6 UK spring marathons (that are not London)

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runners legs spring marathon

The ballot results are in and about 96% of people are out, if you believe the rumours circulating about the latest odds of ballot success for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2020. However, if there is one thing that the UK has in spades it’s spring marathons.

So if you’re feeling a bit rejected and unloved by the iconic city marathon, take a look at some of these alternatives in April/May 2020.

ABP Newport Wales Marathon

Sunday 19th April 2020


This event was a new in 2018 to the UK spring marathon calendar and has received good feedback in the last couple of years. It claims to be one of the ‘flattest marathon courses in Europe’ with 70% of entrants getting a PB! The course looks quite interesting, a single loop but with a couple of passing points to cheer on other runners. There is a 10K event too.

Boston Marathon UK

Sunday 19th April 2020


No, not that Boston Marathon. But Boston, UK, in Lincolnshire. It has received great feedback from participants for its scenic route and friendly marshals – it claims to be the UK’s flattest marathon. It’s a bit of a bargain at only £28 (Affiliated) for the full marathon (there is a half as well, and a fun run of three miles).

An Ox of Two Halfs

Friday 8th May 2020


Make the most of your Friday bank holiday, for one year only! The popular Ox trail series of races returns to the Rushmoor Estate with all its usual offerings – a night-time ‘dark’ 10K, a 12-hour ‘frolic’ (timed, lapped event), a 50-mile lapped race, a daytime 10K and a half-marathon. But for one year only you can take part in the marathon-distance (ish) Ox of Two Halfs. So-named because each half is in a difference part of the estate. The first half is an exploration through the valleys, and the second half is through woodland. In true White Star Running style, it isn’t straightforward, and there will be additional tasks to carry out during the event. Prepare for anything and be sure to pack your sense of humour.

Manchester Marathon

Sunday 5th April 2020


This event is one of the most popular London Marathon alternatives for a UK spring marathon. Described as ‘fast, flat and friendly’ it ticks all the boxes if you want a city road marathon experience. With 25,000 runners, there is a lot of support, and there is even the option to run as a relay in a team of two or four if you want to dip your toe into a big event like this without committing to the full distance quite yet. In 2020, the route will head through the city centre for the first time.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 

Sunday 24th May 2020


Head to Scotland for the spring bank holiday and you can take part in this out and back UK marathon. Some love the route; some hate it. But it has PB potential and the festival means that the whole family can take part. There is a half-marathon, relay option, 10K, 5K, 5K Junior, 2K Junior, 1.5K Junior and Kids’ Kilometre, all taking place over the weekend. They are also offering guaranteed entry for those who were unsuccessful in the London Marathon ballot.

PodPlus Kent Spring Marathon 

Sunday 5th April 2020


If you fancy a low-key UK spring marathon in the South East, then take a look at this Kent-based offering. There is a half-marathon too, and both events take a rural route through country lanes. The marathon is two laps of the multi-terrain course, with well-stock adi stations and a bespoke medal.

Main image by Th G from Pixabay