UK marathon guide 2023
A marathon is the golden standard of running challenge – and we’ve put together a guide of UK marathons for 2023. Whether you’ve been training for a while, are a seasoned runner or just want an idea of what to aim for, there’s a range of different races for everyone. Committing to a marathon is a brilliant way to raise money for a good cause, too, so start your GoFundMe today to get going.
How long is a marathon?
A standard UK marathon is 26.2 miles, or 42km. While the distance might seem intimidating, it’s a runnable distance if you commit to a healthy training schedule and take it at your own pace. Other races such as ultra-marathons are also classed as ‘marathons’ but usually are between 50 miles to 200 miles. Time limit marathons are usually traditional marathon length but have a time limit of six hours.
How to fundraise when running a marathon
Marathons are a brilliant way to raise money for a good cause. Events like the London Marathon have thousands of people running for charity every year, and most events have the option for charity places along with the usual ballot. Why not get a team together and start your training?
Once you’ve entered a marathon, you can start a GoFundMe and start sharing so people can donate.
Create your own fundraiser
So you’ve chosen your run, bought your trainers and started pounding the pavements. Don’t forget to start a GoFundMe in plenty of time so you can get donations for your good cause. By starting a GoFundMe, you can run for pretty much any cause – it doesn’t just have to be a charity.
Secure a charity entry
Alongside the regular ballot for marathons, most races have the option to enter via a charity place as well. To do this you have to contact the charity directly and there will usually be an amount you need to raise for them to run. But this doesn’t mean you can’t set up a GoFundMe alongside this, too.
UK marathon list 2023
We’ve compiled a list of UK marathons in 2023 – so if you want a challenge close to home or to use it as an opportunity to explore the country, you can do. There’s a range of challenges, from coastal runs to the iconic London Marathon.
If you’re an experienced runner and want a challenge in the not too distant future, there’s the North Cornwall Coastal Marathon taking place on January 14. It takes place in Polzeath, so runners experience the dramatic North Cornwall coast as they run.
A goal in February might be just the thing to break up the monotony of those still short days and dark nights – and what better way to lift spirits than exercising for a good cause? On Feb 14 there’s the South Devon Marathon – the course is contained in a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so guaranteed good views.
February 25 sees the Lulworth Cove Trail Running Challenge if you want a marathon on trail rather than roads. On the same day, the Northumberland Coastal Marathon is happening in the North East. And then on February 26 there’s the BigMud Marathon in Meon Valley, Hampshire and the Marathon Day Marathon in Dover.
March sees the start of a key marathon season – as spring draws in, it brings not too hot and not too cold temperatures which are ideal for a distance race. March 4 sees the Belvoir Challenge take place in Leicestershire.
The Steyning Stinger is on March 5 in Sussex. The Cambridge Boundary Run happens on March 12 and so does The Moyleman, an off-road marathon around Lewes, also in Sussex. And on March 18 there’s the Sussex Coastal Marathon, with the route taking you near the Seven Sisters cliffs.
April really sees marathon season getting into full swing, with dozens of races to choose from as you soak up the spring sunshine (or showers). On April 1 there’s the Chiltern Trail Marathon if you want a race at one with nature. On April 2, the Brighton Marathon takes place, along with the Great Welsh Marathon, The Guernsey Marathon, High Lodge Marathon and Southampton Marathon.
On April 7 there’s the Good Friday Marathon taking place in Milton Keynes. April 8 sees the Magna Carta Marathon, along the Thames Path. On April 16 there’s the Boston UK Marathon, The Dorset Ooser Marathon and the Manchester Marathon. If you fancy running a race in the UK’s only coastal national park, there’s the Pembrokeshire Marathon on April 22. The Wye Valley Trail Running Challenge also takes place on the same day.
April 23 is a big day for marathons, with the Blackpool Festival Marathon and The Shakespeare Marathon happening – but also the iconic London Marathon.
We’ve got a guide on the London Marathon here, too.
May is also a good month for marathon runners – getting an event in before the weather hopefully gets too hot.
Two weeks later on May 14 you can choose from the Halstead and Essex Marathon, Exeter Marathon or the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, held in support of Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal and the MND Association. On May 20 there’s the Midnight Mountain Marathon – here, you start in the evening and have to finish before midnight. Also on May 20th there’s White Peak Marathon, and then on the 21st you can choose from Hellstone Marathon, ASICS Windermere Marathon or the Worcester Marathon. The Edinburgh Marathon takes place on May 28.
As the weather starts to hot up, there are less marathons to choose from – but still a couple if you fancy lacing up your trainers in the summer months. June 10 is the Exmoor Marathon, June 11 sees the Cheddar Gorge Challenge and June 17 has the Stour Valley Marathon and the TEC Black Mountains race to choose from. On June 18, there’s the Cholmondeley Castle Marathon in Cheshire and on June 25, the North Devon Marathon.
If you’re aiming to run in summer, there’s still a few to choose from in July. On the 9th, the Hever Castle Marathon is taking place if you fancy running in the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. The XTERRA Snowdonia Trail Marathon also takes place on the 9th. And to finish up the month there’s the Fairlands Valley Challenge on the 16th, described as an “off road, self navigated” race in Hertfordshire. The Exmoor Trail Running Challenge is on July 22 and the Castle Howard Marathon in Yorkshire on the 23rd.
There are still a couple of marathons to choose for if August is your peak running season. On the 6th, the Vanguard Way Marathon is happening on the Vanguard Way Route. And on August 26th you can run the Pennine Trail Marathon across the Pennines.
September could also be a glorious time to aim for a marathon as the weather starts to cool down – and there are several to choose from. The Andover Trail Marathon is on September 2 if you fancy a trail run in the autumn sunshine. Then September 10 has The New Forest Marathon, The Richmond Marathon and The Yorkshireman.
As the weather well and truly cools into autumn, once again there’s more races to choose from with marathons taking place across the UK. On the 1st October, there’s the Clarendon Marathon, Hangers Heroes Challenge, The Jersey Marathon and the Loch Ness Marathon. A week later sees the Chester Marathon take place, along with the Dorney Marathon in Berkshire, The Isle of Wight Marathon and the Kielder Marathon. There’s the Suffolk Marathon on the 14th, then the Chelmsford Marathon, Rannoch Marathon, and Yorkshire Marathon a day later.
If you fancy a seafront, off road race then the Beachy Head Marathon is on October 21, formerly known as the Seven Sisters Marathon. Also taking place that day is the Langdale Marathon and the Dramathon along the Speyside Way.
If you want a bit of winter motivation to get you through those dark nights and training, there are still races to choose from in November. On the 11th you could run the Gower Coastal Marathon, and on the 26th there’s the Running Grand Prix at Oulton Park – a course around the motor racing circuit perfect for setting PBs as it’s flat and smooth.
And finally, to close the year – as the weather gets cold it’s not peak marathon season, but you could still run the Dorset Coastal Marathon to raise money for a good cause pre-Christmas.
So, what are you waiting for?
Sign up and start fundraising today. It’s safe, fast and easy.