Any runner who has earned a medal or two will know that there is always a special atmosphere at the end of the best running events. Usually you can only stick around for an hour or so to luxuriate in that atmosphere and enjoy connecting with your fellow runners – but at a running festival, you can enjoy that feeling for an entire weekend.
There will also be music and food and drink to enhance the party atmosphere, and because running festivals are usually set in beautiful locations, the runs you do will be especially scenic and focus on enjoyment of your surroundings rather than smashing a PB.
We’ve picked out the best running festivals that have been announced for 2022 so far. Make sure to check this page again throughout the year as more events are likely to pop up.
RunFestRun (20th-22nd May)
Set in the expansive grounds of Englefield Estate in Berkshire, this family-friendly event puts on a variety of runs to suit all abilities, ranging from a 3km up to a half marathon, with most of the events being a mix of on- and off-road running. In the evening there is live music, with a DJ set from Basement Jaxx and Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the line-up for 2022, and there is also a silent disco, an outdoor cinema and plenty of food and drink options to enjoy.
You can buy tickets for the full weekend or for individual days – weekend tickets start from £130 and day tickets from £40. Those tickets get you entry to as many runs as you want, but camping is an extra £25 for the weekend.
Keswick Mountain Festival (20th-22nd May)
Running is just one of the activities available at this event in the Lake District, with hiking, cycling, swimming and full triathlons also on offer. You can run a 5K, 10K, half marathon or 50K ultramarathon, and there is also a “vertical run” up Skiddaw in which you climb 997m in just 8.8km. There is live music in the evenings, along with talks and workshops to help you get even more out of the mountains.
How much tickets cost depends on what you plan to do, because you can pick and mix the sporting events and other activities you want to take part in – buying entry to any of those will get you general access to the festival for that day. The trail runs cost from £37 to £63 for adults.
Love Trails (30th June-3rd July)
Enjoy four days and nights of trail-running action around the gorgeous Gower Peninsula and Brecon Beacons in south Wales. The range of runs is extensive, with the shortest 3km and the longest an epic 55km, and running is just one of the activities on offer – there are also opportunities to go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, climbing and more. The trail runs are a mix of guided trips and marked-course events, and some of the UK’s leading trail and ultramarathon runners will be giving talks to inspire you to get out there, including Nicky Spinks and Damian Hall.
Tickets start at £179 (plus £7.16 booking fee) for entry to the festival, and that includes one guided run and one marked-course run. You’ll need to book camping, parking and shower access as extras, and you are going to want access to a shower, so make sure to take that into account when buying your ticket.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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