Whch is the toughest half marathon in England?

Just did the South Downs Half Marathon on 8 June.  This was my first trail half and I had never really appreciated the Elevation Gain on my Garmin until now.  I know humbly know that an Elevation Gain of 470m is a killer.

Anyone got a half marathon for the title toughest half in England/UK/Europe/World?



  • Not done either, but I understand the Midsummer Monro is pretty tough.

  • For UK, Heaven and Hell Half Marathon in Perthshire is pretty tough going.



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  • The Ironbridge HM is quite tough!

  • mmmmmm hills need to head up to Perthshire next year. image

    The 3 toughest ones I've done are Buxton half http://www.buxtonac.org.uk/halfmarathon.py

    Eyam half


     and Liversage or Liversausage as my wife call's it.


    All smallish races with very good organisation and lot's of nice hills image

    Buxton is a beast image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    The Midsummer Munro bills itself as the hardest half. I've not done any of the others mentioned here to compare, but it does involve 3,000ft of ascent and some bloody big steps. I got round in 1:51 three years ago, which I reckon is a good 30-odd minutes on top of my "normal" half form at the time, and it's the only race I've done where certain sections are easier to walk than run, even before you're properly tired. 

    You'd think going downhill might be easy but the last descent back to the finish line is an absolute quad killer!  ...I think I'm actually about to explode...




    Cracking race.

  • image

    There's those shorts again!!

  • Shortie short short's. image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I'd forgotten how long I've had them.  They're fantastic on hills.  Lots of freedom!

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Another vote for the Midsummer Munro. It's got an absurd amount of up and down in it.

    This year's jaunt is next weekend. My quads are trembling at the thought already.

  • I've not done many, but think Buxton would give any a run for the title...

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Here's the Midsummer Munro profile:



  • Ouch, looks nasty image

  • Another vote for the Munro - a tough "run" but a great afternoon out!

  • BUXTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Snowdonia Half is toughest I have done. They give you the medal for finishing and a secondary medal for being able to complete Forrest Hill which is three miles in, nearly a mile long and 1:7 incline after climbing up from the start and the having to come down at some point. Stunning scenery though...

  • Boothy, another victim of buxton? ? image

  • sod that


  • Would have to put forward the Leek half marathon, not nice at all 

  • Not sure its as tough as some mentioned but the hardest I have done is The Yorkshire Wolds Way Half, a 3.5 mile climb at mile 3 is sapping & the downhill is hard too as the ground is so uneven!

  • image I think this can only be answered by one of us doing all of them and making a choice? I nominate E Toe for the task as he's a responsible adult. image

  • I am definitely adult, cakey!

  • I have to agree Buxton is quite a hard one done it twice now and doesn't get any easier ! I feel that the hardest one I've ever done was the Leek half 2011 ( hills were hard enough but the sun and temp made it even worse ) and the Broadway hill half was a close second followed by Buxton half image Even though they were all hard I enjoyed every one of them !


  • I thought Langdale half was pretty but tough.

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    Another here that hasn't done them all so I can only speak about what I've done.

    I did the Picnic (229' or 70m of ascent per mile) a couple of years back, a Mid-summer Munroe followed immediately by another Mid-summer Munroe. Dr Rob is a sadist. That, without a shadow of a doubt is the hardest thing I personally have done. the half was 40 minutes slower than my then PB, the full was 2 hours slower!

    I'll be moving up north soon and was looking to play with the Fell runners as I like off road and hills. I was looking at the Dark Peak Fell Runners site and saw some of the events on their calendar. 300' of ascent per mile is not unusual. Most races look like they are 5/6m, though there are longer ones.

    Jeez, it's gonna kill me and I'll die with a smile on my face.  image

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • imageimage Dude check out the grin and bear it race when it open's up you might like it. It's a fund raiser for woodhead mountain rescue and lovely. linky

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