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The 10 best runs in the UK you can still sign up for


It's around this time of year when we watch thousands of runners pass the finish line at the London Marathon that we think to ourselves, "We really want to do that one day". Whether you're ready to conquer a full marathon, or you're just hoping to participate in your very first run, we round-up the best races in the UK you can sign up for right now.

Under each event, we explain why it's particularly great and the kind of runner it is ideal for, so that your running goal isn't delayed any longer.

(Words: Sejal Kapadia, Main images: Rex Features)

Race for Life, Various locations

It's the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event raising money for Cancer Research UK.

Ideal for: A casual and fun run.

Why it's great: Everyone can participate and it's all about having a good time with your group of girls.

Distance: 5k or 10k

When is it? Various dates from July to October 2014

How much? £14.99

How do I enter? cancerresearchuk.org

Bennachie Hill Race, Aberdeen

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this race is firmly established in the hill running race calendar as one of the most popular races in North-East Scotland.

Ideal for: Runners of all abilities are welcome, however its rocky terrain is a real challenge.

Why it's great: Once you've climbed 1,800ft to the top of the Bennachie hills, you'll be treated to fabulous panoramic views.

Distance: 8.3 miles

When is it? Sunday 5 October 2014

How much? £5 in advance or £7 on the day

How do I enter? Download registration form: gariochroadrunners.com

Torbay Half Marathon, Devon

This seaside race is a traffic free two lap route which is outlined by stunning coastal scenery. An amazing 100 percent of Runner’s World reviewers said that they would do it again.

Ideal for: Someone seeking a challenge. The run includes steep coastal paths and steps, and a 649ft elevation at 20 miles.

Why it's great: You're guaranteed stunning scenery all the way.

Distance: 13.1 miles

When is it? Sunday 29 June

How much? £42 with a T-shirt (£32 without)

How do I enter? Register on torbayhalfmarathon.co.uk

The Colour Run, various locations

An un-timed 5k race in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in coloured powder at each kilometre. While the Brighton run is sold out, tickets are still available at Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Brighton. Plus an extra 5,000 places have been released for the London run.

Ideal for: Anyone who wants to walk instead of run and those looking for something that's a bit different.

Why it's great: It's labelled the 'Happiest 5k on the Planet'.

Distance: 5k

When is it? Various dates from June to September 2014

How much? £25 for a solo entree

How do I enter? Visit thecolorrun.co.uk

British 10K London Run

This London road race weaves between the city's iconic landmarks, from St. Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben to the Ritz Hotel and Tate Modern.

Ideal for: Anyone who prefers to run on tarmac and would like to do a spot of sight-seeing along the way.

Why it's great: The empowering feeling of running down some of London's busiest streets without a car or bus in sight.

Distance: 10k

When is it? Sunday 13 July 2014

How much? Charities pay £35.40 per place (independent individuals pay £50)

How do I enter? Visit thebritish10klondon.co.uk

Lakeland Trails Marathon in Coniston, Cumbria

The Lake District boasts some of the most scenic marathon trails in the UK. This popular route gives panoramic views of Lake Coniston with the surrounding peaks of the Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags. There are 81 places left so book now to avoid disappointment.

Ideal for: Serious runners who want to run across stunning landscapes.

Why it's great: In addition to the breathtaking views and friendly country vibe, you can look forward to unwinding in a top local pub right after it.

Distance: Half and full marathon

When is it? Sunday 6 July 2014

How much? £34 (half marathon), £44 (full marathon)

How do I enter? Visit lakelandtrails.org

The Great Manchester Run

This is Europe's biggest 10k race where 40,000 runners are expected to take part. Meanwhile, locals pour onto streets offering refreshments and tonnes of support. There will also be several 'Bands on the Run' positioned throughout the course to ensure runners receive that all-important musical boost at regular intervals.

Ideal for: A first time runner. We hear this race will get you hooked on the sport.

Why it's great: It's been described as "13.1 miles of party".

Distance: 10k

When is it? 18 May 2014

How much? £38

How do I enter? Visit greatrun.org

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Stampede

This three-lap circuit of Whipsnade Zoo takes you past wild animal enclosures home to rhinos, flamingos and more. It's an increasingly popular race to raise funds for ZSL to conserve endangered species.

Ideal for: Runners who adore animals.

Why it's great: Where else can you run amongst wildlife?

Distance: 2k and 10k

When is it? 8 June 2014

How much? £28

How do I enter? Register at zsl.org

Race the Train, Wales

It sounds like something out of a film, but this quirky race in the middle of Wales draws in serious runners from all around the world. It's what it says on the tin - participants race a steam train on a route that's made up of public roads, lanes, un-metalled roads, tracks, agricultural land, and rough grazing pastures.

Ideal for: Long distant runners who can maintain a consistent speed.

Why it's great: Family and friends can sit on the train and cheer you on. The goal is to wave at them as you pass by.

Distance: 14 miles

When is it? Saturday 16 August 2014

How do I enter? Register at racethetrain.com

Goole Riverbank Challenge, Yorkshire

This lesser known run follows the banks of River Ouse.

Ideal for: Anyone after a run that's on a smaller scale.

Why it's great: Picturesque views of the riverbank and wind turbines.

Distance: Approximately 8.73 miles

When is it? 1 June 2014

How much? £11 for affiliated and £12 for unaffiliated runners

How do I enter? Visit vikingstriders.co.uk



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