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The Best UK Half Marathons For 2022: When And How To Bag A Place

Runners in the Hackney Half Marathon
Runners in the Hackney Half Marathon (Image credit: LimeLight Sports Club)

The Best UK Half Marathons 2022

The Big Half

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Next event: 4th September 2022

Traditionally a spring event, The Big Half moved to a late-summer date in 2021 and the organisers have opted to stick with that berth next year as well, which keeps the race in line with the London Marathon, which has also moved from pre- to post-summer in 2022.

The course starts at Tower Bridge and finishes in Greenwich, following a similar route to the first half of the London Marathon, and organisers make an effort to involve runners from the four boroughs it passes through – Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Greenwich – with a £10 discount for residents.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £46 | The Big Half guide

Great North Run

The Great North Run

Runners in the Great North Run after crossing the Tyne Bridge (Image credit: Unknown )

Next event: 11th September 2022

The world’s biggest half marathon went virtual in 2020 and changed its route in 2021. In 2022 it’s planning a return to normality, with its famous crowds cheering runners from central Newcastle to the finish in South Shields. The ballot for this year’s event is now closed, but you may still be able to bag a charity place in the race.

Run for charity (opens in new tab)

Scottish Half Marathon

Next event: 18th September 2022

The route of the Scottish Half Marathon runs along the coast of East Lothian, just outside Edinburgh, and finishes at Musselburgh racecourse, which has been holding horse-racing events since 1816. PB hunters will be pleased to learn that the course is a very fast one, with runners heading downhill for the most part in the first 6km before settling into the flat along the coast.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £41

Ealing Half Marathon

Next event: 25th September 2022

This popular event takes runners on a tour of west London, starting and finishing in Lammas Park and visiting many green spots in between. The route has a lot of twists and turns and some considerable bumps as well, so it’s not the flat-out fastest option you’ll come across, but the Ealing Half Marathon always offers runners a great atmosphere and consistently earns rave reviews from participants.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £53.89

Cardiff Half Marathon

Cardiff Half Marathon

(Image credit: Unknown)

Next event: 2nd October 2022

Runners seeking a cracking atmosphere and a PB-friendly course should head to the Welsh capital for one of the biggest races in the autumn calendar. The 2020 race was postponed until March this year, but there is a second edition of half marathon in its traditional autumn berth on 2nd October. Race entries opened on 30th March and places will sell out fast.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £44

Kielder Half Marathon

Next event: 2nd October 2022

Kielder Water in Northumberland is the setting for this race, which is part of a running festival that also includes a full marathon and 10K. The half marathon starts with a 6km out-and-back stretch past a huge spectator point on Kielder Dam, which should hopefully provide enough motivation to power you through the rest of the race around the southern half of the lake.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £41

Oxford Half Marathon 

Oxford Half Marathon

(Image credit: Oxford Half Marathon)

Next event: 16th October 2022

This half marathon in the autumn has a scenic route that takes in Oxford’s historic city centre and the charming village of Old Marston, though if you prefer to get your head down and race it’s also a quick enough course to log a PB. You can enter the second ballot for the race until 1st August, with the entry fee of £51 charged only if you are successful.

Enter ballot (opens in new tab) | £51 if successful

The Best UK Half Marathons 2023

Great Manchester Run

Next event: 21st May 2023

There are 24 entertainment zones along the route of this half marathon, which starts and finishes in central Manchester, and visits the grounds of both United and City, as well as Salford Quays. The entertainment includes music and cheer buses, and large crowds of organised support and locals line the route to cheer you on your way.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £53

Hackney Half Marathon

Next event: 21st May 2023

There’s a whole lot more than a half marathon going on at this event in east London, with a festival of fitness spanning the weekend. It limbers up with a stretching session on Friday, continues with a 5K on Saturday, and then there’s the small matter of the Hackney Half on Sunday morning. The race has a route that winds through the borough, including the Olympic Park, as well as one of the best atmospheres of any race in the capital – with supporters coming out in numbers in all conditions. Alongside the running you can get involved in fitness classes at the festival, which goes well beyond the usual runner’s village at the start/finish area.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | From £45 early bird

Edinburgh Half Marathon

Next event: 28th May 2023

It’s not always advisable to look at the elevation profile of a race, because you might find the ups scare you more than the downs delight you, but it’s definitely worth checking out the graph for the Edinburgh Half Marathon before you run it. That’s because the elevation line dives almost 90m as you head from the city centre to the coast over the course of the race. Almost all of that downhill is in the first 8km of the event, so you can enjoy a fast start and a shot at a big PB on the day.

Sign up (opens in new tab) | £41

Nick Harris-Fry
Nick Harris-Fry

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.