by Helen Tamblyn

Alternatives to the London Marathon

Emails and magazines are starting to drop, yes it's that time of year where we find out who has been lucky enough to gain one of the coveted spots to the Virgin Money London Marathon. If you're not one of the lucky ones (and most of us won't be), don't fret! Here are three alternatives to London. 


Asics Greater Manchester Marathon

Held in early April, the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon is a popular event for first times and experienced runners. Known as the UK's flattest, fastest and friendliest marathon, it's not surprising that this event was voted Best Marathon in the 2014, 2015 and 2017 National Running Awards.

With a glorious finish at Old Trafford, and fantastic crowd support, this is the event to do if you're chasing a PB.


Brighton Marathon

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside! The Brighton Marathon hasn't been without criticism in the past, due to the debate of cups versus bottles that it raises every year, but held in mid April, this is a fantastic and well supported marathon. Fairly flat, with a few climbs in town, this event sees the population of Brighton and Hove take to the streets to cheer on runners in this party atmosphere. Runners finish along the seafront, making a paddle in the sea a tempting prospect to soothe those tired legs. Entries will be re-opening soon, no doubt to offer an alternative to the poor London rejects. Enter this one if you fancy a weekend away by the sea - but don't forget the suncream. Even in April, the sunshine reflecting off the water can be brutal.


Milton Keynes Marathon

What better way to spend the May bank holiday weekend than taking part in the Milton Keynes Marathon? This event is praised every year for fantastic organisation and a quick course. This event is consistently ranked in the top 10 UK marathons and the organisers have made a real effort to keep the course interesting, running on roads, through parks and along canal towpaths. It also boasts a pretty awesome medal. If you're looking for a well supported marathon with interesting scenery, then this is the one for you.