New study ranks London as the best city for runners in the UK

Running is a versatile sport, offering a range of mental and physical health benefits for everyone, from casual joggers to seasoned athletes training for their next marathon. But which locations in the UK are a real runner’s paradise?

The life insurance team at Compare the Market analysed the 50 most populated locations in the UK to find out, researching factors including the number of running events, running groups, air quality, and average rainfall to reveal the best locations for runners.

You can find the full research here: https://www.comparethemarket.com/life-insurance/content/best-uk-locations-for-runners/

London races ahead as the UK’s best location for runners, with 123 running events and 506 trails

The research ranks London as the best location in the UK for runners. The capital boasts the highest number of running trails (506), as well as the most running events available (123 at the time of writing). With races including the world-famous London Marathon, alongside plenty of others, covering distances from anywhere between 5k to 55k, there’s no shortage of events for runners of all levels to enjoy. 

London also has lower than average rainfall levels of only 690 millimetres, compared to the national average (1,090mm), which is good news for runners who prefer to stay dry. 

Manchester and Wigan place second and third, thanks to a range of running groups and good air quality

Manchester secures second place on the list, with 48 running groups available to join. The northern city also offers better air quality than London, with a score of 50.5, as well as 444 trails to explore.

Wigan follows in third, compensating for its lack of official running events with an impressive 63 running groups operating in and around the town. Runners here can also enjoy the excellent air quality index of 87.5, which is matched only by Sunderland out of the other locations analysed.

The top 10 UK locations for runners are shown in the table below. 

10Newcastle upon Tyne

Birkenhead and Doncaster are the least favourable locations for runners in the UK

With only two running groups, three trails and zero running events available, Birkenhead in Merseyside ranks as the least favourable location in the UK for runners. The town also sees an average rainfall of 1,173 mm per year, which is higher than the national average and bad news for fair-weather runners. 

The study identifies Doncaster as the second least favourable location for runners. The Yorkshire city has slightly more running events (2) and trails (11) on offer, but unfortunately is also home to the worst air quality out of all locations analysed, with a score of just 15 out of 100. 

Anna McEntee, from the life insurance team at Compare the Market, said: “It’s important to be aware that your lifestyle and life insurance costs are connected. This is because life insurance premiums are partly based on how likely you are to make a claim. When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked questions about your lifestyle, and a provider may also ask to see your medical records to help them assess your application in more details and to ensure you get the right level of cover.

“So, while runners don’t automatically qualify for lower rates, some life insurance policies will encourage you to follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercising regularly. Running has many physical health benefits, including reducing the risk of many long-term illnesses, burning calories, and improving muscle strength and stamina.

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