By the 15th May last year, a record 253,930 people had applied for a place in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.
With only 38,000 runners due on the start line come the 23rd April, over 210,000 people received the bad news back in October.
While some may have diverted attention to one of the other big events taking place, we don’t want you missing out over the VMLM weekend. That’s why we have compiled a list of four alternative London marathons up and down the UK that take place around the London date, helping you satisfy your running needs.
All of the events listed below still have places available, and we’ll update the records below as soon as they fill up or close entries.
1) Shakespeare Marathon, Stratford-upon-Avon (Warwickshire), 7th May 2017 – 9:00am
Taking place two weeks after the London Marathon, the Shakespeare Marathon is a picturesque tour of this famous market town. 3,000 runners are expected this year, as it takes place during weekend-long celebrations for William Shakespeare’s 400th birthday. Perfect for the marathon beginner through to veterans.
COST: £33 UKA Affiliated, £35 Unattached. Half marathon available @ £26/28.
2) Blackpool Marathon, Blackpool (Lancashire), 23rd April 2017 – 9:00am
This event takes place on the same day as the London Marathon, running across Blackpool’s Promenade while passing landmarks and tourist spots on the way. As you’d expect, all finishers receive a race T-shirt and a commemorative medal, with prizes for the first three male and female individual winners. It’s a perfect costal alternative.
COST: £30 UKA Affiliated, £32 Unattached. Half marathon & 10K available.
3) Brighton Marathon, Brighton & Hove (Sussex), 9th April 2017 – 9:15am
Taking place two weeks before VMLM, the Brighton Marathon has now closed for general entries, yet a limited number of charity places remain (including spaces for Save the Children, Cancer Research and NSPCC). The course includes a spectacular stretch along the main Coast Road, and includes a series of steep inclines and declines for a challenging 26.2 miles. The sea breeze may come in handy!
COST: Varies per charity. See website for more details.
4) EDP Rock'n'Roll Maratón (Madrid), 23th April – 9:00am
Willing to travel that little bit further to fulfil your running needs? The Rock'n'Roll Madrid marathon consists of 15,000 places. Although it may appear to be on the expensive side, you're treated to a glamorous city run past the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Museo De Ciencias Naturales and the Palacio Real. Although an initial long journey is required, why not turn the event into a little holiday in one of Europe's top cities?
COST: €80 until 9th April, €100 until race day. 10k available.
Are we missing any big events from the list? Do you have any comments on these events from previous experiences? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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