Edinburgh or Manchester Marathon?

Hi All,

I was thinking about Manchester or Edinburgh for a spring marathon.

I live near Edinburgh but was leading towards Manchester (due to pacers, less weather affected, and earlier in the year) but would welcome any recommendations or thoughts?



Edinburgh course strikes me as pretty boring and possibly a wind tunnel in one direction. I used to run out portobello, musselborough few years back and it’s very dreary. Surely they could improve that course have a decent loop.

I’d opt for Manc although that’s not that scenic either!

On the upside you could train on Ed course and know it backwards come race day

Pretty much bang on what I was gonna say already.

Manchester is proper big mara, flat. Support is actually pretty decent, there are a few dead spots as you’d expect.

I’ve not done Edinburgh, but I’ve heard it can really get windy and give you that long slog back, often into a headwind. I’m trying to remember back to Manchester, but it was a route that wound in multiple directions when I did it, with no major long, exposed sections that I recall. Maybe one towards mile 20 or so.

@Poet and @tunster probably know the route inside out.

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And @r0bh

Manchester Marathon route is utterly tripe.
It’s really the Trafford, Sale, Altrincham marathon.

Didn’t @Sowler do it last year.

I wouldn’t do it.

Wrexham Marathon looks more scenic.
And that’s three laps of an industrial estate.

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Come to think of it, Chester gets a good field as well doesn’t it? Is that a good course?

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Yeah I did it last year. Bar my own personal issues from that race, I liked it. Brilliant support all the way round. The next biggest mara after London I think. Flat course and I doubt you’d get issues with wind.


Erm :face_with_peeking_eye::see_no_evil:
Not done it, but you’re in the city for about 3km max.

Eaton Road has some nice houses on it.
Rest of it is just country roads.
You go into Wales :wales:

After doing Staffs, support on the run course was ace, so I’d deffo look for a well supported course over a “pretty” one, to be honest. I just have nightmares from bike commuting on those potholed roads, full of insane car drivers, which Manchester marathon uses :man_shrugging:t4::see_no_evil:

Manchester is a good big event but wouldn’t do it for the scenery as @Poet says - big field and quite flat for a good time if you are after one

Don’t know about Edinburgh either but if I recall from a mate who did it, apart from a small section isn’t very scenic either - he mentioned about it being hard on the quads due to the profile. It don’t know if that is right or not


I’ll be honest the road surface wasn’t something that stood out at all and of course its all closed roads. And its a great night out in Manc after too :grin:


Do them both - 6 weeks between

Edinburgh seems to be at end of May 2023 - not exactly spring?


I was there last year.

Don’t listen to @Poet decent course for a mara, fantastic support, big race, mostly flat or rolling except for a couple of short climbs around 16 miles and not too much wind.


I like Edinburgh, but the return to Musselburgh can be a slog into the wind, very quiet if you’re at around 3 hour pace, and surprisingly hot (perhaps I was unlucky- sunny mid 20C days both times).

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I’d recommend strathearn marathon - beautiful course/ undulating. Small field ( and a small field to camp in night before right next to start line). No stress. Starts at cultybraggan - where the Nissen huts are - just north west of Gleneagles area