Whether for fitness, weight loss or charitable good intentions, going for a run can be great fun. It can. Then again it can also seem like an interminable affront to your physical and mental health. London has its world-renowned Marathon - the biggest annual fundraising event in the whole world - but if the very idea makes you run for the hills rather than the gym, why not find a happy medium and join in one of the capital’s many Fun Runs? Held throughout the balmier months, they range from a nighttime disco endeavour to dressing up as Where’s Wally, the courses generally don’t stretch beyond the 5km mark and are all in the name of fantastic causes. So ditch the excuses, lace up the trainers and race through our top 5 guide!

First up is the big one: the annual London Marathon is on Sunday April 26th this year. Covering the traditional 26 miles across the city, the Marathon will be taking place this year on Sunday the 26th of April. If you’re not quite in shape for that, there are innumerable bars, cafes and viewing spots along the route for you to scoot to and show some vocal support for those mad enough to try it: bear in mind that running in a 15 kilo chicken outfit can’t be the most uplifting thing in the world - they deserve some cheers for their pluck!

For the night owls and party people, Electric Run in Wembley Park is a sort of anti-marathon, held this year on the 2nd of May. First of all the route is only 5km, and participants of all ages and abilities are encouraged to come along and walk, run or - preferable even - dance. The initiative was imported from the US last year, with the UK’s inaugural event attracting 15,000 participants to traverse through tunnels of light created by lasers, dancing patterns on walls, crazy colours the entire length and everyone lit up by neon accoutrements: it’s as electric an atmosphere as you could hope for! Lose the headphones for this one - there will be DJs spinning tunes during the entire event and the finishing line is much more intended as the start of the party. 

Just a few days later, it’s time for the Tower of London Run on Wednesday the 6th of May. Organised by and for the British Heart Foundation, it is one of London’s oldest running events and crosses the London Bridge, the first way over the river that the capital ever had. Giving you the chance to walk, jog or race up to 10km along the actual Tower Moat, this is your chance to join in to help fight heart disease with every step.  

For those who prefer the fun to the run, The Color Run through Wembley Park may well be precisely what you’re after. The only rule is that your t-shirt has to be white in order to show off the rainbow of paint colours that will be splattered on you - if that doesn’t sound appealing, you can also volunteer as a pelter of paint instead…?Held on June 7th this year, it is a worldwide event that is predicted to attract over 20,000 to the London route alone (there were 85,000 participants across the UK last year) and takes place in over 50 countries. Lasting a mere 3 miles and billed as “the happiest on the planet”, the race isn’t even timed and is intended for all ages and abilities - plus at the end DJs will be waiting to start the party at the finishing line! 

Feeling a little self-conscious? Not sure your body is quite beach-ready yet? Then schedule in the 25th of July and join in London’s Sumo Run in Battersea Park. That’s right, it’s thousands of people, in mid-summer, dressed in blow-up costumes of oversized Japanese men. Even better, it’s all done in aid of the Link Community Development organisation, which raises funds for children in Sub-Saharan Africa to go to school. Registration includes sumo outfit rental, and there is even a mass warm-up and inflation session beforehand, which is exactly as rib-ticklingly (if you can find them) funny as it sounds. What excuse are you possibly going to come up with to miss it? 

So whether you’re more interested in the run, fun, or money to be raised, London has a course for you to embark on. And where better to rest your weary, worthy soles (and souls) than at the heart of the West End and in the comfiest beds in the city at every hotel Piccadilly