When was the last time you went for a run, and didn’t feel an immediate zest for life afterwards? Sub-question: when was the last time you went for a run? Most of us approach running with the same zeal as eating sprouts (though that’s normally those who haven’t experienced them smothered with pancetta and garlic) – but there have been several events cropping up that puts so much fun in to running that the exercise should be renamed funning. They’re often linked to charities too – so read our picks below and take part to feel good, help others and develop yourselves some hench calves…

Night Run series by the National Trust
Ever wanted to run around the gardens of a Tudor manor at night, or perhaps explore the ancient woodlands when darkness falls? The National Trust is giving night owl runners the chance to experience normally closed places in their season of night-time trail events. There are various lengths of routes available at various locations.
Sat 7 – Sat 28 Mar, Various locations, £17.50, www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Moon Rise Run
Skip dinner: this run begins in the evening and invites you to party into the night. Starting at 7.45pm, Moon Rise Run will gradually transform the route into an enchanting passage through Heaton Park, rewarding the runners with a festival where there’ll be artisan street food stalls, a bar and live music until 11pm. There’s also an option to fundraise for its charity partner, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Sat 18 Apr, Heaton Park, From £28 (depending on group/individiual), www.moonriserun.com

Great Manchester Run (pictured)
Europe’s biggest 10k running event, this was established in 2003 and has raised over £22 million for charity. It has grown into a weekend festival of sport, including the Junior & Mini Great Manchester Run and Great CityGames Manchester. This year it’s got its very own Poet in Residence, Tony Walsh.
Sun 10 May, around central Manchester, £38 per entry, www.greatrun.org

The Color Run
This 5k is less about achieving your desired time (the Color Run is actually untimed), and more focussed on going for a rainbow-coloured casual walk/run/dance with your friends and family. There is a white shirt dress code –  each participant is fully doused in different colours at each kilometres, culminating in a huge Color Festival. Runners have the option to fundraise for its charity partner, the NSPCC. Think they need the US spelling for branding purposes.
Sun 5 Jul, Etihad Stadium, From £24 (depending on group/individiual), www.thecolorrun.co.uk

City of Manchester 10k
Taking place at the Regional Athletics Track at Sportcity next to the Etihad Stadium, this 10k has cash prizes for the top three quickest runners in each of the men’s and women’s categories. These guys raise money for the We Love MCR Charity, aimed at improving the lives, aspirations and life chances of Manchester people and building stronger communities.
Sun 12 Jul, Sportcity, £20 (£15 early bird), www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk

Sat 7 Mar - Sun 12 Jul
Edwina Chan
Published on:
Thu 9 Jul 2015