Marathon and half marathon events are popular throughout the UK, and there are several events that are respected enough to attract some of the world’s best marathon and half marathon runners.
The London Marathon
Beginning in 1981, the London Marathon, now sponsored by Virgin, has become one of the most famous annual marathons in the world. Traditionally help every spring, the London Marathon has a diverse mix of world class athletes and fun runners, with many of the latter running to raise money for charity. 2012 saw nearly 37,000 athletes complete the course, and it’s currently the largest marathon in the world. The very first London Marathon took place on March 29th, 1981, and was founded by the former Olympic steeplechase champion Chris Brasher and former Welsh athlete John Disley. The 2013 race will take place on April 21st.
The Great North Run
Also beginning in 1981, the Great North Run is normally held every September in the North East of England. Sponsored by BUPA, the Great North Run is a half marathon, with the race beginning in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishing in South Shields. The event is the brainchild of former Olympic 10,000 metres bronze medallist, and now BBC TV commentator, Brendan Foster and it is one of the biggest half marathon events, attracting over 50,000 runners and elite runners from across the globe. As with the London Marathon, the Great North Run includes many charity fun runners. 2013′s race will take place on September 15th.
The Edinburgh Marathon
A relatively new race, which began in 2003, the Edinburgh Marathon is now the biggest annual marathon race in the UK after London, and it attracts over 16,000 runners. Runners have the option of taking part in the marathon as part of a relay team, with each member running 6.5 miles. The 2013 event will take place on May 26th.
The Manchester Marathon
After an absence of 10 years, the Manchester Marathon returned in 2012. The race has a strong tradition, and was first held way back as 1908. The event takes place on a flat course, and fun runners are encouraged to run in support of selected charities. The 2013 race will take place on April 28th.
The Belfast Marathon
The Belfast Marathon offers a variety of ways of completing the course. As well as a marathon and wheelchair race, the course can be tackled via a relay team, or just walked around. The 2013 event will be held on May 6th.
The Glasgow Half Marathon
The Glasgow Half Marathon attracts over 20,000 runners, and is Scotland’s biggest mass participation event. This 2013 half marathon will take place on October 6th, and will feature many runners running for charity.
The Richmond Half Marathon
Organised by the Ranelagh Harriers, the Richmond Half Marathon is a yearly event held in Surrey. Both affiliated and non-affiliated runners are welcome, as are runners for charity. This year’s event will be held on May 5th.
The Blackpool Half and Full Marathon
This event was first held in 2004, and part of the flat and fast course includes the Blackpool seafront. The 2013 run will take place on April 7th.
Brad Chambers is a blogger for www.aealskinz.com and a fanatical runner and hill walker. He regularly goes for jogs across the south downs in his thermal socks, and also enjoys strength training, when he is not updating the company twitter.