8 of the Flattest Marathons in the UK (2024)

December 23, 2023

Nick Hancock
Two men in running gear smiling for a photo at a marathon.

Today, we're diving into the world of marathons—specifically, the flattest ones in the UK that are practically begging you to set your fastest marathon PB.

Now, I know what you're thinking, 'Why does flat matter?'.

Think about it. Running on flat terrain not only makes it a breeze for beginners but also gives many runners the ideal setup to chase their personal bests.

So, if you're itching to crush that marathon time, stick around as we explore 7 of the flattest marathons in the UK. Get ready to discover your next race, where speed meets stunning scenery and many a historic city!

Newport Marathon

Newport Marathon, a hidden gem for all you PB hunters out there! This race isn't just about pounding the pavement; it's about conquering the flats. I'm talking pancake-flat—perfect for speed demons and those eyeing a new personal best.

But it's not just about the flatness; Newport throws in a scenic tour making it a popular and picturesque run. Looking to run a fast marathon with charming coastal views, historic landmarks, and a course that's as easy on the eyes as it is on your legs? See Wales at its best and sign up now!

Date: Sunday 28th April 2024

Sign Up: https://newportwalesmarathon.co.uk/

Nick Hancock running on a bridge during Newport Marathon in 2021.

Greater Manchester Marathon

The Greater Manchester Marathon—a top pick among popular marathons for good reason! Nestled in the heart of the city centre, this race isn't just a run; it's an urban adventure.

In terms of being one of the flattest marathon courses this marathon is the gold standard, offering fantastic PB potential for both seasoned racers and those tackling their first marathon. The course weaves through iconic city streets, providing a dynamic backdrop that's as electric as it is entertaining. This one's calling your name so get signed up! You can also tackle the Manchester Half Marathon on October 13th.

Date: Sunday 14th April 2024

Sign Up: https://www.manchestermarathon.co.uk/

Manchester Marathon runner with finisher medal.

Chester Marathon

Chester Marathon is one of the UK's hidden treasures and a great race for beginners and pros alike. Now, what sets this apart? This flat course takes runners on a scenic journey through historic Roman streets and stunning countryside. Pace runners make Chester even easier to help you maintain a consistent speed too! These unsung heroes help runners achieve their goals, adding an extra layer of camaraderie to the already great atmosphere. So, whether you're eyeing a personal best or simply savoring the joy of running, MBNA Chester Marathon is a must-visit.

Date: Sunday 6th October 2024

Sign Up: https://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/marathon

London Marathon

London Marathon—the biggest marathon in the UK and a flat marathon dream. Iconic landmarks, buzzing streets, and a course that's as flat as a pancake make it a playground for PB chasers.

But it's not just about the flatness; it's about the unparalleled crowd support that turns every step into a celebration. From Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace, the scenery is a visual feast that'll keep you motivated every step of the way! So, if you're looking to run in the footsteps of legends and soak in the unmatched energy of the crowd, London Marathon is where it's at!

Date: Sunday 21st April 2024

Sign Up: https://www.tcslondonmarathon.com/

Runners competing in the London Marathon

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon in the UK—a hidden gem boasting a fast marathon course that's a dream for PB enthusiasts. This race isn't just about the challenge; it's about conquering one of the UK's flattest marathons, offering a prime opportunity for runners of all types to shine. Another scenic route that winds through picturesque landscapes, farmland, and various fields making every mile a visual treat. Also interesting to note that there's a 10k, half-marathon, and 5k option for a fun run!

Date: Sunday 28th April 2024

Sign Up: https://www.bostonmarathon.co.uk/

Milton Keynes Marathon

It's time to chat about Milton Keynes Marathon, a race that's not just about the miles but about the experience. With BARR Gold accreditation under its belt, this marathon is a mark of excellence if there ever was one. The course, weaving through the city boundary, is one of the flattest marathon courses in the UK, featuring scenic views along cycle paths and through the green expanse of Campbell Park. It boasts an electric atmosphere and the thrill of finishing inside Stadium MK, with the cheers echoing in your ears.

Date: Sunday 5th May 2024

Sign Up: https://mkmarathon.com/

Edinburgh Marathon

Visiting the Edinburgh Marathon Festival will promise a race that gives you much more than just stunning Scottish views. As Scotland's largest running festival, this event boasts one of the fastest marathon course options for new runners, offering a dream canvas for speed enthusiasts and personal record seekers. Imagine pounding the pavement with historic landmarks in your periphery and the scenic beauty of Edinburgh as your backdrop!

Date: Sunday 26th May 2024

Sign Up: https://www.edinburghmarathon.com/

Runners competing during the Edinburgh Marathon in Scotland.

Blackpool Marathon

One of the best marathons for newcomers is set against the vibrant backdrop of a famous UK holiday resort. Blackpool Marathon unfolds along the renowned Golden Mile, offering runners a scenic journey along a traffic-free promenade that hugs the lively coastline. As you stride past the glittering Blackpool Tower, the atmosphere becomes charged with the thrill of both the run and the lively surroundings. Looking for a seaside spectacle and a flat running course in one? Look no further.

Date: Sunday 21st April 2024

Sign Up: https://www.runblackpoolfestival.com/


If you're serious about running and want to step up your performance in some of these flattest marathons in the UK, working with an online running coach can elevate your running game to another level!

Author: Nick Hancock is a UESCA Certified Ultrarunning coach and UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) and has coached many busy professionals and parents to achieve finishes, top-10s and podiums in events such as London Marathon, Manchester Marathon, Amsterdam Marathon, UTMB, UTS, Centurion events, Endure24, Backyards and many more. Host of the Maximum Mileage Running Podcast and author of the Ultimate Cookbook for Runners

He can be found on Instagram @runwithnick

Now go run hard! And remember, if you ever want to talk about the potential you can reach then do get in touch by hitting that enquiry button

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