the Marathon of the North

advice needed

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28/09/2012 at 13:49

I didn't get into London (again!) so am looking for another marathon in the north at a similar time. I found the Marathon of the North in Sunderland but there are no reviews on this website and I just wondered if anyone ran it last year and could recommend it? Or another marathon? I ran Manchester last year but would like a change and hopefully better weather! Thank you!

28/09/2012 at 14:21

I ran this last year. One of approximately 1,500 runners, although as they run a 10k(?) race on the same morning, there was quite a crowd at the start.

Starts and finishes at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, so facilities are excellent. Steve Cram is the Race Director so he should know a thing or too about racing!

The course is broadly three out and back loops (although not covering the same roads, if that makes sense) so it's a good one for spectators to see runners a few times. (My 'team' managed six sightings). It is relatively flat, with a few undulations. taking in some of the city centre, some of the seafront and through two of the parks (names escapes me).

From memory most, if not all of the course is closed to traffic, although padestrians did wonder along some of the footpaths near the end but nothing to bothersome.

Nice technical t-shirt, medal and free massage at the finish.

Easy to travel to on the Metro as there are stops five minutes walk from the start and finish.

I'd definitely do this one again if it wasn't for the fact I lived in Essex and it was a bit of a trek (I too had it as a back up for London)

hope this helps - happy to answer any other questions!

28/09/2012 at 14:26

thank you so much Bertie for taking the time to tell me so much about the race. Sounds perfect for me as I like support but not repeating the same roads will have a think and will probably enter. You doing London?


28/09/2012 at 14:36

Yes, managed to get my GFA time at this year's Marathon of the North event!

It's definitely a PB course as it's fairly flat and not very crowded. If it was windy I'd imagine you'd suffer a bit along the coastal bits, but this year the conditins were near perfect!

Good luck if you do decide to run!

Edited: 28/09/2012 at 14:37
28/09/2012 at 14:38

I ran it last year, but I have very little to compare it to other than the Great North Run as it was my first marathon. As said earlier there are the toilet facitlities of a football stadium that holds 48,000 people available to the 10k and marathon runners so that wasn't an issue. The course did have a slight feel of them struggling to squeeze 26 miles out of Sunderland but I quite liked seeing the runners ahead of me coming towards me on some of the loops and it was good being one of those runners looking at people about to start the loop when you were nearing the end. Think this happened about 4/5 times over the course.

Can't recall seeing any free massages but everyone was given free bananas at the end


I was thinking of doing it again if I didn't get in to the London Marathon. As it happens I got a place so I am planning on running the 10k instead. 2 marathons in a week sounds like too much to me. Out of interest there will be people on here who have done marathons 2 weekends running. How was it?

Edited: 28/09/2012 at 14:39
28/09/2012 at 19:19

2 marathons in consecutive weekends is fine if you are not racing them!

Ran 4 in 4 days over last weekend and have 2 next weekend.

28/09/2012 at 21:23
Think I'll stick to the plan of doing the Sunderland 10k, my girlfriends getting into running and She's thinking of doing it as her first shot at that distance so want to give her a bit of support. And 2 marathons in a week is currently
More than I've managed in a lifetime so far
29/09/2012 at 16:32


30/09/2012 at 12:58

I am also a London reject (again!) and thinking about entering this race instead.

02/10/2012 at 14:01

now toying between this race and the Brathay Windermere..... can't decide between the two

11/10/2012 at 13:42

Hi, I've just entered this race for my first time marathon (having been knocked back for London).  Friends of mine who ran it last year gave it a thumbs up.  Well organised, 'big race' feel without being a crowded course, good transport links and fairly flat.  Also for the NE of England there aren't many other options for the distance.

Ran the Steve Cram organised Kielder 10k at the weekend and was really impressed. The entry fee was at the higher end of the spectrum, but excellent event, well organised with good support.  Hopefully the Marathon of the North will be similar.  However as another poster mentioned could get windy where the course heads along the seafront.

I used a code for £2 off the online fee (until the end of October '12), enter SHHH2012 at registration.

Edited: 11/10/2012 at 13:43
18/10/2012 at 16:38

I've done quite a few marathons and did this last year 2 weeks after London. Id not recovered so struggled but I was really impressed and may do it again next year. Would definately recommend this one.

Great start and finish at the stadium. Really easy access and parking. Although a fairly small field there was good support and the loops of the course helped with this as you got chatting to the same supporters that you'd seen already. Varied and quite scenic course including parks and a coastal section. Not flat but certainly not hilly enough to cause any trouble. Brill t-shirt and o.k medal. Massages at the end.

Like lily i'm undecided between this and Windermere. Perhaps see how Preston goes next week first though!


19/10/2012 at 08:52

Going to enter! Thanks for all the helpful comments. Will leave Windermere till next year maybe. It falls when my daughter is doing gcses so not a good date this year. I do know that Manchester is also on 28th April too but I want to try a different marathon.

26/10/2012 at 15:18

Hi.  Just seen this.  I did Marathon of the North this year and thought it was excellent.  A bit of a wiggly course, but that has it's pluses as others have pointed out. Although wiggliness did mean some guy running broadly around the same time as me kept cutting huge corners off.  I mean like I would just class as proper cheating.  He must have thought the race was being run under fell running rules.

Facilities are excellent at the stadium, not having to que for the toilet was just unreal.  I thought all the marshalls and helpers were great.  And Crammy is a legend so you have to do his race just for that reason!

I'm in Brighton this time, but will be back to this. You just reminded me how good it was.

26/10/2012 at 15:38
Cheating as in just missing out the loops and ducking under the course barriers. The lazy git.
30/10/2012 at 07:49
I 'loved' it. Was my first mara, and I chose it as it was so close it felt too good to be true!
Great facilities and with the 10k also on the same day it really felt like the surrounding area had a vibe going. With the low-ish numbers I'd say pre run and post it was more enjoyable then my 3 GNR which always feel a bit like you're being herded about (IMO of course).

As it was my first mara, take this with a pinch of salt - the course was quite tough. The day was quite hot (For the NE !) and drink stations seemed a little infrequent (not sure if they follow a standard??), the course was tough - the doubling back I always struggle with and there was a killer of a hill 10 odd miles in (IIRC). BUT some of the running took place in gorgeous beach filled views and was actually quite pleasurable. And the support. Wow. This really blew me away - apart from the first 30 mins at the early start it was pretty constant all the way round. Jelly Babies, Chocolate etc etc. And as someone else said, plenty of chances to see support teams. seeing my Dad and Wife cheering me on will live with me forever. And the laughs. Plenty of laughs with fellow runners.

I've signed up or next year, and along with being accepted into the VLM (first time entered) I'm going for both in the week. Not bothered about PB beating (PB 4.34) I really want to just do it again. Loved it.
01/11/2012 at 07:58
Thanks so much Adrian for all your encouraging comments. It has made me feel better about applying. I am running Tatton half on Sunday then will think about the mara training. Did Manchester marathon last year but wanted a change. Did not get into vlm but happy with a more northern one!
06/11/2012 at 14:18

feeling very tired and flat after a great Tatton Half marathon on Sunday. Won't run for about a week but wondered if anyone had any advice on how to maintain my running before starting my marathon training in January? I ran a pb of 2hrs 21mins and hope to run the marathon in about 5hours. Thank you!

06/11/2012 at 15:15
That's a great questions Lily. I'm currently trying to average 30-35 miles a week in preparation to up it in the new year to 40 p/w, ultimate aim (VERY scary at the mo) of 50-60 per week at the height of my training.

Right, so what am I doing.....

1. Record everything. My garmin output is SO motivating. This is also with step 2

2. Set days. I always run on the same day. Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. Long run is Sunday, others a mixture of tempo, slow and speed

3. Training buddy. This was my big mistake last time. My wife runs but doesn't hit the distances I go for. So. She's bought a bike and cycles with me on my long runs. It's lovely and also, really keeps my tempo up.

4. Mix it up. I run very rarely the same course or the the same way - with music, without etc etc. Boredom has to be avoided!!!

And lastly, for now 5. Treats. Have a cake. It something that feels like an indulgence. I'd go mad if it wasn't for a 'reward' moment....

Hope it helps - I guess you have I find your own way and these are mine!!!!
06/11/2012 at 15:16
And ps feeling flat after an event is to be expected. It eases after a few days....enjoy the achievement before rushing onto the next challenge!!!
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