So you missed out on a place in the London Marathon, were pipped to a spot on the Prudential Ride and can’t face doing Tough Mudder with a load of middle managers on an away day.
What do you do? Slob around until 2018 rolls in? No. Here are the fitness events you still have time to sign up for this year, to get you fit and raise money for charity – you’re practically a saint. A sweaty, sweaty saint.
The Great North Run
The biggest half marathon in the world, the iconic northern event is so popular that entry is now via ballot. This year, the entry closes early February, so if you’re interested in a 13 mile dart from the home of suspicious brown ale to the birthplace of Barbour (that’s Newcastle to South Shields, if you didn’t know) along with 60,000 others, you’d better get a jog on.
Where and when: Newcastle, Sunday 10 September Deadline: Monday 6 February Cost: £54 Sign up: greatrun.org
The Mighty Deerstalker
Tough Mudder jocks have got nothing on the lumberjacks found at The Mighty Deerstalker. Head to Innerleithen in Scotland for the dirtiest weekend you’ll have all year, courtesy of what’s described as the ‘hardest off-road-Tweed-clad-pipe-lit-plus-four-and-headtorch-wearing run that exists’.
And should you still not be satisfied after the main event, the infamous Mighty Beerstalker Party takes place after with bands, booze and legendary crowdsurfing until the sun comes up.
Where and when: Innerleithen, 11 March Deadline: No deadline but suggested entry before February Cost: £60 Sign up: ratrace.com
St Joseph’s Firewalk & Glasswalk
Rather swap running round in the cold or running up stairs for a glass of something warm by the fire? This is almost that. Apparently, fire and glasswalking are designed to inspire us to do things we never believed possible, so walking over hot embers of 1,200 degrees or shards of broken glass isn’t quite as mad as it sounds. Plus, last year the event raised over £15,000 for Hackney, London hospice St Joseph’s.
Where and when: London, Thursday 23 March Deadline: No deadline but suggested entry before February Cost: £25 (plus minimum sponsorship pledge) Sign up: timeoutdoors.com
Maserati Tour De Yorkshire
The answer to the question: what do you get when you combine the sheer adrenaline of the Tour de France with a nice cup of Yorkshire tea? Taking place on the final day of the professional Tour de Yorkshire event, the cycling event is a chance to ride the same roads as the pros before they do. Luckily, with three distance options ranging from 45km to 100km, you won’t need Lance Armstrong-type ‘supplements’ to ensure you make it.
Where and when: Sheffield, Sunday 30 April Deadline: No deadline but suggested entry before February Cost: £42.50-£49 depending on distance Sign up: letour.yorkshire.com
Stair runs have become increasingly popular as fitness events, so this year take your sprint vertical with a Tower Run.
There are three main ones to punish your glutes with: the Gherkin Challenge is sponsored by the NSPCC and rewards you with a glass of champers when you reach the top of the 38 floor London landmark; the Christie Tower Run in Manchester is a whopping 46 floors, with a pay off of spectacular views over the city; finally, for a less intense vertical experience, sprint the 20 floors up to the top of Leicester’s tallest occupied building, St George’s Tower, to raise money for local hospice charity LOROS.
The Christie Tower Run
Where and when: Manchester, Sunday 26 February Deadline: N/A Cost: £20 Sign up: timeoutdoors.com
The St George’s Tower Run
Where and when: Leicester, Saturday 11 March Deadline: N/A Cost: Free when pledging sponsorship Sign up: timeoutdoors.com
The Gherkin Challenge
Where and when: London, Sunday 22 October Deadline: N/A Cost: £20 (plus £200 sponsorship) Sign up: nspcc.org.uk
Reebok Spartan Race
Born in the gritty mountain terrain of Vermont, USA, obstacle race company Spartan knows a thing or two about how to push, frankly pretty nuts, people to the edge. Go in search of glory and expect to be doused in whatever the outdoors can throw at you – think Gladiators meets Glastonbury.
With three main race types – starting with the Sprint (5km loaded with 20 obstacles) and going up to the Beast (20km with 30 obstacles) – the Reebok-sponsored event is perfect practice should you be planning a trip to Takeshi’s Castle this summer.
Where and when: Various events throughout the year Deadline: Check individual event Cost: £52-£87 depending on level Sign up: spartanrace.uk
AJ Bell London Triathlon
The world’s largest triathlon might sound like something from your nightmares, but relax – there are five different options ranging in levels of ‘someone please call my mum’. The formal distances start with a paltry 400m swim, 10km ride, 2.5km run, up to a gruelling 800m swim, 80km ride and 10km run.
Or, if you’re completely insane, there’s the Weekend Warrior, which challenges you to complete as many triathlons in one weekend as you physically can. We won’t see you at the finish line.
Where and when: London, Saturday 22-23 July Deadline: Early July Cost: £75-£150 depending on distance Sign up: livetotri.co.uk