As we welcome in 2017, many people will be setting new year resolutions. It’s probably a fair assumption that many of those will be to exercise more.
Luckily for those looking to take part in more sport, the options are more open than ever. Hundreds of events from cycling sportives to triathlons give the sportsmen and women up and down the country a chance to test their mettle.
If you’re taking up a new sport this term, or are even if you are a relative veteran, selecting which events to take in can be tough with so many on offer. Thankfully we’ve picked out five contests that look a cut above the rest.
Whatever your sport of choice, make sure you check out these events.
The London Marathon just 14 days later may get all the plaudits, but it’s got nothing on the Exmoor Marathon. Rated five out of five for difficulty, it is regarded as one of the toughest in the UK.
While the terrain may be challenging, the scenery is well worth suffering for. Following the steep cliff edge up long, arduous climbs, this 26 mile event follows the western terrains of the national park, hugging the Devon coastline.
Trail runners will face all kinds of environment along the way, from wind-battered cliff edges, to sheltered valleys, to open moorland. If you want to challenge yourself with a marathon in 2017, this is the one to go for.
This event is slightly different to a traditional marathon run. Obstacle courses have become massive in the past few years, and 2017 doesn’t appear to be much different.
Get wet, muddy and exhausted this May weekend in Essex with Nuclear Races’ Rush event. Whether you opt for the 7km course or the 12km course, fitness will certainly be put to the test – all in the name of fun!
The prize for finishing in the top 10 of the 12km event is qualification for the OCR World Championships 2017 in Ontario, Canada. How much more encouragement do you need to take on the 90+ obstacles that stand in your way?
Le Classique Sportive – May 14th
For bike fans the Tour de France is usually the epitome of elite cycling. While Le Classique isn’t Le Tour, it does give a nice feel of what the French classic has to offer.
A short ferry ride from Dover takes participants to Calais where, after a morning croissant and coffee, riders take in a 83 mile loop of the northern France countryside.
Stunning waterways and pretty villages dissect the route, while a mile-and-a-half cobbled section through the town of Cassel adds a bit of Paris-Roubaix to the mix.
Make sure you sign up to the second renewal of this Gallic day-trip.
For those that would rather get off-road when on two wheels, 10 in the Glen is for them. You will need stamina though, with, as the name implies, competitors face a 10-hour test around the circuit.
The aim of the game is to rack up as many laps of the 13km track situated in Rostrevor, County Down as you can. With a mix of swooping descents, challenging climbs and flat out sections, the extended ride certainly won’t grow boring.
With the option to take part individually or as part of a team, there is no pressure for each rider to tackle the full 10 hours either – just send one member out at a time to keep adding to your lap tally.
Sometimes a simple marathon is not enough. Occasionally, runners feel the need to test their bodies further. If that is the case, then Rat Race’s Man vs Mountain should be right up your street.
Add to the usual marathon concept (well, just shy of that at 22 miles), an ascent to the peak of Mount Snowdown, throw in number of natural obstacles and you are some way there.
Starting in the fort town of Caernarfon, runners head south-east to Snowdonia National Park. The serious stuff really commences as competitors climb the 1,085 meters to the top of the UK’s third-highest mountain.
Conquer Snowdon and all that stands between you and the finishing line in the town of Llanberis is seven miles and a number of obstacles. From the ‘Quarry Jump’ to the ‘Rapid Rappel’ these aren’t your normal obstacles however.
Whichever event you choose to test yourself with in 2017, ensure you have adequate Sports Accident Insurance. SportsCover Direct’s policy can protect any loss of earnings you might suffer in the event of injuring yourself in the above events and over 400 other sports in the UK.