MINI POLL fastest marathon course

Ok guys I am planning next years races and looking for Two fast marathon courses for 2011. My plan is to go sub 3:15 for a mara. Hopefully this will enable me to get a good for age place in London 2012. Where abouts did you good people gain your PB`s for  Marathon ????


  • berlin is very quick
  • Although I've not run it yet, this site always mentions Abingdon as a quick course.
  • My 2 fastest times were Rotterdam, 3:16 and Berlin, 3:22ish.  Both flat and fast.

    Good luck with it Brad.

  • Amsterdam is flat and fast as well, but may be too late for GFA in 2012?
  • As suggested - Abingdon - flat as you like without any awkward twisty bits.  But, as also mentioned, too late for GFA in 2012?
  • Answer to your first question is yes D2D. I read this week that to run a 3:15 mara you should be capable of a 90 minute Half marathon, and a sub 40 min 10k. I am very close to this at the moment. I reckon with a good winter season of training I can achieve this target next year. That was one of the reasons why I wanted a fast course to give myself a little help image
  • 2Old2Old ✭✭✭
    brad  Up until last year my Marathon pb was 3.20 at NY then (aged 50)cracked 3.15 at Boston 3.11 and Berlin 3.10.I cannot go sub 40min 10k despite many attempts but my half pb is 1.28.So it is doable .I think upping weekly mileage from average 45 to 55/60 made the difference but now I am crocked and off to see Doctor about my knees. Good luck
  • The Malta Marathon in February '11 has PB written all over it as you race downhill image

    The race starts 200m above sea level  and finishes in a town by the sea. I'll be having a crack at it particularly as my creaky bones seem to work best in the warm weather!

  • brad robinson wrote (see)
     I read this week that to run a 3:15 mara you should be capable of a 90 minute Half marathon, and a sub 40 min 10k.

    According to the McMillian calculator a 3:15 marathon equates to a 41:33 10K and 1:32:28 half so you may not be that far off with the correct training.

  • I have done Abingdon, Berlin, & Malta among others. Hamburg too.

    Malta IS NOT a PB course, trust me. Net downhill is not the same as downhill all the way. Also, it's quite possible to get lost! Seriously, the lead car went astray last year & lost 2 of the lead group, and at the rear of the pack I was constantly having to stop and check the route.

     Abingdon is not absolutely flat, just not hilly. Hamburg is about the same.

    Berlin is flatter, almost entirely flat, but can be a bit warm. And crowded, though less so at your end perhaps.

    I would recommend another one I have done - Eindhoven. Not only is it absolutely flat (not so much as going under a bridge) but it is not (unlike Berlin) crowded, the support is much better than Abo, and not only can you put your own drinks out there but they will hand them to you.  Also later than Berlin so warm weather less likely.

  • Aren't there rules on a GFA accepted course requiring a certain amount of doubling back, presumably to ensure it's fair with regard to following winds etc? I'll be looking to go sub3:10 next spring and want to make sure.
  • Venice is very flat apart from a few small bridges towards the end. I knocked 30 minutes of my previous PB there in 2007 taking it down to just over 3 1/2 hours
  • My GF has done Venice and said yes, it's flat but incredibly boring for the most part. Having been there myself I would guess the majority of the race takes place in the industrial area otherwise I could imagine alot of people getting lost!
  • It starts near Padova and follows the Brenta river through lots of small towns with a lot of support. There is a very ugly bit around the back end of Mestre but the run over the causeway and then into Venice was very nice. Good pacing groups.

  • Cheers No Toes. I know my GF wasn't very well when she ran it so that may have tainted her view!
  • I think proof of a recent sub 3:15 marathon has to reach the organisers of London marathon 2012 by the end of August 2011 in order to qualify for a good for age place. This may rule some events out. Thanks for all your advice. Anyone done windermere ?
  • I have a clubmate who did the 10in10 and she said it's NOT FLAT. Windemere. The course.
  • Windermere is a fantastic race and I do know several people who have run PBs over the route - it is definitely not flat but equally its nowhere near as hilly as some would make out.  If you train well and have the sort of mindset that responds well to varying gradients rather than churning out the same rhythmn/pace consistently for over three hours then it certainly has potential to be quick.
  • I am by no means an expert, but having looked into this in the past, Edinburgh looks a likely candidate. The only downside, I hear, is that as they include a relay marathon race, there can be a bit of bunching at the relay change over points.
  • And it can be hot or windy.
  • Blimey - I'd be impressed with people running PB's at Windermere.  I spent a week round there one xmas and ran part of the course most days.  Its not what I'd have thought of a PB course - very undulating. I reckon those PBers are just VERY good and 'hard' runners !

    My PB course is actually London - 3.13.  Thats from Green Start so not as crowded. Only thing is that often its the first hot weekend of the year - so that takes its toll sometimes.

    I'm entering Edinburgh next year - that could be hot or cold - who knows - its Scotland !  And doing Leicester this weekend - so will let you know what I think of that.

  • OK I have a confession to make. Eindhoven is a fast course but having done it again today there are bridges and underpasses so it is probably LESS flat than Berlin. Though I still think it has more PB potential as not crowded/ own drinks. Have just gone sub4 TODAY 6 mins off last year's PB image.
  • Blackpool marathon is very flat and shouldn't be too hot in early April!
  • True Newts but I think your advice may be two years too late!
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