Marathon Recommendations

Other Marathon's apart from London

18 messages
03/11/2008 at 14:08

I have been running for about 16 months now - started with a Cancer Research 10k last September and have just completed the GNR and Birmingham Half Marathon (2hrs 23min for GNR and 2hrs 1min for Brum).

 After the GNR the thought of doing a full marathon was the furthest thing from my mind, but after the Birmingham race I am beginning to get the itch to do the 26.2 miles.

 Do forum members have a particular marathon they would recommend ? London would be fantastic but 2009 is gone and I can't wait with my fingers crossed for future years.

 Any UK race or mainland Europe would be considered.

 Please be honest with pro's and con's

Many thanks

03/11/2008 at 14:30
everyone will have different favourites - what will be pros for one person may well be cons for others (e.g. on road versus off road)

at the end of the day, if you want to run a marathon, then choose one that appeals and train for it........they're all the same distance, the only thing that varies is the course.....
03/11/2008 at 14:39

well I dont have much experience having only ever run one marathon but I'd recommend that one... It was the Nottingham one (mid September) and my experience was that it was well organised, clear set up at the start (ie dropping off kit etc), good communication at the end and clearly marked along the way.

There was quite a nice variety of locations too - some city, some rural, some main road, some parks .... What else? Plenty of drink stops too...

 I suppose it's common sense but one of the things I consider is where it is and how easy the weekend will be as well. I.e. it could be the best marathon in the world but if it takes you hours and hours to drive to Nottingham then it might be too much hassle!

03/11/2008 at 14:41

Edinburgh is really good, and the places aren't closed yet. It's at the end of May. I would have done it next year, but my best friends wedding is the day before.

Fast, flat course, really recommend it.

03/11/2008 at 15:00

No, don't do a marathon.  They hurt.


Dublin's my favourite because afterwards you can head over to the west coast and have a couple of days enjoying fabulous scenery and warm Irish hospitality.

03/11/2008 at 15:08

Amsterdam if you want a flat course - and it finishes in the Olympic stadium which is quite a buzz.

Marathon du Medoc if you fancy a carnival atmosphere and a wine tasting as you go round

Where ever you choose, unless it's really local, I'd suggest making a weekend of it, so that you don't have to sit in a car for hours afterwards while your legs stiffen up.

Monique    pirate
03/11/2008 at 16:06
Not all marathons are the same distance- so don't enter Marathon Des Sables thinkijg it will only be 26 odd miles, it's a bit more.
03/11/2008 at 16:06
Stratford in April is always good....
Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
03/11/2008 at 19:07
I second Berlin, done it 5 times and it's my favourite of the 38 marathons I've done. But whichever one you choose, I really advise entering a big city marathon rather than a smaller race for your first one, having a lot of runners around you all the way will really help you keep going. In a small race you can end up running all alone, which won't do much for you during the later stages when the going gets tough - I can't over-emphasize the benefit of morale support from other runners on the course. Once you've experienced one marathon, you'll know what it's all about and can handle smaller races much better. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
04/11/2008 at 08:36

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys - as I thought plenty of different views coming through.

Having been to Amsterdam a few times I can see the benefit of stopping there after a race !!

 Ultra - how difficult is the Berlin course ? Would certainly take your advice concerning a big city race

04/11/2008 at 09:12
Berlin is fast.  It's the current world record course, set this year by Haile Gebrselassie - 2:03:59
04/11/2008 at 14:24

Medoc if you want to have a ball. No pressure, 22 winestops , food and non-stop partying. (oh by the way most GPS users tell me it just under 28 miles, but nobody cares)

If you want something completely different the Neolithic (Wiltshire, in May)  Off road, constantly overtaking walkers doing the same route, good atmosphere. Its not easy but one I've done 3 times.

Many others to choose from, but those are my favorites.

04/11/2008 at 17:08

i feel the Nottingham Marathon is one of the best event i have done this year, it is well organised , well supported by mashals and plenty of fueling stations.  Adding that the course is totally flat on the second half really helps making it easier on the last 6 miles.

if you fancy a challenge the snowdonia marathon is brilliant for the scenary, fresh air, hills and rough weather from start to finish.. certainly provides plenty of long lasting experience...

04/11/2008 at 20:17

New Forest was my first marathon.

Nice countryside , not too hilly plus ponies.

I would think a UK marathon is a good starting point, then you wont have to deal with tiring travel before hand.

04/11/2008 at 21:13
CraigBaby wrote (see)

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys - as I thought plenty of different views coming through.

Having been to Amsterdam a few times I can see the benefit of stopping there after a race !!

 Ultra - how difficult is the Berlin course ? Would certainly take your advice concerning a big city race

Berlin is an `easy` course. It`s very flat and very fast. Generally regarded as the fastest of the big city marathons.

I`ve done 3 times. Love it.

Have done Amsterdam as well - much smaller than Berlin. Would thoroughly recommend.

Both Berlin and Amsterdam have the advantage that they are v easy to get to from the UK.

04/11/2008 at 22:24

No ones mentioned Paris.  It's got a great start on that Champs road thingy with the Arch of Triumph behind - all 36,000 runners lined up in one place unlike the 3 (4? 5?) starts at London.  It also has the advantage over London in that you simply sign up on line, first come first served, as there is no ballot.

 I can recommend Edinburgh as well.

04/11/2008 at 23:23

I did Amsterdam last month. Another positive is that almost everyone in 'Dam speaks English.

Jersey is another marathon I've done, and thats a great race .Lovely scenery and the last few miles are along the sea front into St Helier. There is also a relay marathon going on at the same time, so you always get people to run with. They give us marathoners plenty of encouragement too

05/11/2008 at 08:54

Have done Amsterdam once and the half 3 times. Easy to get to and if, if like me, your training doen't go right you can switch to the half on the weekend.

You will need a letter from your doctor saying that you are fit to do any race in France or Italy, which will cost you.

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