As Virgin London Marathon acceptances and commiserations are dropping through runners' letterboxes, those who have not been successful may now be wondering what to do next. Many will have started training already and don't want their hard work to go to waste. Cheshire runner, Gareth Boyd, posted this picture of his commiserations magazine on twitter saying 'Just got this in the post. Damn It!'. His feelings will have been mirrored by many others throughout the country yesterday.
To try to soften the blow, SCOTTISH RUNNING GUIDE has decided to round up the best European spring marathons to give a go instead...
Rome will host its Marathon on March 20 2011, with a historic course taking in all of the city's sights. Runners will pass the Coliseum, run through the Vatican City and into Rome's Olympic Stadium. Coming up just after Rome's event is the Paris Marathon, held on April 10 2011. Starting on the famous Champs Elysees, this iconic course is taken on by 40,000 runners each year, with 5,000 going across from the UK.
On the same day as the Virgin London Marathon, Madrid will host its marathon event. Described by race organisers as '42km of Pure Madrid', this race is not to be missed, taking in all the history and sights that Madrid has to offer.
May 22 2011 sees marathons in both Copenhagen and Edinburgh. The Copenhagen marathon gives 15,000 runners a great challenge, with lots of bands and entertainment along the route. The Edinburgh Marathon is part of a running festival, hosting five races on the same day. Marathoners will be part of around 30,000 runners taking part in the day's events.
Perhaps one of the most scenic races in the world, the Stockholm Marathon will take place on May 28 2011. Following a two lap course around the city, the route takes runners along many of Stockholm's beautiful waterways.
Runners who would prefer to stay in the UK for their next marathon also have plenty of races to choose from moving into autumn next year; the Chester and new Liverpool marathons have both been scheduled for October 9 2011, while in Scotland, the Moray Marathon will take place on September 4 2011 and the Loch Ness Marathon is likely to be scheduled for early October.
All of the European spring marathons can be entered through Sports Tours International, who offer travel packages to races all over the world for runners, their families and friends. Charity places will still be on offer for anyone who is still looking to do the Virgin London Marathon next year, a list of charities who have places up for grabs are on the Virgin London Marathon website.