I have been a runner, for like, what… FOREVER?
But in all seriousness, I have only been running since the year 2013. ‘Proper runners’ have been doing it for YONKS and will have probably raced all the big ‘uns before I even get a look in. However, I have had quite a bit of experience on the old race front, as a partially-experienced distance runner.
In 2015, I had started running half marathons for the challenge, which I then upgraded to the full. In time, I ran certain distances for the fun of it – and not just pushing myself for the progression. Which sometimes meant that the experience was a much more enjoyable one.
I have decided to collaborate the BEST races that I have ran to date. This post is from personal experience, so do let me know what races you have loved too!
5KM – Women’s Running Race Series.
Technically, I have not run a 5KM race yet (GASP) and have only done this distance in training… HOWEVER I have run the Women’s Running Race Series 10KM (in both Manchester and London) which has a 5KM option too.
This race is a female-only run with a much smaller audience to the well known gigs. Don’t let this put you off, this is the chance to meet like-minded ladies with a passion for running. You get to listen to all sorts of stories on their personal fitness journeys (MY FAV) and what everyone is aiming for post-race. PLUS you are more than likely to grab a PB in your age category, if that is what you like to aim for. Friendly, fun and open to ALL experiences.
10KM – Great Manchester Run.
This is the place to be if you want a PARTAYYY post-run. Manchester owns this race like no other, and it one of the favourites by many! It is all about the support with this one, as many a Mancunian will come out to cheer you on and hand out all the tasty snacks. It is loud, proud and a big bag of fun. Put it on your to-do list if you race for the experience.
Half Marathon – Great North Run/Liverpool Rock ‘N’ Roll.
The GNR is a love or hate race (I have heard) although there seems to be much more love than hate for this course.
I have done this race a total of THREE times over and it holds special memories for me. It was my first EVER half marathon, back in 2013. The one that got me into running and the one that will remind me of my late cousin Aaron, as I ran for charity in his honour.
This race is incredible because of the supporters – cheering along with their hand-made signs. Plenty of food was being handed out to keep you going (including sausage roll’s?? BORK!)
The beer tent at the end is absolutely AMAZING. So many runners of all experiences dancing and socialising, it really was a ton of fun!
Liverpool Rock N Roll – I have ran this course twice and have loved the atmosphere on both occasions. The live music along the way will get you in the mood, or at least bring a smile to your face. The route is slightly hilly but the trip down the promenade is quite an eye-catching moment. The gig after the race is also a highlight which will give you a chance to chat to other runners over a beer. Friendly, fun and one to rock out to!
Full Marathon – Berlin Marathon.
BERLIN Marathon. THIS IS THE RACE OF ALL RACES!
I have heard very few negative’s on this event as it seems to be the king of marathons. Being one of the Abbott World Majors, plenty have gone to ‘tick it off the list’ although originally I never had Berlin on my to-do list (which I am ashamed to say!) BUT – Can I tell you now…. JUST WOW! I have since made a point of going back to Berlin, as the culture and scenery are something special.
The route is flat for all those aiming for a PB – plus you get to see some of the great sights (HELLO Brandenburg Gate!) The atmosphere here is also a winner, from expo to finish line, I loved every second of my 4 hour race and the vibes were second to none. Again it holds some personal memories for me, so this has to be top of my list!
Hopefully you are inspired to try out one of these! Comment below, and let me know which ones are your top races, both listed and not!