Need a top up, anyone?

We list the events where miles matter in the run-up to Christmas

Miles matter for many runners and there are some great opportunities to crank out a few bonus ones in the final run-up to Christmas. Perhaps your Plan B is to get a marathon or ultra completed before we wave a not so fond farewell to this topsy-turvy year of stop-start restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Viking Coastal Marathon on Saturday (11 December) is a 6-hour limit event, where you must complete four 6.58-mile loops to finish the full marathon distance. The Viking Coastal Path is at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, where the sun will rise at 7:47am, so you may be rewarded with the vista above before the 8:30am start. According to the event website, the course is: "as flat as a pancake. Hills? None, nada, zilch!".

Talking of the sun, on Sunday (12 December) there is the Dawn to Dusk Sunlight Ultra and Marathon at Teresa Gavin House, Woodford Green, London. This event is organised by Sikhs in the City and the precise start time of 8:04am coincides with the dawn – we feel a theme building here – and race timing concludes at dusk (3:49pm) on the multi-lap 2K course.

Next weekend our friends at Saxons, Vikings & Normans are at Cyclopark at Gravesend, Kent for their SVN Festive Frolic – a six-hour endurance challenge on a 3.28-mile trail and bike paths loop. Run as many laps as you can within the time limit to qualify for the superb Christmas Challenge medal and come out fighting the next day for more of the same in The Usual Suspects Challenge – where the most prolific competitors are immortalised by having their names engraved on the medal for all to see! 

Meanwhile, on Saturday 18 December there is a rival event down on the River Thames towpath organised by Phoenix Running from the superb Xcel Sports Hub, Walton-on-Thames. This is another six-hour challenge on a 3.28-mile out and back course with a Christmas Pirates theme. Ooohh, Argggghhh, me Christmas Hearty's as the Phoenix Running website exclaims!

A 50K ultra and full marathon feature on the race card at Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon on Sunday 19 December promoted by Believe and Achieve Events. Spectacular ocean views are guaranteed with the Race HQ based at the Pyramid Centre, Clarence Esplanade, Portsmouth.  

Finally, if you really are leaving it late to reach that marathon milestone, we return to Phoenix Running for their Year End Marathon (28 December) and Frozen Phoenix double (29-30 December).

All December race details can be checked at runABC South race listing here

Image courtesy Viking Coastal Marathon website

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