British alternatives to London for those who missed out for the capital marathon

With nearly 500 000 applicants having registered for a place to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,  thousands of marathon runners will be looking for other marathon options. We have listed some of the UK alternatives in the spring of 2020 between March and May next year. Beat those ballot blues by checking out the list of alternative spring marathons below. 

Sussex Coastal Marathon              Date:   March 14     Venue:   Birling Gap

If you’re open to swapping London’s streets for the rugged coastline paths then this Sussex event could be an option as runners take on an undulating route which shoulders the coastal towns of Eastbourne and Seaford.                  

Manchester Marathon                    Date:   April 5         Venue:   Manchester

Part of the route for the 2020 event will, for the first time, head into the centre of Manchester, showcasing some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including the Manchester Opera House, Spinningfields, Albert Memorial Hall and The Midland Hotel.                  

Brighton Marathon                        Date:   April 19       Venue:   Brighton

This seaside event in one of the country’s most vibrant cities continues to grow in popularity, with the course winding through the city streets and finishing up on the Brighton seafront. General entries are set to reopen soon and runners will need to register interest here by October 20.

ABP Newport Wales Marathon       Date:   April 19        Venue:   Newport, Wales

The event, which boasts ‘a fast, scenic route’, starts and finishes on Newport’s riverfront and the course takes in iconic landmarks, coastal wildlife and picturesque medieval villages.

Boston Marathon UK                     Date:   April 19        Venue:   Lincolnshire, England 

The other Boston Marathon offers a flat road route in Lincolnshire, rather than Massachusetts, with the event starting at Boston Market Place and ending at Boston College.

ABP Southampton Marathon                  Date:   April 26        Venue:   Southampton 

Again on the same day as London, with the course passing iconic landmarks including Bargate, QE2 Anchor and St Mary’s Stadium as well as the ascent – and more enjoyable descent – over the Itchen bridge.                 

Blackpool Marathon                              Date:   April 26        Venue:   Blackpool

Forming part of a festival of running, the full 26.2-mile event takes place alongside a half-marathon, 10km, 5km and 2km. The flat two-lap marathon course has been designed for PBs and takes in Blackpool’s promenade, passing a number of landmarks.

Shakespeare Marathon                                   Date:   April 26        Venue:   Stratford-upon-Avon

This event offers runners the chance to run among some of the most historical buildings in the country and through miles of beautiful Warwickshire countryside, with the route starting in the centre of the town, opposite Shakespeare’s old school.

Deep Riverrock Belfast City Marathon    Date:   May 3          Venue:   Belfast, Northern Ireland

The 2019 event took place on a new ‘flatter, faster marathon route’, encompassing North, East, South and West of the city, and it is on that course which the event returns for 2020. Starting in the grounds of the iconic Stormont Estate, the event finishes at Ormeau Park, while there is also an eight-mile walk, relay and fun run on offer.

Rightmove MK Marathon                        Date:   May 3          Venue:   Milton Keynes

Much of the route is green and scenic, taking in parks and lakes, picturesque villages and the canal towpath and starting at the Stadium MK.

Three Forts Marathon                            Date:   May 3          Venue:   West Sussex 

If you’re looking for a slightly different challenge then this 27-mile course includes 3450ft of climb, with stiles and some challenging  tracks underfoot.

Asics Windermere Marathon                  Date:   May 17                  Venue:   Lake District

Run entirely within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the event finishes in the grounds of Brathay Hall with views over the tranquility of England’s largest lake.

Exeter Live Better Marathon                   Date:   May 17                  Venue:   Exeter

The route takes runner past the River Exe historical Quayside and along the parallel footpaths and cycle tracks of the Ship Canal. 

Edinburgh Marathon             Date:   May 24                  Venue:   Edinburgh, Scotland

The route takes in some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks and offers picturesque views along the East Lothian coastline, with the event offering guaranteed entry for unsuccessful London Marathon applicants.