Know what to expect – your Great Bristol Run route

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If you’re lucky enough to know Bristol, then you’re likely to love it – after all, what’s not to love about a city so historic, cultured, and cool?

If you’ve signed up for the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run 10k or half marathon, you’re about to see Bristol from its best possible angle – from the streets and roads that make up the Bristol Run route.

But no matter how well you know the city, running Bristol can be a very different experience from the one you’re used to. That’s why we recommend getting familiar with your route. Take it from us – knowing when to look out for those twists and turns, long stretches and all-important landmarks can help you both physically and mentally.

Read on for all the route info you need for your Great Bristol Run challenge – knowledge you can use to train smart and get yourself feeling calm, in control and confident on race day.

Let’s make this your greatest run ever.

10k and half marathon – get route ready

The Great Bristol Run 10k and half marathon route maps are already here on the website. They’ll also go out in your digital event guide a month before your event, so make sure you take a close look.

Our quick summary: the 10k and the half marathon races begin in the same place: on Anchor Road. However, you’ll only run a mile together before the half-marathon runners separate off onto the Portway. At four miles, HM runners will turn around and back – making the first 8 miles of your challenge a fairly straightforward out-and-back stretch.

Half marathoners rejoin the 10k route at the Merchants Road bridge and complete a waterside stretch along Cumberland Road. Then there’s a section of city centre twisting and turning around Queen Square and Castle Park, and you’ll cross the water a further three times before hitting the finish line ‘behind’ the starting point on Anchor Road.

Route need-to-knows and training tips

It might all be the city centre, but it’s nice and varied, taking in Bristol’s famous rivers, green spaces and urban landmarks. We like to keep things interesting!

For a city famous for its rivers, it’s no surprise that Great Bristol Runners spend a lot of time waterside and crossing bridges. So why not include some river training into your routine? Our favourite starts at M Shed on the Prince Street Bridge, follows Museum Way to the Chocolate Path, across Ashton Avenue Bridge and then heads north past the Suspension Bridge towards Ham Green Lake. Turn around at any point to create a simple out-and-back. Traffic-free, and lovely views guaranteed.

Elevation-wise, both the 10k and the half marathon are known for being flat and fast – great news if you’re after a PB. However, hill training is still an important part of any race preparation, giving you the mental and physical stamina you’ll need. Troopers Hill Nature Reserve and Stoke Park Estate are ideal locations for some hilly routes and reps. Believe us: it’ll all pay off on race day.

Other hints and hacks:

Make running social. There are plenty of friendly Bristol running clubs reading to welcome new members – just take a look at our picks here.

You can enjoy the freedom of closed roads on event day, but city centre running means doing some training in an urban environment – which also means being alert to potential hazards. Watch out for traffic, and other footpath users and make sure you’re wearing bright clothes. Staying safe means being visible!

Check out your 2024 Great Bristol Run route – and happy running!

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