UK Track Races

The following races are regular meets that take place at various locations around the country.

Track events guarantee one thing: completely flat surfaces – though of course, the scenery will get fairly familiar after 4 laps!

Many of these races will require running spikes, as opposed to the racing flats and trail shoes recommended for road and off-road races respectively.

Outdoor Open Meets

  • Location - All around the country
  • What they are - Simply put, these are race meets that can be entered by anyone and everyone! Many clubs, such as Watford Harriers at the location stated above, hold Open meets throughout the year as a more informal alternative to the serious regional and national competitions that take place. Open meets tend to group races into different age groups and abilities up-to-and-including 800m, so for these events you should be guaranteed a good race with opponents similar to you. Furthermore, though competitors are usually grouped into a single race, anyone doing events longer than 800m should also find that they have plenty of suitable competition. Overall, elite athletes tend not to bother with these, so you shouldn’t have to worry about being overwhelmed!
  • Recommended for - Athletes of all abilities.

Indoor Open Meets

  • Location - All around the country, notably Lee Valley, Sheffield, Birmingham, Cardiff.
  • What they are - These function in the same way as Outdoor Open Meets, insofar as anyone who wants to can enter. There are a few differences, however, apart from one type being outside and the other inside! Indoor tracks are 200m long – and can vary from place to place (i.e. length of straights, tightness of corners), in contrast to the uniform 400m layout seen outdoors – which can change the dynamic of some races. Though it may not make much difference for 800m and above, the more acute bends can have a profound effect on the times of 200m and 400m runners – so although indoor events serve as good practice and conditioning, don’t be too disheartened if your times a bit slower than those you’ve set outdoors.
  • Recommended for - Track athletes of all abilities who want a competition to test how their winter training is progressing.

British Milers Club Fixtures

  • Location - All around the country
  • What they are - The British Milers Club is the premier middle distance athletics club in the UK, and holds many meets throughout the season. The competitions that the Club hold are usually of a very good standard, and becoming a member of the BMC requires a ‘qualifying’ time of 1:55.0 for 800m and 4:00.0 for 1500m, so inexperienced middle distance runners may find them a bridge too far at first. Nevertheless, anyone who does compete in BMC meets or qualifies for membership is guaranteed to have very good competition, and the club can serve as a worthy goal to aspire towards.
  • Recommended for - Specialist middle-distance runners, with the qualifying times recommended as a goal for beginner middle-distance runners looking for serious competition.

National Athletics League Fixtures

  • Location - All around the country
  • What they are - The NAL is the premier national athletics league – the track and field equivalent to the Football League system. The league is split into 5 divisions, with the Premiership the highest division and Division 4 the lowest. As far as standard goes, results in the Premiership can be around international standard in some events, with lower leagues – barring one or two county-level athletes – generally not much better than low-key regional meets. Each event is also split into ‘A’ and ‘B’-strings, and everyone who finishes will score at least one point. Any athlete will tell you that competing in the BAL and contributing to your team’s score are proud achievements, and trips away can serve as great team-bonding exercises – something that is relatively hard to find in such an individual sport!
  • Recommended for - Any athlete confident enough to give it a go – having consulted with your team manager of course!