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Don’t want a big race? 5 alternatives to the London marathon

Don’t want a big race? 5 alternatives to the London marathon

5 alternative races to the London Marathon

The last few weeks I have seen some very happy and very disappointed people. Why? Because the results of the ballot for the London Marathon have been announced.

For those of you who didn’t get a place (and I’m sure there are quite a few of you) what do you do now? For many people running a marathon means running London but there are plenty of alternative spring marathons. Of course, there are the big three city marathons (Manchester, Brighton and Edinburgh), all of which have some places available if you are quick. But what if London is the only big city marathon you want to run? What about some smaller marathons?

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Here are my top 5 alternatives to the London Marathon and big city marathons in general!

Marathon Day Marathon

Marathon Day Marathon
Photo (c) Saxons, Vikings, Normans via the website

26 February 2017, cost £36

www.saxon-shore.com/marathon_day

Run 26.2 miles on 26/2! This is a lap race as in you have to run 12.96 laps on the cycle track at Betteshanger Country Park. It counts as a road race for the 100 Marathon Club though and is organised by Saxon Shore who put on many low key marathons throughout the year. They are famous amongst runners for being friendly events, with huge medals and rather excellent goodie bags (vegan option available when you sign up). If you fancy something a bit different then this is for you.

Boston Marathon (UK)

Boston marathon runners by the catherdral
Photo by the Market House Photography Group, Long Sutton via Boston Marathon website

17 April 2017, cost £28/30

www.bostonmarathon.co.uk

No, not the one across the pond, but rather a newer marathon in the original Boston, Lincolnshire. This marathon starts in Boston before heading out through the fenlands and along the coast before finishing back in the city again. This being Lincolnshire, and most of the route being on reclaimed land, the marathon is one of the flattest around, which is perfect for those of you chasing a PB. Just don’t expect cheering crowds for the full route!

Shakespeare Marathon

Runners at the start line of the Shakespeare marathon
Photo (c) Shakespeare Marathon via the website

7 May 2017, cost £33/35

www.shakespearemarathon.org.uk

Starting and finishing in Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon this marathon takes in some of the picturesque villages along the river Avon. It is a two lap race, described as ‘undulating’ and although on road it does go on the Greenway which is an unsealed path. If you want to run a marathon and do a bit of sightseeing then this is a perfect race for you.

Brathay Windermere Marathon

Runners warming up by lake Windermere ahead of the Brathay Half Marathon

21 May 2017, cost £39-43

www.brathay.org.uk/marathon-welcome

Having ran the inaugural Brathay half marathon this year which follows the same route for the first 6 milles I can tell you this is a beautiful, if challenging race. If you are looking for a road race with a view, you like the challenge of hills, and would quite like to jump in a lake after your race, then this is for you. Great support and you get beer in your goodie bag!

Oakwood Wales Marathon

Runners at the start line of the Wales Marathon
Photo (c) Finisher Pix via the Wales Marathon website

9 July 2017, cost £40-60

www.thewalesmarathon.com

Starting in the west Wales seaside town of Tenby this is a fully closed road marathon taking you to Pembroke and back. It’s a fairly ‘undulating’ course through some very beautiful Penbrokeshire countryside. Not only that but the finish line is on a red carpet just to make you feel even more of a star for finishing.

Is the London Marathon on your race list? Or do you prefer smaller marathons?

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Alternatives to the London Marathon

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