Running Events

History | Getting Started | Fun Runs | 5k and 10k Runs | Marathons and Half Marathons | Top Running Events

Running events are some of the most popular types of fitness events out there – and are one of the easiest to get in to, whilst being very tricky to master. Because of this, running is a great place to start when you want to get in to a fitness regime – but there is a lot more to it than simply placing one foot in front of the other!

Runners taking part in a running event

Brief History of Running

Competitive running races is thought to have at first started (as with many sports) with the Ancient Greeks, though many other traces link it to the Egyptians, parts of Asia and many other parts of Africa. One of the earliest recorded event is from 1829 BCE at an Irish festival honouring the goddess Tailtu in a series of sporting events known as the Tailteann Games. A thousand years later in 776 BCE, we have the first record of the Olympics in Greece, and this is likely where many forms of runs and marathons have their origins.

Since then many different events and types of running have come about – though the Olympic Games are still probably the most famous. Throughout the world running events are held all the time from simple small 5k runs to enormous 26 mile sprints like the London Marathon.

How to get started in running events

Running is one of the easiest sports to get in to – you just need to start moving! Starting off with small jogs and sprints is the best way to get started and then you can slowly start to increase distance to build yourself up to bigger and better runs. I’d suggest started off with something like a 5K run as this is not too challenging but long enough for you to get a real sense for what is involved in running for sport. You can read our article here all about how to prepare for your first 5K which will give you some more insight on how to get your training started.

Once you get started you will quickly see there is a lot more to taking on a run than simply getting out there and jogging. If you are looking to get serious then you may want to start investing in some running gear – a good pair of running trainers is the best place to start. You can also invest in a lot of other running specific clothing too though be warned things can start to get expensive.

Types of running events

There are quite a lot of different runs to choose from depending on what kind of experience you are looking for:

Fun Run

As the name suggests, fun runs are non competitive and in many cases are designed for children to take part in, though there are also plenty for adults to enjoy too. Because no one is keeping score, these races have a much more relaxed attitude and as such many will have a theme or element to them that makes them very unique compared to usual races. You may see many fun races where people dress up in costume and run the entire race that way – it’s all part of what makes these runs fun! More recently Colour Runs such as the Wiggle Color Vibe have become very popular amongst first time runners as they offer short distances whilst keeping things relaxed and fun.

Training for a fun run can vary a lot depending on what elements the race has to it – as such you should find out all the info you can well in advance and then tailor your training to what you need to do on the day. As mentioned though many of these races are designed with kids in mine so you may just wish to go down to one and have a great family day out.

5K and 10K runs

A 5K run is probably the best way you can start your adventure in competitive running as you will experience something that is challenging, but not too tough. Even with just a few weeks of training you should be able to pull off a 5K run. You can read a bit more about preparing for a 5K run by reading through our article here.

These smaller events are also a great opportunity for people to get involved in charity, and in fact many, many charities hold races throughout the year with the sole intention of raising money to help people.  5K Charity races as well as 10K Charity races are some of the most popular events out there, so if you are wanting to get into running then these are a great place to start!

Marathons and Half Marathons

Marathons are probably the biggest challenge a runner will ever face - 26 Miles (that’s around 42KM!) round a gruelling course that will push you to all your limits. Marathons require a much longer training plan where you have to train both your body and mind to be able to stand up to the length of the race.

If you’re goal is to do a marathon or even half marathon then you’ll need to get lots of training done before you even look at the track! Start off similar to the 5K prep with smaller runs and sprints and then slowly build up the length of the runs you do. You’ll also want to get into right diet regime too so that your body gets in right shape.

The most famous marathon is the Virgin Money London Marathon, though there are many others dotted around the country too such as the Brighton or Edinburgh marathons which provide just as greater challenge and give you multiple scenic routes to run on. For a little more adventure you can also look at something like the Midnight Marathon Run which will have you sprinting round a mountain in total darkness

So that’s a basic introduction to the world of running events - whether you’re looking at just doing a Charity Run, fun run, a 5K or 10K or even a Marathon then you can check out plenty of events coming up this year in our running events category

Top Running Events in 2017

We have picked out the best Running events taking place in 2017. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Running Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.

Bournemouth Marathon

Although we have picked this particular event, there are actually 4 different events taking place at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival so you really do have the widest choice available to suit your ability. Not only does it have great options but also stunning scenary, the run takes place along the coastline and also the iconic Bournemouth pier. We have been to the Half Marathon event before so check out our review here.

Find out more about the 2017 Bournmouth Marathon.

RunningCyclingTriathlonsOpen Water SwimmingDuathlon

New Forest Triathlon & Duathlon


£55 - £105

06/05/2018, 17/06/2018, 02/09/2018


No Walk in the Park 5k

£1 - £5

1.5 - 5KM

02/06/2018, 23/06/2018, 04/08/2018, 01/09/2018, 06/10/2018, 03/11/2018, 01/12/2018


Thames Meander Marathon

£36 - £38


11/08/2018, 03/11/2018


South Coast Challenge

£75 - £185

23 - 100KM

25/08/2018, 26/08/2018

RunningCyclingTriathlonsOpen Water Swimming

The Wirral Triathlon

£39 - £50



Canterbury Half Marathon


£3 - £25

2 - 13.1M


RunningMuddy Runs

5K Inflatable Run - London

Sunbury on Thames

£25 - £45



RunningMuddy Runs

Gung Ho Inflatable 5k Run - Aberdeen

£30 - £60




Lakeland Trails - Keswick


£3 - £32


RunningCyclingTriathlonsOpen Water Swimming

Cotswolds Individual Team Relay Super Sprint Triathlon

Ashton Keynes




Cardiff 10k


£5 - £295

2 - 10KM



Thames Path Challenge


£75 - £185

25 - 100KM

08/09/2018, 09/09/2018