It’s true, it may not feel like it, but there are other marathons.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in the “I love London Marathon” camp. A camp that is definitely split. It appears to be a marathon that people either love or hate.
Whether you love the event or hate it, it’s fair to say that for this week, every year, everyone goes a little crazy for London Marathon. A time that brings out the best in people.
I want to provide you with a lighthearted blog to highlight some alternatives. So if you received this magazine, don’t fear… there are other marathons.
The controversy starts with the rejection magazine. And many more of us receive this magazine each year. In fact since they have opened up the application window for a whole week over the last two years it has created such high numbers of entries that not everyone actually receives a magazine any more. We all go a bit crazy for London, and people will do almost anything for a place.
If you don’t get in through the ballot there are other options. The most obvious is a charity place. This is a great way to raise a lot of money for charity, but owing to the cost of a place for the charity, the required fundraising target is usually very high. This rules out a lot of people, and it is hard work.
But if you can raise around two grand, then go and do it. I ran my first London Marathon for Save the Rhino in 2011.
Now there are some people that only enter London Marathon and have no intention of running another marathon, I respect that. If it’s a once in a life time experience you are after and only want to do one, then fair enough. But… if you want to run a marathon, there are other marathons out there. And depending on what you are looking for, there may be much better ones for you out there.
I want to run through a few of my favourites from this year, and ones you can still enter:
Fancy something international. Something at the beginning of the season, fun and relatively cheap to get to and take part in, then look no further. I ran Limassol this year and am taking my family back with me again next year. Check out my blog HERE.
The first of the big UK marathons in my calendar for 2018. Manchester Marathon is flat and fast. It is much smaller than London but has a great atmosphere. It is one of the UK’s biggest marathons, one I enjoyed this year and can’t wait to go back for more. Check out this years #funbus HERE.
If you fancy something with a bit of Rock and Roll, check out Liverpool Marathon. Again a decent size marathon, and a whole weekend of fun with 5k, half and full marathon. Some great music and fun. Not the same atmosphere as London, but certainly a good alternative. Check it out HERE.
I feel like I have to mention Brighton. I’ve ran it 4 times, and it has great atmosphere and is a big event. I am just disappointed with some of the organisation, hence why I’m not going back next year. The event is much more expensive than others, and accommodation is extortionate. I will be back one year, but not next year. Check out why HERE.
I would recommend MKMARATHON. I have done the half two years in a row and think it’s great, but have never done the marathon and think the second half of the route as negative feedback. I will be back for the half and certainly another to consider. Blog Here.
See there are more options:
As you can see there are plenty of other options, and this is just a few from the spring. So the next step is to book it. You can do it, stay confident and remember you can. If you are in any doubt, do yourself a favour and read this blog to motivate you, HERE.
Don’t leave it before booking, or training. Build up a good base leading up to Christmas and get some solid training in before the new year. And if you are one of the lucky ones that did get into London, enjoy it, an experience of a lifetime. BLOG.
13 thoughts on “There are other marathons…”
excellent read Paul, useful advice 🙂
Thank you mate, glad you like it and feel free to add some ideas
Really interesting read Paul. How do you rate Edinburgh?
I’m sorry mate I’ve never done it. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but think the route is changing for next year
Thanks Paul, I think I’ll be adding Liverpool to my maybe list 👍🏼
Brilliant if you do I will see you there
LikeLiked by 1 person
None of them are as good as London Marathon 😦
I see you are firmly in the LOVE London camp
LikeLiked by 1 person
Good article once again Paul. Completely agree there are plenty of alternatives to London and feel lucky to have run VLM once (not thru the ballot as 7 consecutive ‘Sorry’ mags have shown up but a spare place was going at my old running club in 2014 meant I got my taste at the ‘longest’ and ‘hardest’ marathon (a common misconception of many of my non-running relatives!). I signed up to Paris as my first marathon in 2012 after the first rejection and the following year it was Brighton that got my vote after the Sorry mag showed up. Loved Paris although my ex got food poisoning from the rice and chicken at the Uncle Bens stand at the Expo and intend to go back at some point. Brightons now annoying as theres an Expo to attend and as you say very expensive to stay and enter but some fantastic sections of support but wasn’t overly struck with the scenery or up and down the streets back on yourself and a section around 20 miles? before the stretch along the promenade was very dull and soul destroying. Limassol sounds great. Im down for the RnR Liverpool Marathon next year and do love the RnR events after doing the half there in its first year and also RnR Dublin, San Diego and Seattle (before I got the marathon bug fully). Looks like theres a lot more to see on the Liverpool full including the football stadiums which interests me greatly as im a red! Plenty of races, bling and a concert appeals to most and families and I got a HM PB there in 2014. MK iv only done the HM there and heard similar things about the second half of the Full. Yet to do it but not overly pressing as the HM was made up of running down through subways and pretty dull. Did Manchester last year and enjoyed it. Nice flat and PB potential, enough times passing runners running the opposite way to keep you focused (and also distract you if need be!) the route goes through the main parts of the urban and rural nearby areas. Fortunately the course is now the correct distance since before last years event. Other big city marathons Iv enjoyed would be Chester, Yorkshire and Robin Hood. Loch Ness though is my favourite UK marathon and is a beautiful route and incredible scenery, plenty of support from the locals as you run past houses randomly dotted along the way, not as hilly as you would imagine and a point to point race rather then laps. Found the expo and organization to be fantastic and staying in Inverness was great. From when the coach picks you up at the expo area at the crack of dawn and takes you along the windy country roads to the race start on the opposite side of the Loch to where you run you start to feel that this race is a bit special. Bagpipers play before the race commences as you stand in the middle of nowhere and wait in the cold for the race to begin. The race winds around various lanes and finishes back in Inverness at the expo area. A fantastic alternative to London for sure….but as a marathon runner its the question or monkey that tends to be on your back of’ have you run London?’. Nice to do London and compare it as it is fantastic. Wouldn’t say its necessarily a PB course with that amount of runners but great to run through the UKs capital and see the many iconic landmarks and support all the way around. London’s gotta be done and I’d love to do it again but plenty of alternatives out there and do those until you get the green light from London. London’s not the be all and end all in running or marathon running but as its the one on TV every year and reading social media you wouldn’t think there was another race in the UK. A fine piece there Paul and good luck with the ‘funbus’ at the next one
Wow thanks for the comprehensive reply. When is Loch Ness may need to give this a look
Great Article Paul. I too have signed up for Manchester, way before the London Ballot was drawn as I knew what would happen there. I will be on the Funbus if you are a 4.30 – 4.45 Pacer. See you out there!
I am sub 4 for both but come and say hi before 👍