the Marathon of the North

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! image



  • 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!

  • 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 image will have a think and will probably enter. You doing London?


  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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. image

  • 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
  • image Sensible!

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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!


  • 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.image

  • 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.

  • Cheating as in just missing out the loops and ducking under the course barriers. The lazy git.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!image

  • 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!!!!
  • 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!!!
  • thanks Adrian for all that adviceimage I don't have a garmin but use a stopwatch and do record my runs. Maybe need to think about getting a garmin! thank you for the other useful ideas. I really appreciate you taking the time to share what works for you. I think these forums are great. I really pushed myself at Tatton and was pleased with my time but feel stiff and tired now. Off to do the supermarket soon so I may just follow your advice and buy a nice cream cake!image All the best with your training.

  • Hope the cream cake was nice!

    No problems about replying - don't do it much on here but the MOTN has a special place in my heart so feel compelled!

    20 miler for me on Saturday - lets keep thus as our ad hoc reporting thread for training!!!
  • pre training training taken a bit of a knock as 2 weeks ago turned my car over when I skidded on ice. Relieved to have walked away just bruised and very shaken but nervous on the ice. There is a lot of it round at the mo. Also very busy with work and Christmas. Hope to do a few runs a week then start the plan in January. Hope everyone elses training going ok image

  • Slow going here the last week or so. Weather has knocked my mileage for six - November I ran a total mile pb of 101. This last week has been 7 and that was all tonight!!

    Still, training really starts in Jan 2013......right ?image

  • Update. Keeping the miles up well over this last week. Xmas Eve slammed a 11miler, yesterday 13 mile on quite a challenging course. Trying to keep hitting hills as I think this was an omission training last year. Looking through my Garmin, was surprised to see my 17 mile time was better by 20 mins (compared to early in the year).

    Feel confident going into January. If I can avoid injury and keep the miles up its looking good.

    How's it going Lily?
  • Glad training going well Adrianimage. I am a bit behind as took it steady after my car accident, it has been icy and now have a cold! I am comfortably running 8 miles and will follow my old plan from the Manchester Mara from last year. It worked and got me to the finish. I hope to improve on my time of 5hrs17 in very bad weather conditions. Looking forward to getting onto the plan again. I was wondering why M of the N is not reviewed on this site. Any ideas?image

  • I thought there was a page of info I read once on here somewhere. I may be wrong though.....I'll go an have a look.....(ps good going on the training!)
  • Had a look and couldn't see it - weird thought there was!
  • yeh! First day of 16 week plan! I plan to follow same plan as last year (GMM beginners plan) but it starts on lower mileage than I am doing now. Not sure what to do, will probably follow plan but maybe increase speed?! How is everyone else getting on with their training? Lots of people think I am mad entering another marathon but I love it! image

  • Going good here - this thread remains quiet though!!! I'm seeing a bit of advertising around here with respect to this marathon so it makes me feel my few weeks of madness (This, London and Edinburgh) is getting very, very close.


    Excited though. Training going well and have a 21 week plan. It's all getting real.


    Is anyone else entering this as an aside ?

  • I live in Sunderland and had to pull out last year due to injury but I did the 10k then went to help on a water station. No great crowds but lots of vocal support from the 10kers.. The course has been changed this year and I have ran bits of over the last few weeks and it is now more of a natural run with less wiggly bits. There is the added advantage that there is a half marathon this year with the half marathon course being the first half of the marathon course. In my opinion the second half of the course will be the best. In the marathon your return to the stadium of light for the half way and then head out to the Sunderland seafront.

    Not much choice of hotels in Sunderland but there are value guest houses on the sea front, about 20-30 mins walk to the start.

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