Finding the right race depends on your goals as well as other factors like location and the difficulty of the course. Here are some of our top picks for races in the UK to sign up for.
The Asics London 10k
If you want the size and scale of the London Marathon without the distance, this central London event is a great alternative. Like the London Marathon, it takes in some of the capital's biggest landmarks and sees huge crowds line the streets to cheer you on in the final few kilometers of the race. Thousands of runners take part every year creating an atmosphere similar to the marathon. As it's in June you're also likely to get much better weather.
Taking place in the summer, the Leeds 10k is a popular event that sees plenty of cheering crowds dotted along the city centre route. Since it started 15 years ago the race has become a calendar highlight, raising thousands of pounds for charity and giving runners the chance to enjoy some of the city's famous locations.
London Landmarks Half Marathon
There's no shortage of half marathons to sign up for in the south east, but few offer the sort of route you can expect at London Landmarks. The race winds it way around some of the capital's most famous buildings, starting in Trafalgar Square and finishing near Westminster. Like the London Marathon, it's becoming one of the country's milestone running events and provides a rare opportunity to run through London on closed roads.
The Great North Run
The Great North Run is one of the biggest races across the UK and sees almost 60,000 people turn up to take part from around the world. The historical route takes runners 13.1 miles from the centre of Newcastle all the way to the coastal town of South Shields, lined with cheering crowds all the way. For the duration of the weekend the city turns into a festival of running, with dozens of events taking place to welcome anyone visiting to take part in the race.
Since 2023 the popular coastal race has been taken over by the team that puts on the London Marathon. As a result the event is quickly becoming one of the most popular marathon events in the UK and is a the go-to option for people who are unlucky in the London Marathon ballot. The course mainly takes place along the coastline, featuring scenic views of the sea as well as Brighton's many famous landmarks. Expect streets lined with cheering holidaymakers and some of the best post-race fish and chips in the country.
Manchester Marathon has become a popular alternative to London in recent years due it offering an fast, flat course and the fact you don't have to enter a ballot to take part. The route is a celebration of the city and takes in some of the areas most iconic locations as well as many of the county's suburbs.