If, like us, you spent Christmas living like you were in some sort of fortnight-long eating contest, you’re probably starting to devise a plan to get back on track. It’s around this time that we plough through the various races coming up in an attempt to gain a bit of fitness focus. Sure, going out for a run is all well and good, but it makes it a lot more likely to happen if you actually have something to train for.
That’s why we’ve pulled together our list of favourite running events taking place in London over the next twelve months.
As London races go RunThrough are damn good value for money. They’re also really good at organising races that have a sort of friendly camaraderie. Great for beginners who are a bit nervous about taking part in their first race as well as veterans. Amazing medals as well. Seriously they’re next level.
Where: All over London
When: All year (like seriously, there are loads of events)
Distance: 1 mile to half-marathon
How Much: Between about £10 and £25
Adidas City Runs Fulham 10k
The second race in the adidas City Run series heads east for what is set to be one of the flattest races you’re going to find in London. Some ruddy nice pubs to go to afterwards as well. You also get a sweet free t-shirt that you’ll actually want to wear.
When: Sunday March 18th
How Much: £40
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k
If you’re looking for a no frills 10k that’s easy to get to, then this Stratford event is one of the best. A three lap loop of the Olympic Park isn’t the most scenic route in the world, well, at least not after the first lap, but it’s pretty much pedestrian free.
The nicest thing about the QEOP 10k is the fact that it starts and ends at the restaurant cafe next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, so even in winter you can sit in the warm before it all kicks off. If you’ve got any spectators coming along they’ll thank you. It also runs every month, so no need to worry about missing it.
When: First Saturday of every month
How Much: £18 (£16 club affiliated)
Cancer Research UK London Winter Run 10k
Central London races are pretty rare due to the difficulty in closing off the roads. So we were pretty chuffed when they launched the Winter Run last year, especially considering we much prefer running in the cold.
It may be a bit too soon for some people, but starting off the year with a race is a nice way to get into the right mindset. Even if it does mean you realise you may have had a bit too much fun over the festive period.
Where: Central London
When: Sunday February 4th
How Much: £45
The Fix Event Series
A great series of no frills events that take place all across London. We’ve done a fair few of them now and we’ve never had any complaints. Our favourite by far are the Richmond and Bushy park ones. What can we say, we like deer. They also run the hugely successful MoRun series in support of Movember.
Where: All over London
When: All year
Distance: 5k, 10k
How Much: From about £14
Energized Sports Event Series
Some great little 10ks and half marathons largely focussed in south-west London. The kind of races that are perfect for if you’re preparing for a big event and need something affordable to test your progress.
Where: All over London
When: All year
Distance: 10k to half-marathon
How Much: From about £20
Regent’s Park 10k Summer Series
A race series that runs over a six month period in the summer. This 10k is a three lap route around Regent’s Park which is perfect for anyone from beginners to veterans. Aside from the obviously nice scenery, they often have home-cooked flapjacks at the end. And, if you’re lucky, you may get to see the giraffes as you run up the final kilometre past London Zoo (not guaranteed though).
Where: Regent’s Park
When: April 1st, May 6th, June 3rd, July 1st, August 5th, September 2nd
How Much: Price: £18 (£16 club affiliated)
Tower of London Run
Bit of a weird one this, but great if you’re not confident with a specific distance. Essentially you run laps around the grounds of the Tower until you want to stop. So you can finish at 1k or 10k, it’s up to you. You still get a medal for any distance. Also great for testing your 1k speed.
Where: The Tower of London
When: Wednesday May 2nd
Distance: As much as you want
How Much: £20
Richmond RUNFEST Marathon/ half marathon/10k
This was our favourite half marathon of 2015 for a number of reasons and a damn fine marathon in 2016. Firstly, the start is located in the grounds of Kew Gardens, which in itself is pretty cool. The first few kilometres of the course take you through the various tree-lined paths before you head out down the river to Teddington. It’s a hell of a nice route and ends at a little festival ground in Old Deer Park. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a finishers T-shirt and medal as good as these anywhere else.
When: Saturday September 15th (10k), Sunday September 16th (Marathon and half marathon)
Distance: Marathon, half marathon, 10k
Salomon Richmond Half Marathon and 10km
If you were to tell us we were allowed to pick one place in London to run for the rest of our lives, it would probably be Richmond. You’ve got the river, the architecture, the scenery, and that’s not to mention all the bars and cafes you can nip into after you’ve finished.
This is the fourth year the race has taken place, and it’s been growing in popularity since it started. Great organisation, great location, and perfectly timed for anyone doing the London Marathon.
When: March 18th
Distance: 10k, Half Marathon
Price: From £25 (10k)
ZSL London Zoo Stampede 10km
If, like us, you’re the kind of runner that gets a bit bored during a race then this is the event for you. A 10km that not only takes you for a lap of Regents Park, but also around the zoo itself. Trust us, you’ve never ran a race until you’ve been cheered on by Gorillas and Llamas.
Where: London Zoo
When: TBC (sign-up for updates)
How much: TBC
Vitality London 10,000
The other big 10k in the city is always ridiculously popular, and rightly so. It’s an awesome route, has great organisation and the crowds love it. Much like a mini London marathon.
Where: Pall Mall
When: Monday May 28th
How Much: From £28
Picture Credits: RandR Photos, The Race Organiser, The Winter Run, Virgin Sport, RunThrough, Human Race, The Fix Events