5 best spring marathons instead of London
Failed to win a place for the London marathon? Here are five more UK races to test your mettle
Over the next few days, runners who entered the ballot for the London Marathon will find out if they've joined the one-in-seven entrants lucky enough to secure a place.
While it's still possible to earn a bib by registering with a charity, why not book a place in one of the many other marathons taking place between March and May?
There are dozens of organised runs, from relatively flat road runs to trail marathons scaling the peaks of the Highlands. In the UK, spring weather is usually best-suited for marathon running: not too cold and certainly not too hot. Here's a list of five alternatives to London.
Sussex Coastal Marathon – 19 Mar
This is a stunning route with views over the English Channel, although with a fastest time of 3:15:39, it's not a race for runners wishing to secure a personal best. In order to protect the path, the race is restricted to 500 runners.
Manchester Marathon – 10 Apr
First run way back in 1908, this city marathon starts and finishes at Old Trafford. Organisers claim this to be the UK's flattest course, with only 54 metres of elevation.
Blackpool Marathon – 24 Apr
This fast and flat coastal marathon takes in the iconic sights of Blackpool and the surrounding area, including Lytham St Annes and Cleveleys. The easy terrain makes this a good bet for personal bests.
Belfast Marathon – 2 May
From City Hall to Ormeau Park, this city marathon is expected to attract over 17,500 runners. There are also places available for marathon walkers, relay runners and a wheelchair event.
Edinburgh Marathon – 29 May
London Marathon rejects are currently offered guaranteed entry to the Scottish capital's marathon which boasts 16,000 places. First run in 2003, it has survived a few bumps along the road and has now established itself as one of the UK's most popular races. Visitors expecting to see the Edinburgh sights as they run should be forewarned: most of the race takes place along the coast east of the city centre.