Now we're in the warmer months, you can expect to see scores of runners hitting the tarmac in search of the ultimate natural high.

Running, it seems, has never been as popular. With the likes of Hardest Geezer captivating the world with his incredible exploits, thousands of Brits have felt inspired to take up running.

But where do you start? Good question.

There are an abundance of races up and down the country that can be the ideal starting point for your running career.

Muddy Stilettos recently revealed the 14 'awesome' races to consider booking this summer.

1/ Cirencester Park Summer Sizzler, Weds 12 June

This 10K chip timed running event within Cirencester Park is always a thriller. The course works its way through the beautiful scenic parkland with permission from the Bathurst Estate – is one not to be missed. 

Expect ample parking and refreshments. Costs from £18. Begins at The Old Kennels (reward yourself with a slap-up lunch from Roots + Seeds Kitchen Garden when you finish).

2/ Race for Life, 10k, Gloucester, Sun 2 June

Raise money for the very worthy Cancer Research UK on this 10k run, which is generally completed in two hours (or more!). Starts at 10am and costs £17.49 for adults to enter and £11 for children. Plus get 50% off entry in 2024 with code RACE24NY (whilst it lasts).

3/ Cheltenham Running Festival, Sun 16 June, Cheltenham Race Course

Join the Cheltenham Running Festival 2024 on Sunday 16th June and choose your run – a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon – all in support of Winston’s Wish Charity. This year there is also a kids’ race, making this a fun day out for the entire family

4/ The Great 10k Bristol Run, Sun 19 May

Take part in Bristol’s most prestigious sporting event – the Great Bristol 10k and Greaton. This exceptional route will treat you to the sights of Bristol’s Harbourside, historic Castle Park and through the Old City during the last stretch. With roads closed, you’ll get to experience Bristol in a whole new light. Whether you are running novice and fancy a challenge, or a seasoned competitor looking for your next personal best, sign up for this iconic Bristol race and help raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Registration is £32.

5/ Tewkesbury 10k Half Marathon, Tewkesbury, 12 May

The Tewkesbury 10k is for ages 17+ and starts at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre. It costs £35 to enter and included when you make it around are a finishers medal, t-shirt and bottle of water.

6/ Cotswold Way Challenge, 22 -23 June, Glos

Starting from a base camp in Cirencester this 100 km looped route through the heart of the Cotswolds sees 2,000 adventurers yearly testing themselves for charity. There are rolling hills, villages, the magical Cotswold Way, footpaths & trails, with some fabulous views en route – and a few tough hills in between!

Money raised goes to a variety of big national charities. Run it, walk it or anything in between, and do half or quarter challenges instead. For 2024 there’s a new Cirencester 10k loop option too.

7/ Forest Warrior Obstacle Run, 20 & 21 July, Forest of Dean

Challenge yourself on some of the toughest terrains at this epic warrior-level race! Warriors will receive a large bespoke medal and a New Forest Warrior t-shirt. What’s in store? Tarzan swings, scramble nets and high walls, this 10k route around the Huntley Estate is not for the fainthearted that’s for sure, with steep hills, natural obstacles and loads of mud along the way for good measure! There is also an easier 1km kids version for the littles.

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8/ Stroud Half Marathon, Stroud, Sun 29 September

It’s the 42nd anniversary of this popular event. Although not flat, the course is a great place for a fast time. Suitable for racers, recreational runners and novices alike. The race starts and finishes on Cainscross Road, adjacent to Marling School field.

9/ Tough Mudder, Badminton, Glos, 10 August

Run like the wind over perfect green fields as you take on Tough Mudder at the home of the Badminton Horse Trials. There will be world-class obstacles, thick mud and the coveted headbands. You bring the teamwork, up-for-anything-attitude and good vibes. It’s a match made in mud-covered heaven.

10/ Worcester City Runs, Worcester City Centre, Sun 15 September

The Worcester City Runs are a celebration of running with Half Marathon, 10km and junior events. The Worcester Viaduct provides a fantastic backdrop for these events which are are held on a traffic-free, picturesque course through the heart of the city.

A bit further afield but worth the sprint…

11/ Blenheim Palace Triathlon, Woodstock, 1 – 2 June

You’ll get a scenic tour of Blenheim’s beautiful grounds with the route looping around the palace. There are four entry options – sprint (750m swim, 19.8km bike, 5.4km run), super-sprint (400m, 13.3km bike, 2.9km run), you can enter in a team for the sprint relay (750m swim, 19.8km bike, 5.4km run), and there’s also a Weekend Warrior option where you can go for as long and as far as you can. Costs £90.

12/ The Maverick Exposure Lights Dark Oxfordshire 2024, Sat 30 Nov, Stonor Park, Oxon

Trail running in the day is fun, but trail running in the dark is a whole new experience. Join Maverick for this awesome night trail event with one of their three fantastic routes on offer in Oxfordshire. Be in with the chance of spotting a wallaby and of course the bespoke finisher’s medal. Costs £25 – £40.

13/ In London don’t miss the Colour Obstacle Rush, Kempton Racecourse, 18 May

The most fun run on earth? Very possibly. The Color Obstacle Rush is a unique event combining the fun of colour-powdered runs, the thrill of an obstacle course, and the atmosphere of a music festival.

The only fun run with 20 obstacles, 6 colour stations, 20 music zones, foam and more, take the kids (12 and over) along to this one and get them hooked for life. It may not be in Bristol this year, but it’s definitely worth a trip to London for.

14 / Parkrun UK

Run your socks off – for free!

Parkrun organises totally free 5k timed runs in 692 locations (and counting) around the world open to all ages and abilities. All you need to do is search your hometown to find your nearest run, sling on your trainers and go! Parkrun also organises junior races for any younger budding athletes.