Need a running or fitness goal? 9 Great runs for 2013

Need some help setting your fitness goals?

Then look no further than FitNW’s list of the top races taking place in the North West in 2013.

Scroll down, choose your race, then look for a personal trainer or gym where you can get support and encouragement to achieve your fitness goals.

And, to kick things off, we’re going to pick up the best little race from this year – the Chester round the walls race.


26th Dec 2012, Chester round the walls race – 4.5miles (approx).

Actually this is the 41st time this race has been organised and it only recently returned to the walls after too many parts of the walls were in repair making it impossible to run.

However, for 26th December 2012, we expect the walls to be open so all we need is moderate weather as the walls when slippery are dangerous to run.

Limited to 500 places only.


 10th March – Bolton Marathon – 26.2 miles

This is a crazy race – so much so, that there is a time limit of 8 hours.

Why is that? Well, the race is in the West Pennine Moors and goes up over Winter Hill, through Barrow Bridge village and down the famous miners 63 steps, past White Coppice and along the famous Anglezarke Reservoir.

It is a stunning course – so long as you have the strength to lift up your head and enjoy the views.

You won’t be surprised to read that this is a small event with only 250 places available.


17th March – Liverpool Half Marathon – 13 miles 

This course is entirely within Liverpool starting at St James Street  and finishing at the Albert Docks. The course takes you inland and slightly up hill to Sefton Park.

It is also one of the earliest races in the race calender. So perfect if you want to shed those extra Christmas pounds starting straight after the holidays.

There is no indication of a restriction on places.


7th April – Blackpool Marathon (and half marathon) – 26 miles

First organised in 2004, this marathon has unlimited places.

The course is flat and fast running south of Blackpool, alongside the coast down the golden mile, to Lytham St Annes and then back to Blackpool. The finish line for the half marathon is in Blackpool while the marathon runners follow the same route only going around twice.


28th April, 2013 – Manchester Marathon – 26 miles

The Manchester marathon runs from Stretford rather than having a city centre start and finish.

Last year, the weather was appalling and the running was very tough.

2012 was the first time the marathon has been run for 10 years and you can expect it gain in popularity this year.

The course is flat.

7,500 places available.


19th May – Blackpool Beach Run – 10k

Okay, this might be the flatest of all routes, but running on the beach is tough. The course runs along the beach towards to Lytham St Annes and returns

This is a real work out run and will be a measure of endurance and strength.


26th May 2013 – Manchester Great North Run – 10k

This race starts in the city centre – on Portland Street and runs south of the Manchester Ship Canal to the Imperial War Museum North – opposite the imposing Media City buildings – and then returning to the city centre to finish on Deansgate.

This is a big race – which means you can run at the back in your own time and still have a great time.

Entries are via a charity, s0, this is also about raising money.


6th October 2013 – Chester Marathon – 26.2 miles

The Chester marathon starts in the city centre. It begins at the Rodee Racecourse before heading through the medieval streets and along the historic rows and then out of the city and following the river Dee southward on the Welsh bank. The route passes the Duke of Westminster’s estates and reaches Rosset in Wales, before crossing the river Dee and returning to the city centre.

The route is flat with a climb of around 100m.

13th October, 2013 – Liverpool Marathon – 26 miles

The Liverpool Marathon starts on the Wirral in Birkenhead park and runs seawards up to New Brighton before crossing under the Mersey to reach Liverpool and run around central Liverpool before finishing at the Albert Docks.

This is a course with some ups and downs – especially as you run through the tunnel under the Mersey. However, it has plenty of great scenery and finishes in a city centre location.