Looking for a great choice of UK marathons? The good news is that there are plenty to choose from. Everyone knows about the big UK marathons like London, but there are loads of other great UK marathons throughout the year – which you choose depends on where you live and what sort of race you are looking for.
If your preference runs to big, city based races, London is the obvious choice. First run in 1981, when 6,255 people completed the race, it has grown massively over the past thirty years – to date, over 750,000 people have completed the London Marathon, with a record field of 35,694 runners completing the race in 2007. Another great city centre choice is the Belfast City Marathon, over 20,000 strong.
The advantage of these races is that you are never alone! With so many other runners there with you, and the cheering crowds thronging the streets, these city centre marathons turn your run into one long party.
By contrast, there are also many races that take advantage of the UK’s great countryside. How about the Isle of Wight Marathon? Starting and finishing at the Ballacloan Stadium in Ramsey, the route is mostly flat, but with some undulating sections to test your stamina. It has a reputation as a friendly race with some beautiful scenery.
If you fancy something wilder – and far, far tougher – then the Snowdonia Marathon might be for you. The race takes you through some of north Wales's most spectacular scenery, on a route that circles Snowdon. There are lots of hills, and with its late October start, the weather can be a challenge – indeed, runners are advised to carry extra clothing with them. Yet despite these challenges, it was voted best marathon in the UK by Runners World Magazine’s readers in 2007.