Racing over 13 miles is always a challenge, but this quintet of UK races will ease you in (relatively) gently…
Run Jersey Half Marathon (Sunday 12 June 2016)
Striding out for your first half marathon is the perfect way to see this glorious island. The route is a fast point-to-point, which kicks off at St Ouen’s Parish Hall, La Grande Route de St Ouen, and finishes at le Jardin de Mer, Waterfront, St Helier.
In between, you only have to consume 144 climbing metres, working out at around 11m every mile. You can run as an individual or as a four-person team (though that doesn’t mean you have to run three-plus miles each – your whole quartet has to run the full distance). The majority of the run shadows the sea so, despite it being June, you should ‘enjoy’ a cooling coastal breeze.
If you fancy taking part in the Run Jersey Half Marathon, you can register as an individual runner or as a relay team today using the link below.
JCP Swansea Half Marathon (Sunday 26 June 2016)
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is an idyllic race that’ll welcome you into the world of 13.1 miles with open arms.
The race begins in the centre of Swansea before passing the historic castle that’s stood since 1106. Now the blood’s flowing, the floodlights of the St Helen’s rugby ground come within view. Among many sporting memories, it’s here that Sir Garfield Sobers hit six sixes in an over in 1968.
Carry on toward the Mumbles and its iconic pier, which offers the only minor undulation, before swinging back toward the city-centre finish. You can then enjoy a post-race chow down on Bara Lawfr – a local delicacy made from boiled and pureed seaweed!
If you’ve got what it takes, get yourself signed up!
Newark Half Marathon (Sunday 14 August 2016)
Newark enjoyed a reputation as one of the swiftest half marathons around until its final running in 2011. Well, after a five-year hiatus, the Nottinghamshire-based event is back, promising to be faster than ever before.
Your 13.1-mile journey starts in Sconce Park, site of some of the most fiercely-fought battles of the Civil War. On predominantly flat terrain, you stride toward Elston before storming/walking [delete as applicable] back to the Sconce Park finish.
On this fast course, can anyone break the remarkable race record of 1:04:57, set by Zola Thembelani in 2002?
Great Bristol Half Marathon (Sunday 25 September 2016)
One of the biggest half marathons on the circuit starts by the waterfront, where your supporters can enjoy a morning breakfast at one of the many eateries. You, on the other hand, have business to attend to, as you travail the harbourside and head out to the Portway.
It’s here that you stride beneath one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s finest feats of engineering – the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
It’s then a relatively flat run to the four-mile mark before returning to the city centre. Here, through beads of sweat, you can enjoy the historic St Mary Radcliffe Church and Queen Square. The finish is back at the Harbourside, where you can catch up on your missed feast.
Great Eastern Run (Sunday 9 October 2016)
It’s hardly surprising that a race held in East Anglia is pancake flat and that’s what awaits at this popular Peterborough event.
Seven-thousand runners competed in 2015 and that looks to be eclipsed this year with the event returning to the speedy 2012 route. The Embankment hosts the start and finish, while much of the course navigates the city centre. If you’re looking for an extra boost of motivation, there are free weekly training sessions at the Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track from July.
Blog post written by James Witts. James is a writer & editor specialising in endurance sport, health & fitness, outdoor adventure and sports science.