Whether you’ve just started your Couch to 5K programme, or about to embark on your third marathon, here’s our pick of the best runs around Bath for 2019. Which one will you try first?
Race: The Terminator
When: 24 February
Length: 12 miles
Match-fit and, crucially, prepared to dig deep? Then the rather scary-sounding The Terminator is definitely the one for you. A challenging, multi-terrain 12-mile course, it involves plenty of climbs, plenty of mud and what the website describes as ‘a free shoe wash’ at the end. The race t-shirt (complete with the slogan, ‘Earned, not given’) says it all. Yes, it’s hard work, but a lot of fun too and a huge sense of achievement guaranteed at the end.
Race: Bath Two Tunnels
When: 3 March, 12 May, 14 July & 18 August
Length: Variety of 10km and half marathon routes available on different dates
Terrain: Mixed; incorporates the Two Tunnels Trails under Bath
If you’re looking for a race with a difference, then check out the Two Tunnels Railway Races, another one of our best runs around Bath for 2019. A series of runs that take place from March to August, each race goes underground along two former disused railway tunnels in Bath. Together, these tunnels create the longest underground sections of any running race in the UK. There are ultra marathon, marathon and 50km relay races all on offer, as well as several half marathons, 10k, 5k and 2k events. With Colourburst races for the kids, a play park, outdoor table tennis and plenty more, spectators can bring a picnic and make a day of it.
Race: The Bath Half Marathon
When: 17 March
Length: 13.1 miles
Terrain: road race
Affectionately known as the Bath Half, the city’s annual half marathon remains one of the premier road races in the UK Racing Calendar and the largest charity fundraising event in the South West. Last year’s race was cancelled for the first time in its 25-year history, thanks to that lovely Beast from the East, so fingers crossed the weather plays ball this year. Entries sold out a couple of months ago, but charity places are still available here, so sign up quick. There’s a Family Fun Run too, so you can get the whole brood on board…
Race: Immortal 10k Stourhead
When: 11 May
Location, location…set in the grounds of beautiful Stourhead, the Immortal 10k follows a scenic route around the historic Stourhead estate and adjacent forest, with the finish line right outside Stourhead House. Uphill and mixed terrain, it’s a friendly, can-do bunch that tend to support this race, so you’re guaranteed plenty of camaraderie along the way. Check in to Stourhead the following day, and you can watch participants in the annual Immortal Triathlete take on the ultimate test with a 1.9k swim, 90k bike ride and 22.5k run. Maybe next year…definitely one of the best runs around Bath for 2019, so well worth a look.
Race: Lacock Road Races Race
When: 9 June
Length: 1k, 5k, 10k, half marathon
Taking in the historic streets of Lacock, this is an ideal race for first-time runners, with an easy, flat route that heads out of town towards neighbouring hamlets before looping back through the main high street in Lacock. The choice of distances – half marathon, 10k, 5k, and even 1k events – adds to the appeal and if you’re buggy runner, then you’re very welcome too.
Race: Parkrun UK
When: every Saturday
If the thought of running a formal race just isn’t for you, then check out your local Parkrun. A 5k timed run which takes place in your local park or open space every Saturday, it’s completely free and open to everyone, regardless of ability. A global phenomenon, park runs are organised all over the world from Russia to Malaysia and it’s super easy to get started: just go onto the Parkrun website, complete a one-off registration and then search for your nearest run. Locations close to Bath include the Bath Skyline, Southwick Country Park and, the latest addition to the fold, Melksham, so there’s guaranteed to be one taking place near you. Super friendly, completely free and staffed entirely by volunteers, it’s the perfect introduction to running and, regardless of your ability, one of the best runs around Bath for 2019..
And finally, what if you’ve really got the running bug and fancy taking on a bit more of a challenge in 2019? From the Arctic to the Great Barrier Reef, we couldn’t resist including this ultimate runner’s bucket list of great races outside the UK…which one appeals to you most?! Tell us on Facebook or Twitter! Happy running….