Popular Marathons in Wales and the rest of the UK

Whether you agree with Springsteen's statement and really do feel that we are all "born to run" or not, placing one foot in front of the other in quick succession at various speeds is hardwired into our very DNA. Though we (mostly)aren't running from predators any longer, humans are actually among the best long-distance runners on Earth when compared to other species, able to continue with reasonable pace for hours at a time given the right training and optimum conditions.

And so we do run, against ourselves and others in everyday life. But those who feel they want more than just a casual jog can take part in the many marathons the UK has to offer. This article looks beyond just the Snowdonia marathon and glances at the many other official running events that the UK has to offer from the Edinburgh to the London marathon, and many more interesting ones in between.

London Marathon Runners

The London Marathon

It would be nothing but sensible and fair to include the UK's most famous and third largest of its marathons in this article. The London Marathon arrives most quickly each year for those that have been preparing solidly for it, because let's face it, the London Marathon isn't something you just decide to run a few weeks beforehand, or at least it isn't for most people anyhow. For many this marathon conjures up images of the many thousands of people crowding the London Streets as the many celebrities, professional runners, amateurs, and fundraisers all gather to begin the race in a slightly staggered but equally as epic fashion.

The London Marathon's route takes its participants around a fairly flat course that centres around the River Thames, beginning at three separate points and then converging at around the 4km mark.

The London Marathon is of course one of the world's five Marathon Majors, a list that also includes the Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, and New York marathons.

The Edinburgh Marathon

The Edinburgh Marathon is one of Britain's older running events, currently celebrating its 13th year in existence. You need only know that it takes place in Edinburgh (www.edinburgcity.org.uk) to get a flavour of what the event has to offer: stunning scenery, with the main attraction being the event's primary backdrop, which is Edinburgh Castle. Let's not forget that the marathon also continues on a wonderful route through East Lothian and the Forth Estuary as well, making it one of the more scenic of the UK's major marathons.

The course is ideal for marathon beginners because it has officially been declared as the UK's fastest marathon course, a judgement made by none other than Runner's World magazine. The course is also incredibly flat which makes it ideal for beginners that want a less eventful and more forgiving course to pad out their running calendar with. The event takes place in the closing days of May meaning that it's one of your best chances to experience the best that the UK has to offer in terms of forgiving weather. Checking out the Edinburgh Marathon Website will allow you to make an entry into the event and also has more information about its details

The Bournemouth Marathon

Though this marathon has seen its fair share of drama and controversy - the organisers were reluctant to publish the full race results in 2013 resulting in a significant number of angry participants that just wanted to see how they fared in comparison with others - it is nonetheless one of the UK's most scenic marathons that one can possibly take part in. One could argue that this marathon encompasses much of the good things about Britain, namely the wonderfully fresh coastal air and some lovely views along the marathon's route.

Not only does the marathon take place yearly but it also involves an entire festival, the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, which includes a number of different running distances for all levels of fitness and ability. It has the full and half marathons as well as the 10k and 5k events. There are even junior races for the younger runners as well, so why not have a closer look at the Bournemouth Marathon?

The Wales Marathon

The Wales Marathon (along with its easier brother, the Wales Half-Marathon) is in fact the only fully closed-road marathon to take place in the entire of Wales. Though it has only been around a mere six years, the event is increasingly present on the calendars of many amateur and professional runners alike. Runners can look forward to many supporters cheering them on as well as a snazzy red carpet at the finish line. Pembrokeshire is the scenery that runners will get to enjoy if they decide to take part in the marathon, though there are Tenby and Pembroke starts as well as the option to run the half. All information and entry requirements are listed on the Wales Marathon webpage.

The Dublin Marathon

If you thought the Edinburgh Marathon has been going on for a while then wait until you hear the age of the Dublin event! This marathon has been going for a massive 35 years and gives a wonderful showcase of what the beautiful city of Dublin has to offer. Though it may be quite a distance to travel for those in the south of the UK, the event is excellent for beginners as it is a single lap and consists of a very flat course. The weather in October is also quite favourable for marathon running, offering pleasant and cooling winds that will invigorate any runner, even past the halfway mark.

The Dublin Marathon has been touted by many as one of the faster courses in the UK, ideal for those looking to set a personal best owing to the numerous downhill sections that lack uphill sections to balance it out. The cooler temperatures are by far the most beneficial factor when running the race however, making the Dublin Marathon an absolute must for anyone serious about their craft. Visit Dublinmarathon.ie to find out more.

The Loch Ness Marathon

If you said to anyone that you were considering running in the Loch Ness marathon, they would probably be quite quick to discourage you from it due to the usually epic nature of the terrain around the Scottish highlands. The Loch Ness Marathon is deceptively conquerable in actual fact, offering some very manageable running ground for those that like to have some scenery to look at while they pound the pavement.

As you can imagine, the marathon route takes runners along the gorgeous perimeter of the Loch it's named after, running along the south-eastern parts of it as well as crossing the River Ness and running through to Inverness city centre. Runners have food and entertainment to look forward to when they finally finish the race, a prospect that will likely fuel most runners' desire to refuel and recover after such an arduous yet beauty-filled race.

The Milton Keynes Marathon

Milton Keynes isn't exactly the first place you would think of if you were asked to name a location for one of UK's more recognisable runs, but in spite of this, the Milton Keynes Marathon is an Highly Popular event that takes place in May when the weather is more likely to be warm and forgiving. Mkmarathon.com has a wealth of information about the event.