Istanbul Marathon 2012

I'm running Istanbul in November.  I'd appreciate any adive anyone has.  This will be my 3rd international marathon - did Paris and Barcelona. 


  • Hi Susan, i'm doing Istanbul too, i've done Barca, Rome, Valencia and Rotterdam overseas and Amsterdam planned for this autumn too. What advice are  you after?

  • I'm doing Istanbul too.  I have run the 15K there twice before but this will be my first marathon. I live in Turkey (although not in Istanbul) so I may be able to give some advice about the country.image

  • I am doing Istanbul too. Based on what everyone has said, it seems there aren't many supporters. I could really use someone to run with, in that case, just to keep me motivated. I run a 4hr marathon - if anyone is in that pace group and would like to run together, please let me know!

  • Hi, I hope you all had a great day on Sunday.  I know I did.  Obviously its a bit late for comments for anyone who ran the 2012 race, but if anyone is wondering about the 2013 race then in the absence of RW ratings (wouldn't it be useful if this site allowed us to rate overseas races as well as UK ones) maybe my musings will be helpful.

    I really enjoyed this race.  I didn't use the official transport to the start and arrived close enough to the gun to not have to sample the official toilets at the start so not sure what queues were like there.  The start has plenty of atmosphere, in fact the friendly vibe at the start seemed to remain right the way through.  Lots of different nationalities for the marathon itself (approx 2000 runners) and then lots more doing the 15k and 8k races (starting on the other side of the road).  I didn't see any indicators as to where you should start from if expecting a particular time, but the event is probably small enough to be able to guestimate that yourself.  Great start over the Bosphorous Bridge, pretty busy and crowded but what a view!  After about 3km there was always plenty of room to run at your own pace. 

    For the first 10k or so there were plenty of spectators although they weren't anything like as noisy as they are in London or NY.  There were lots on the Galata Bridge, after about 10km I think, so that, combined with the views of the river, the fishermen and that incredible skyline, was one of the high points.  10km to approx 18k was an out and back along the river side, with good views of the opposite bank.  Spectators were minimal on the second half - an out and back along a dual carriageway along the coast (there was a taxi driver looking for fares at 25km) which could get pretty lonely.  The last 2km were busy and scenic and buzzing, through what I think were the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, then the final 800m or so were lined with very noisy supporters making that last little hill a breeze!  The goody bag included a nice chunky medal, a non technical T shirt (a technical one came with your Bib at the expo) and a certificate with your time on it.  I think there are massages too, although when we asked about the ones immediately after the finish line we were told they had finished - so if you want a massage I reckon you need to be sub 3.30 ish!  Having said that, I think there was another bigger tent a bit further on which had more massages available for the more leisurely among us.

    Plenty of water stations - and water in bottles, so no problems with not getting enough fluids on board.  Apples and sugar lumps were also on offer - apple I found quite hard to eat on the run, the sugar lumps were a new one on me but seemed to go down ok.  I don't think there were energy drinks.

    One thing that did surprise me was the apparent absence of MarathonFoto or any other such outfits - seems like the organisers are missing a trick there!

    So there we go - if you're thinking about it for 2013 then I'd say go for it!  And enjoyimage



  • I would love to run this marathon in November, and am just wondering if this Marathon is a Boston marathon qualifier. After scouring the internet for quite some time, and reaching out to the organizers, I am still left without an answer. Any help would be appreciated! 

  • Hi Heather - I briefly looked at applying for this years Boston race - I couldn't see the race I had achieved the qualifying time in but I vaguely remember the application process allowing me to give the details of the race for the organisers to verify.  So I would have thought you could do the same with Istanbul.  Only problem with using Istanbul 2013 as a qualifier is you may then have to wait for Boston 2015 as Boston 2014 will probably be full by November 2013.  (Unless they've changed it, then a November 2013 qualifying time is valid for Boston 2015 - my qualifying time for this year was from October 2011).  I hope that helps - and good luck in Istanbul if you do enter.

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