finding the best marathon to get a sub 3.15

18 messages
03/10/2012 at 09:49

Whats the good marathon to do between dec 2012 and july 2013 with the aim of getting a sub 3.15? Ihave completed london twice 3.33 1st time and  3.21 2nd time and would really like to get as close as poss to the 3hr mark!!

03/10/2012 at 11:38

Edinburgh is generally downhill, so this will help get a better time.  I think Abingdon is also known as a fast course, but I think this is outside your time-frame.

The Great Welsh Marathon in Llanelli is fairly flat as its along the sea-front and I think this is in April.

I guess the easiest thing to do is try and find the course profile for any marathon in the time frame and see how much elevation is involved.  I think you'll struggle to find any truly flat marathons in Britain as its difficult to avoid the lumps & bumps in a 26.2 mile course.


03/10/2012 at 12:53

Manchester claims to be the flattest Marathon and Malta is downhill if that helps

03/10/2012 at 13:02


seren nos    pirate
03/10/2012 at 13:09

Llanelli is lovely and flat.........many of us have PB'd there..........there is a chance of wind affecting the race as its on the coast.....but the last 2 years very little wind at all

03/10/2012 at 13:42

Not sure about Malta, although given that it is over 20 years since I did it - it has probably changed!!! It was down hill, in theory as it went from the highest point on the island to sea level - but it dropped very quickly in the first couple of miles - (wa surprised to be running beside a former european and commonwealth marathon champion - but a lot of the next 12/ miles or so were undulating to say the least and the 6 miles or so were flat.

03/10/2012 at 13:46

Paris is a good course. Although if it's flat you want I guess Rotterdam would be a good bet.

03/10/2012 at 13:57

Picking a downhill marathon to do this is cheating.

03/10/2012 at 14:59

Weather permitting, I'd agree with Edinburgh and Paris as being quicker than somewhere like London.  Rotterdam is flat and quick.  Isn't Barcelona also meant to be fast?

Paraphrasing the advice about calories and losing weight, a flat course can help achieve a time goal only as part of a structured training programme....

03/10/2012 at 22:16

Milton Keynes is pretty flat.   

03/10/2012 at 22:30

Milton Keynes is flat but by 20 miles I was cursing those underpasses

04/10/2012 at 07:35

Thank you for all your advice, going to look into doing Edinburgh

04/10/2012 at 22:35

Piers - I was too busy cursing the weather to notice the underpasses

04/10/2012 at 23:10

To be fair, London is flat, but crowding makes a good time difficult. Would this be a problem in some of the other races mentioned? (I quite fancy Malta, but the island is definitely not flat!)


05/10/2012 at 12:54

Malta doesn't suffer from crowding, first k or so is through some narrow streets but it soon opens up.

05/10/2012 at 13:09



08/10/2012 at 20:22

the flatest race is liverpool marathon double on NYE and NYD. (you dont have to run both.) its pancake flat along the promanade. great views along the way but it is multi laps. can you avoid alcohol over the new year.


04/11/2012 at 19:59

I did Edinburgh last year after hearing about the "fast course" and that previous years problems had been sorted out....... yep downhill winding through streets for 6 miles really hard to get into any pace, then very exposed along the Firth of Forth and far from flat undulating at best/ slightly hilly with a couple of long, 1 mile plus, energy sapping rises after 18 miles. Organisation was a shambles at the end, not worth the money. Did Lochaber marathon this year, fantastic course, great atmosphere for a small marathon, really well organised and a pb of 3.33. Scenery is amazing as well!!! Considering Manchester in 2013 and a crack at sub 3.15.

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