Apr 2016 03

Local races 2016

By: Dave Wheeler

Last weekend saw the local Baldock Beast ½ marathon which takes in the North East Hertfordshire countryside on its route from Baldock to Sandon and back. It's a popular race with local running clubs, and Royston Runners, North Herts Road RunnersHitchin Running Club, Garden City Runners, and Fairlands Valley Spartans all fielded strong runners.

The marathon season continues in earnest this weekend with the Reading marathon this weekend pointing towards the London marathon at the end of the month, on 24th April.

For those looking for a more local challenge, here's a round of races close to home:


Greenway challenge - May 2nd 2016

The Greenway challenge is a 13.1 mile local multi-terrain race along the Greenway in Letchworth. Starting at Standalone Farm, the race is limited to 350 runners.

Organised by local running club, NHRR, the race is a local favourite - although be warned, there are no marshalls or road closures, so you'll need to make sure you follow the map provided!


Luton ½ marathon - October 25th 

Now in its 4th year, the Luton ½ marathon takes in both the town and the surrounding Bedfordshire countryside, including the Luton Hoo estate.


Milton Keynes marathon & ½ marathon - May 2nd 2016

On the same weekend as the Greenway Challenge, the Milton Keynes marathon and ½ marathon are popular with runners aiming for a personal best (PB) time. Although the route is described as "gently undulating", there are no real hills, so a good time is possible.

The MK marathon has been going for 6 years now, with the route progressively "flattened out" over that time. The 2 races (the ½ and the full marathon) share the route for the 1st 7½ miles, before the races diverge.

It's a popular race, with 4000 entrants, and now counts as one of the UK's top 10.


Halstead & Essex marathon - May 8th 2016

The Halstead marathon takes places through the undulating Essex countryside (notice the word "gently" doesn't appear before the word undulating!).

Now in its 21st year, the Halstead marathon is limited to 100 runners, and again is a race popular with local clubs.


Hitchin Hard ½ marathon - June 26th 2016

Now in its 5th year of its latest incarnation, the Hitchin Hard ½ marathon (H3M) is a grade 2 route (hard!) out from Hitchin Priory to Preston hills and back. 

For those not quite ready for the full challenge, there's a 10K route run concurrently.


Stevenage ½ marathon - November 6th 2016

The Stevenage ½ marathon is a popular race organised by local running group FVS Spartans. It's another course where PB's are possible as it is only "mildly" undulating.

The course takes 2 laps of traffic-free cycleways around the town and footpaths through the local parks.