Dusting down the trainers and getting out on the road this January? Set yourself a target with these local races.

Losing weight and exercising more are often top of the list when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

While it can be easy to start, sometimes getting fit and sticking to a regular running schedule can fall by the wayside as the year progresses.

The best way to combat the slump is to set yourself a clear target, and with so many well-organised events taking place in North Devon in 2018, there’s no better time to sign up, whether you’re looking to run five kilometres or a marathon.

There are plenty of other opportunities over the course of the year, but here are some ideas to help you get those legs moving.

Parkrun

If you’re after a regular, timed 5km run then a Parkrun is perfect. Taking place every Saturday at 9am in Bideford’s Victoria Park and Barnstaple’s Rock Park, these runs are free and as long as you register beforehand for a barcode, you get a timed result whenever you go. Register for Parkrun here.

Braunton 10 (Sunday, January 21)

Organised by North Devon Road Runners, the Braunton 10 gives entrants the choice of a 10km course or a 10mile one. Starting and finishing at Braunton Academy, the 10-mile event features climbs designed to test both the legs and the spirit, while the 10k option offers a shorter distance but the same feel of the original course. Entry fees start from £17 for non-affiliated runners. For more information or to sign up, visit the race page.

The Castle Hill Corker (Sunday, February 18)

This 10km run around the Castle Hill estate is a great challenge to set yourself. The multi-terrain race organised by South Molton Strugglers is certain to offer a bit of mud, but also the opportunity to run in one of the more stunning landscapes around the great house. For more information, visit the race page.

Bideford Half Marathon (Sunday, March 11)

If you want to get stuck in with a half-marathon before spring, look no further than Bideford AAC’s half-marathon. The race takes runners from Bideford to Torrington before a return journey on the Tarka Trail, and all finishers get a medal at the end of it. If you want to be ready for this one – you’d better start training sharpish. For more information, visit the Bideford Half Marathon page

Hartland Hartbreaker (Sunday, May 6)

Another North Devon Road Runners event, it gives entrants the option of Hartache (eight miles) or Hartbreak (18miles). Whichever one you choose, there’s bound to be a mixture of pleasure and pain as you take in some of the paths, trails and fields around the coast. Entry starts from £18. Visit the Hartbreaker page to enter and for more information.

Bideford 10k (Sunday, May 13)

This popular event from Bideford AAC sees runners set off from the Quay to Instow before heading back on the Tarka Trail. The course is relatively flat, and takes in beautiful views of the River Torridge in the second half of the race. The event costs £19 for non-affiliated runners. For more information, visit the Bideford 10k page

North Devon AONB Marathon and Half Marathon (Sunday, June 24)

If you’re after a real challenge, the North Devon AONB Marathon offers a gruelling, but picturesque 26.2 miles around Woolacombe, Croyde, Saunton and Putsbrough. Organised by North Devon Hospice, all proceeds go to the charity, and there’s also a half-marathon option for those who prefer something a little shorter. Entry starts from £36. Visit the AONB Marathon page for more information.

Ilfracombe Turbine Trail (July)

Ilfracombe Running Club’s summer race takes entrants from West Down Community Field across country tracks and alongside some of North Devon’s wind turbines. The course is roughly 10km, and coincides with West Down Village Fayre.

The club also runs the Combe Crawler in November, a gruelling 8.5-mile run through some of the region’s more dramatic scenery. Visit Ilfracombe Running Club’s website for more information.

The Jewson Barnstaple Marathon and Half Marathon (Sunday, September 30)

Another race offering the chance for the full 26.2 miles or half the distance, the Barnstaple Marathon takes entrants from Rock Park out as far as Chivenor and Yelland. The North Devon Road Runners event has sold out each of the last three years, so sign up soon if you want to take part. Entry for the marathon costs £30 for non-affiliated runners. For more information, or to sign up, click here.