Inspired By The Marathon? Here's Some Other Great Runs To Sign Up For

If the sight of tens of thousands of sweaty but exhilarated runners crossing the finish line of the London Marathon yesterday stirred your inner runner into action, then fear not, there are plenty of runs out there for you to get involved in, too.
Read on to find the right run for you, whatever your level.

For the newbies

If this is literally your first foray into running then it might be clichéd, but the Colour Run really is right up your street. You're probably familiar with how it works; each 5k course features five colour stations where Colour Run minions chuck powdered paint at you. By the end you look like you've had an accident in a Skittles factory. You can run competitively if you want (although things do start to get a bit bottlenecked at the colour stations) but equally, you won't look out of place slowing down and walking with the people wearing flip-flops, having a leisurely stroll.
The Colour Run, London, Manchester, Brighton in June, July and September. More details here.

For those that don't like running

Hey, running's not for everyone, and that's totally fine. If doing nothing but running for 10 whole kilometres is the most boring thing you can imagine, then consider Tough Mudder – despite their somewhat laddy branding, loads of women actually take part, too. Kick things off with a Tough Mudder Half, which consists of five miles and 13 obstacles which could include an ice plunge pool (filled with actual ice cubes) and a fun Total Wipeout-type thing called the "Block Ness Monster". Really.
Tough Mudder Half, all over the country, throughout the year. More details here.

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For those who want something a bit different

Because why do your running horizontally when it can be done vertically? Vertical Rush asks you and a team to scale the stairs of London's Tower 42, the City's original skyscraper, in aid of homeless charity Shelter. Sounds doable, right? Well, it's 932 steps to the top of the 42 storeys, where you'll find yourself 600ft up in the air. Not many people are still running by the end.
If you can't wait for Vertical Rush (it's not until March 2018, sadly), then check out Conquer The Tower (proceeds to help young adults with cancer), which takes the same concept and applies it to London's Broadgate Tower. It's 35 storeys and 877 steps – still pretty substantial!
Vertical Rush, Tower 42, London, 8th March 2018. More information here.
Conquer The Tower, Broadgate Tower, London, 20th May 2017. More information here.

For those who want to run in beautiful surroundings

It's nice to have something pleasant to look at when you're running, isn't it? Sign up to the Windsor Half Marathon, dubbed (possibly by itself) the "most picturesque half marathon". It takes place in Windsor Great Park which, fair play, is rather tidy and houses a deer park, several gardens and even a waterfall. Even better, as Windsor Castle is visible from the park, it's highly likely that Her Royal Highness will be cheering you on from her bedroom window. Probably.
Windsor Half Marathon, 24th September 2017. More information here.

For the marathon-curious

"26.2 miles? I can do that!" you might reckon after watching all sorts of people cross the finish line of the London Marathon. And you know what? I bet, given time to train, you can. Sign up immediately for next year's London Marathon here if you're really inspired, but bear in mind that the odds of getting in are around one in seven. Other options to look at include the Brighton Marathon next April (running in fresh sea air? Yes please) and the Hull Marathon (use as an excuse to go and see what the City of Culture 2017 has on offer) in September. Give the Edinburgh Marathon in May some consideration, too. It takes in views from all around the beautiful city – and offers guaranteed entry to those who don't get into the London Marathon.
Brighton Marathon, 13th-15th April 2018. More information here.
Hull Marathon, 24th September 2017. More information here.
Edinburgh Marathon, 28th May 2017, check back for 2018 dates soon. More information here.

For the truly heroic

If you're woman enough to take on an ultra run then you deserve much higher praise than anything we can shower on you here. For those unsure what an "ultra run" is, it's anything longer than the 26.2 miles of a marathon. Ultra runs can even be as long as 1,000 miles over a couple of days! For a non-scary introduction, look up Runstock in Northamptonshire, which sees kids doing 5ks alongside the 50k-ers. Every 5k lap gets you a wristband – with one person last year opting to cover 75k(!), that's a lot of wristbands. Once you've mastered Runstock, start looking at some of the more intense ultra runs that take place all over the globe, from the Peruvian rainforest to the French Alps.
Runstock, Northamptonshire, 10th June 2017. More information here.

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