Having races lined up is a brilliant way to increase your motivation to train as having goals to work towards is important. The problem comes when you actually start looking for a race. There are so many out there, but only once you know where to look and finding a race can sometimes feel harder than the actual training for it…
I’ve done over 50 races and so have quite a lot of experience of finding races to do. Here are some websites I have used to find races.
This list is by no means exhaustive and lots of other websites exist. In most cases a simple Google search of a location and distance will help you to find something suitable.
Note: As I am UK based these sites are all ones which list UK races, although some will have races in other countries as well.
Race for Life
Okay, so I know Race for Life is a very specific race but it is first on my list for a very good reason – it is super beginner friendly (but also suitable for all runners). In fact, if I know someone who is new to running and wants to do a race I always point them in the direction of Race for Life.
There are many different locations across the UK so there is bound to be one near you. You can choose between a 5k, 10k or a Pretty Muddy event, and since 2019 Race for Life has been open for men as well so everyone can take part. You can also take your children round with you on selected races, meaning there aren’t any childcare excuses not to do a race. There is no pressure whatsoever to complete the course in a specific time and you will be set off in groups of walkers, joggers and runners so you will be with people of your speed throughout.
Find a Race
Find a Race is a website I have come across fairly recently but really like as it is very different from other formats I have seen. When you go onto the website you can select what type of event you would like to do, for example a 10k, trail run or colour run. A map of the world then appears which you can zoom in to see the races in a particular geographical area that exist in that category. You can also use a more standard search bar to find races.
In addition it lists other events as well such as triathlons and different swimming and cycling events.
Runner’s World might be somewhere you go to look for training advice or perhaps you buy their magazine regularly but they also list races on a website called Let’s Do This, which is connected to their main site.
There are lots of different filters available on this site, from location to distance to date, making it really easy to find a suitable race for you. There is also the option to sort results by price which isn’t something I think I’ve seen anywhere else. The majority of races have reviews, giving you a chance to see if it sounds like something you want to do before you sign up.
Again, there are also other events such as triathlons, swimming and cycling events listed.
If road races are your thing then Run Britain might be the place for you. You can filter races by distance, location and profile (hilly-ness) among other things. Something I don’t think I’ve ever seen else where is the ability to search by field size (number of runners). As a general rule of thumb, the smaller a race is the more competitive it will be so if you are just starting out I would recommend a larger field size. For more information on how to choose a good first race click here.
There are also websites that list races in specific geographical locations. For example Southern Running Guide and Northern Running Guide. There is also Run Wales and Scottish Running Guide.
Other ways to find races
As well as these websites there are plenty of other ways to find races. If you are looking for something local you could try asking at your local Parkrun or running club for personal recommendations.
You could also ask on social media. The hashtag #ukrunchat on Twitter is likely to lead to a lot of recommendations from other runners.
If you have done a race by a particular race organiser that you enjoyed you can look on their website for other races. Additionally, sometimes after races you get given fliers for other races, generally by the same organiser or in a similar location which can be anther good way to find new races.
I hope this post has give you some ideas of where to find races. For more information on what to look for in your first race click here. And for help setting goals to ensure you have the best race possible click here. If you want help staying accountable to your training you can sign up for my running goal setting accountability programme here.
Happy exercising 🙂