Running is undoubtedly a great, time-efficient form of exercise – but it's not always a whole load of fun. Which is where fun runs come in – mass participation events that give new runners something to build up to and turn a run into a social event. Here are some of the best events happening this year...
Race For Life
From an annual event run in Battersea Park, London, the Race For Life series of runs has now expanded to cover the country and offer challenges from 5km all the way up to a marathon.
All of the events – held everywhere from Penaznce to Aberdeen - are still in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The Color Run
Started in America in 2012 (hence the spelling), The Color Run has since become a global brand thanks to its visually arresting fusion of 5km runs with the kind of coloured dye seen at the Hindu festval of Holi. Runners begin the events in clean white T shirts, getting showered with coloured cornstarch at each kilometre point during the run. There is then a disco and food at the finish line. As you'd imagine, the runs are non-timed and so much more about the "fun" than the "run" bit. Runs are already scheduled for London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and Brighton – taking place between June and October.
%VIRTUAL-AFCSponserAds%Run To The Beat
Can't decide between going out clubbing or having a run? You don't have to with Run To The Beat, a 10km fun run happening in Wembley in December. Featuring a selection of DJs spinning their banging tunes along the route, the event promises to provide an electric atmosphere and an epic after party.
No details have been released on this year's acts yet, but last year the DJs included Nick Grimshaw and Nihal. This year's event is scheduled for 13 September.
Big Fun Run
Taking place in 18 locations from Brighton to Glasgow, these 5km untimed runs are happening from July to November. Entrants can wear fancy dress and do it for charity if they wish, or just pay the entry fee and run for the personal challenge. Under fives are allowed to take part for free – but just make sure you don't get beaten by a four year old!
Kyles 10 Miles
Posing a bit more of a challenge than the many 5km or 10km runs on offer, the new Kyles 10 Miles keeps to imperial measurements for its 10 mile length (just over 16km, if you need a guideline).
But the organisers promise that the breathtaking scenery on the Ardlamont penninsula, on Scotland's Argyll coast will distract runners from their aching legs. Views of the Mull of Kintyre and Arran can be enjoyed from the pleasant roads used for the event – which is happening on 5 September.
Now in its third year, the Wigan 10k has swiftly become a popular annual fixture in the former mining town in North West England. Run from the town centre and around Wigan Athletic's stadium before returning to finish back in town, runners will have earned the right to eat their lunchtime pie with a clear conscience. This year's run is happening on 6 September.
Taking place around the country for free every Saturday morning, Parkrun has become a global fitness phenomenon since it began on the outskirts of London a decade ago. Get on the website and register in advance for your local event if you want to take part.
Are you signed up to a fun run this year? Leave a comment below...