Missing London - What Alternatives are Out There?
With London scheduled for autumn rather than spring again this year, many of us are facing a marathon-sized hole in our lives this April. But sometimes a change can actually be an opportunity.
So what are the alternatives out there?
Alternative spring marathons
Manchester (3 April) is the obvious alternative for those after the full-on big city experience. It's a fast, flat course so great for PB hunters and a great atmosphere is guaranteed. It's actually the UK's largest and Europe's fourth largest marathon.
Brighton (10 April). With its iconic seafront finish Brighton is another hugely popular sprint marathon which regularly pulls in 10,000+ entrants.
Milton Keynes (2 May). Although arguably less glamorous than Brighton or Manchester, the MK marathon is a good option for runners based in the South East. The route is less urban than one might expect with plenty of parks, woods and lakes along the way. And with an atmospheric stadium finish there are certainly worse ways to spend the bank holiday weekend.
Hit the Trails. Why not consider getting off road for the iconic 26.2 miles? One advantage of this is that you can be less time focused.
For a first trail marathon Bewl Water, Kent (7 May) is a good option. If you're after something more rugged why not consider heading to Devon for the Plym Trail Spring Marathon (7 May) or Shropshire for Church Stretton's challenging May the Fourth be With You Marathon (4 May).
You'll need to move fast to bag yourself a spring marathon place. Manchester for example is now only open to charity runners and Brighton closes today (although there are still charity places if you miss this). If you plan to run on behalf of a charity it's worth giving some thought to your choice. Considerations include how much money you feel you can commit to raising and how much the various causes mean to you personally.
If you're considering a spring marathon you've probably already started a training plan, or have one in mind. Don't neglect the other aspects of tackling this iconic distance - we've covered some of these in previous blogs - mental preparation is also incredibly important and, on the big day, weeks of training can be undermined if you don't pace yourself well.
Whatever your marathon plans this spring we wish you all the best for your training and the big day!