17 June 2015

5 Running Challenges That Aren't a Marathon

If you've just started running and want something to aim for, or you've been running a while and looking for some inspiration, then this is the post for you.

Marathons aren't for everyone and there are many races that are much better for your body, whilst still stretching you.

Great South Run

The Great South Run is a 10 mile in length, but most importantly it's very well supported by large spectator crowds. You run along the coast and around Portsmouth making for some interesting and varied surroundings. The final few miles along the sea front were particularly tough for me as we had very strong winds and the last stretch feels like it will never end! Although entry is quite expensive it is a world-class event and the atmosphere is absolutely brilliant.
See the Great South Run website for more information and check out all the runs in the 'Great Run' calendar, including the Great North Run and shorter distances.

Tough Mudder

This race may not be a marathon but it's reportedly very very tough. The 10-12mile distance is made all the more tricky by many obstacles. This is a race best completed as a team, as there are many obstacles that require a leg-up or a hand to get over. If you've already completed one tough mudder you may be treated to additional obstacles. They have events all across the UK (and further afield) so see the Tough Mudder Website for more information.

Yateley 10k Series

I may be biased towards this event as it's so close to me, but I love the premise - you run a series of 3 races (each 10k) on the first Wednesday of June, July & September. The idea is that you can compare your time on each one and see if you can improve. I also appreciated that the races are on a weekday evening, as when I completed it a few years back I worked every Sunday (when most races take place). If you can't make all three you can enter each race separately.
See the dedicated Yateley 10k Series website.

Surrey Bacchus Half Marathon @ Denbies Wine Estate

Ok yes this could be a marathon, but you can choose the half marathon (only one lap) so I'm counting it in our list. This is definitely a half with a twist. Every two miles you get a thimble of wine and there is an abundance of fancy dress. You may even find me completing this race this year, though admittedly I'll probably be walking it.
See the Events To Live page with more information.

Trail Runs - Harting Trail 10

If you're looking for something new to challenge your muscles consider varying the terrain somewhat. I completed the Harting Trail 10 which Runners World said was 'slightly undulating' but actually turned out to be rather hilly. I slipped, so make sure you've tried off road running before taking the plunge with a race and if you have cross country shoes, wear them! The views that trail runs afford you make all the effort worth it and smaller races like this often mean that at times it's just you and the trail. A very different experience to packed races like the Great South Run.
See more information on Liss Runner's dedicated Harting Trail 10 page.

Have you completed any of the races mentioned above?
Ps. See my other running posts for more tips and inspiration.

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