With the London Marathon just around the corner and 'running fever' in full pelt, there is a collection of running events from around the globe that will get your heart pumping. From jogging along the walls of the Ming Dynasty in China, to speeding over glacial lakes in Andorra and across sandy beaches in Guernsey, these inspiring events are sure to put a spring in your step.
261 Women's Marathon, Palma
10 April 2016
The 261 Women's Marathon returns to Palma this spring and a half marathon distance has been added to the existing marathon and 10k this year. Spearheaded by Kathrine Switzer, ambassador for female participation in sport and the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a registered entry (number 261) in 1967, the 261 Women's Marathon focuses on inclusivity, attracting women of all different running abilities. The three races follow the waterside with views over the Palma Cathedral and the Almudaina Palace, making it one of the most scenic routes in Europe.
For more information, please see - www.261wm.com
Ultra Trail Vallnord, Andorra
14 - 17 July 2016
Trail runners from across the world journey to Andorra for a unique slice of high altitude adventure in July. Climbing peaks almost 3,000m high and passing flower-strewn valleys, foaming rivers, frozen glacial lakes, dense forests and roving mountain animals, Vallnord is one of the most spectacular routes on the Ultra Trail circuit. The race is the perfect way to take in all that is great about the 'Country of the Pyrenees' and is suited for those runners looking for a hardcore alternative to the jog around the block.
There's a choice of five trails: Ronda dels Cims (170km with a 13,500m height gain), Mític (112km with 9,700m height gain), Celestrail (83km with 5,000m height gain), Marató dels cims (42.5km with 3,000m height gain) and the Solidaritrail (10km hike with 750m height gain).
For more information and to enter, please see - www.andorraultratrail.com
28 August 2016
A little closer to home but by no means less exciting, the annual marathon in Guernsey is one of the UK's most scenic. The race takes runners through all ten of the island's parishes past fishermen's cottages and sandy beaches, along flower lined roads and lanes and through green valleys with over 20 miles of the route along the coastline.
For more information and to enter, please see - www.guernseymarathon.gg
Palma de Mallorca Marathon
16 October 2016
Enjoy a little end-of-year sunshine with a running trip to Palma this autumn. Now in its second year since being renamed, the Palma de Mallorca Marathon offers a 10k, a half marathon and a full length marathon. The race starts by the sea on the Passeig Marítim (seafront promenade), opposite the Palma cathedral and offers one of Europe's most attractive running routes.
For more information and to enter, please see - www.palmademallorcamarathon.com
Xian Half Marathon, China
2 - 8 November 2016
China specialist Wendy Wu Tours has unveiled a unique way of exploring the ancient city of Xian with a special six day half marathon package. Taking place in November 2016, the half marathon allows competitors to run along the magnificent city walls of Xian, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). The walls cover 8.5 miles and stands at 12 metres tall.
The six day package (2 – 8 November 2016) is available from £1,299pp and includes a post-race Chinese foot massage, a visit to the enigmatic Terracotta Warriors and an evening watching a Tang Dynasty dance show. Guests also have the option of extending their trip with a three day stay in Beijing including a walk on the Great Wall of China from £199pp.
For more information and to book, please see - www.wendywutours.co.uk/china/tours/xian-half-marathon
If you are taking part in the London Marathon this year and travelling via Heathrow Airport, Heathrow Express has issued 14 day advance weekend fares speeding runners from Heathrow Airport to London Paddington in just 15 minutes.
Priced at £12.10 for an Express Class single versus £22.00 for a ticket purchased online, runners can arrive in central London ready for the race and make a saving too. For the return journey, Business Express class is the priority carriage meaning less walking at the airport and more room to stretch tired legs. Business Class advance fares are £16.50 versus £30 online.