and even win. Distance running takes practice and agility. If you’re ready for your next big challenge, let’s take a look at the top ten distance runs in Britain.

  1. The Colour Run

The Colour Run takes place all over the UK, with most major cities hosting a competition. This 5k run has no time limit, which means that there is no worry that you won’t finish. Over the years, the competition has got bigger and bigger. The event is now the largest series event in the world. In each city, the run attracts around 10,000 participants and thousands more spectators.

  1. The Great Manchester Run

As Europe’s largest 10k run, the Great Manchester Run is worth a mention. Since it started in 2003, the race has attracted more than a quarter of a million people to Manchester. On an annual basis, that means that the run hosts around 20,000 people per year.

  1. Virgin London Marathon

Last April, the Virgin London Marathon saw record numbers when it comes to participants. Yes, a total of 38,262 people took part in the 2015 run. This particular competition was the 35th of its kind. Over the last 35 years, the race has become one of the best known here in the UK. The 26.2-mile run is a real test of people’s stamina. It takes each runner months of training to complete the epic competition.

  1. Race the Train

Race the Train is a quirky run that is a lot of fun. If you want to do something a little different, why not head to Wales for this weird and wonderful race? There are many different challenges that you can enter. Each year, thousands of participants take part in the cross-terrain run. The idea is to reach the finish line before the train you’re racing does. This race is a fast-paced one that takes a great deal of stamina.

  1. Bupa Great North Run

When the Great North Run first started back in 1981, just 12,000 people showed up to take part in the event. In 2014, though, the number had risen to a massive 57,000 people. Spectators gather to watch people take part in the 13.1-mile run from Newcastle to South Shields.

  1. British 10k London Run

The British 10k London Run is fast becoming one of the most famous distance races in the UK. The event now attracts tens of thousands of people to run each year. Race entrants must pay £50 to join the competition. Of course, the money from the entry fees goes straight to charity.

  1. Race for Life

Since Race for Life began in 2006, it has attracted 750,000 participants here in Britain. Each year, around 70,000 people take part in the race, which seeks to raise money for Cancer Research. Runners can choose to take part in either the 10k or 5k run depending on their ability. The Race for Life takes part all over the country and is one of the most popular charity events in the UK.

  1. Google Riverbank Challenge

Coming in at just under nine miles, the Google Riverbank Challenge is one of the most scenic runs ever. Running alongside the rivers of Yorkshire, participants have a chance to enjoy the views. Each year, the run hosts around 13,000 people who want to take the challenge. Usually, there are around twice as many spectators as there are runners. That means that the small town of Google has more visitors than ever during the event.

  1. Stadium Runners Woodland Challenge

Fancy a brisk run through some gorgeous woodland? Each year, this event takes place in July and draws many people to West Yorkshire. The cross-country challenge has a whole host of obstacles along the way. That means that you need both stamina and agility to complete this difficult race. Thousands of people take part in the race every year.

  1. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Stampede

Finally, the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Stampede is worth a look if you want to try something a little different. For part of the race, there is a ‘fun run,’ which is only open to 200 participants. Aside from that, the main part of the race attracts thousands of runners. People can choose to do either a 2k run or a 10k run.

There are still many runs you can take part in this year – why not give them a go?

Looking for something a bit more adventurous? Why not check out our top ten events from around Europe and the rest of the world?

Looking for reasons to get into running? We have a list here.

Already planning to take on one of these events? Why not check our our Beginners Guide to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT Cardio) to help you get ready for the big day?