8 Long, Beautiful Runs Through London Worth Training For

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Discover some brilliant marathons, half-marathons and other fun runs in London that are, quite literally, 2018 goals.

The London Marathon attracts a lot of publicity, but it’s so bloody popular it’s very difficult to get a spot. Thankfully, there are a whole lot of fun, alternative London running events in 2018 you can still sign up for – the perfect inspiration to hit the gym in the New Year. Here are some of our favourites…

1) May 20: Virgin Sport’s Hackney Half


A looping route that swoops by Hackney Downs, Hackney Empire, Hackney Lido, and Hackney everything. It’s called the Hackney Half for a reason, duh! Sign up here while spots are available.

2) July 10: Virgin Sport’s Westminster 10k

London Running Events - Virgin Westinster 10K

A little shorter than the others, this ten kilometre run through central London has a bunch of music happening on the route and over 10,000 runners taking part. Get your tickets here.

3) September 16: Richmond RunFest

London Half Marathons: Richmond Runfest

This weekend of running offers the chance to take part in a 10k, half-marathon or full marathon! Either way, you’ll get the chance to run through Kew Gardens and along the Richmond riverside, making it one of the prettiest routes in the city. They call themselves ‘the UK’s most exclusive marathon’, but it doesn’t seem especially expensive, so we’re guessing they don’t have too many places. Best register now then. (Bonus: you’ve got ages to train and you can do it over the summer!)

4) September 30: Ealing Half Marathon

This West London race been voted the UK’s best half marathon three years in a row (I’m not sure what makes it so good – perhaps someone gives you a piggyback part of the way? We can but hope!) It too boasts fully-closed roads so you can veer about all over the place, should you so desire. Enter now, here.

5) October 7: Urban Rush

Urban Rush running event London

A 15 mile run, all the way from the Olympic Park in Hackney to Putney in deepest south-west London, this is a race that’ll truly transport you. It’s organised by Shelter and raises money to help the homeless in London. Find out more here.

6) October 14: The Royal Parks Half Marathon

This picturesque route, all on closed roads, snakes through Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. What a breath of fresh air. Register your interest here ahead of the ballot opening.

7) Year round, all over London: ParkRun

Parkrun London
Photo: @pizzyl

This weekly tradition brings people together on Saturday mornings to run a 5k in a local park. It really is that simple. There are 49 runs all over the city, from Ally Pally to Wimbledon. And it’s free to join in! Find one near you here.

8) March 2019: The Big Half

The Big Half Marathon London

Starting at Tower Bridge and finishing in Greenwich, this new half marathon passes through the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham, too.

9) March 2019: The Landmarks Half Marathon

London Landmarks Half Marathon

This 13.1 mile run through central London offers closed roads and a flat route, heading past some of the most iconic sights in both the City and the West End. Direct spots get snapped up early.

Guy Parsons

Guy Parsons

Guy is the editor-in-chief of Secret London. He likes running, cover versions and scotch.