Wales just like everywhere else in the UK hosts some great Marathons. The Welsh countryside is really picturesque, while it also offers some fabulous rugged terrain that challenges Marathon runners in terms of steep hills and spectacular descents. Whether it's in the north or south of the country runners are spoiled for choice therefore we have taken a look at what's on offer in Wales in terms of races. Wales hosts many 5Ks, 10Ks through to Half Marathons and Marathons. Here we list our top four Marathons from our number one through to number four.
Snowdonia Marathon Wales
This year's Snowdonia Marathon will take place on 24th October 2015. The Snowdonia Marathon is one of the most challenging Marathons in the UK due to the route that takes runners over rugged terrain and countryside that circles around the majestic mountain that is Snowdonia. Many Marathons follow flat routes but the Snowdonia Marathon does not fit this category therefore runners who are to attempt to run the Snowdonia Marathon need to be prepared and train for running in undulating countryside.
The route begins outside the village of Llanberis moving onto a hilly climb on the A4086 after a three mile run along the Nant Gwynant Road. Runners then proceed along the A498 to Beddgelert then along the A4085 to Waunfawr. The next part of this Marathon is a great challenge as runners will find themselves tackling a twelve hundred foot ascent to Bwlch y Groesa then back down the hill. The race finishes on Llanberis High Street. This route may be picturesque but it is also widely regarded to be one of the most difficult Marathon routes there is. Maybe this is why it is very popular with runners as the challenge here is colossal! Runners must be over eighteen years of age and very fit!
How to Apply
Male and female entrants are processed separately with categories as follows
Entry costs £32.00 for those who are not affiliated with a running club
UK Athletic Affiliated Runners
Runners who are affiliated to UK Athletics will pay £30.00
The Snowdonia Marathon supports Tenovus Cancer Care. Those interested in running to raise money for the charity should visit their website.
Those applying to join in the Marathon may check their application by viewing the start list at the website.
- Snowdonia Marathon
- Tyddyn Cae
- LL55 2SW
- Tele 07786 223 763
Oakwood Wales Marathon
The Oakwood Wales Marathon has been held now for six years and gets more popular as the years pass with over fifteen hundred entrants expected this year! This Marathon is Wales's only closed route Marathon, while the race begins in Tenby South Wales a beautiful seaside town with plenty of character. Crowds line the route too making for plenty of encouragement for the runners, while the Wales Half Marathon is also held on the same day but sets off from Pembroke Castle.
The Oakwood Wales Marathon sets off at 10am from Tudor Square in the centre of Tenby proceeding along past Kiln Park. The straight route passes along The Ridgeway, Stephens Green, Deer Park Lane then circles around the majestic Pembroke Castle where the Half Marathon sets off from. The route progresses past Freshwater East along past Manorbier, up Norchlands Lane and back onto the road leading to Kiln Park.
Finally the finish is in sight back in the centre of Tenby in Tudor Square. Runners can expect to view fantastic scenery during the race as even though the race sticks to roads the route does traverse the countryside area. All the roads approaching around the route are closed for the duration of the Marathon through Tenby and Pembrokeshire. A list of the closed roads is available at the Oakwood Marathon website.
How to Enter
There are a number of ways to enter the Oakwood Wales Marathon including
Runners Affiliated to a Club
Runners who are affiliated to a running club will receive a discount on their entry fee when applying to enter the race.
Non Club Runners
Non Club Runners may also enter the Marathon with online registration available at the website
Those wishing to run on behalf of a charity must contact the charity of their choice in order to ascertain if the charity is going to be involved with the Marathon. The St Johns Fundraising team will be running in the 2015 Marathon.
Runners must collect their own race numbers and goodie bags and produce photographic identification when registering. A full list of the weekend itinerary is available at the website.
- Oakwood Wales Marathon
- Activity Wales Events
- Coastal House
- Narberth Road
- SA61 2XG
- Tele 01437 765 777
Wrexham Marathon Festival
The Wrexham Marathon Festival involves two major races namely the Wrexham Half Marathon and the Wrexham Marathon. The Marathon starts and finishes in the centre of Wrexham, while the next scheduled Marathon takes place on Sunday March 6th 2016 at 9am. The Wrexham Marathon has plenty of support with the race passing through residential areas of Wrexham where crowds gather along the route to support the runners. This relatively new event attracted large crowds this year even though the weather was somewhat inclement!
The route for Wrexham Marathon is mainly flat, while there are plenty of marshals and water stops for runners to take advantage of along the way. This Marathon starts and ends in Caia Park, goes through built up residential areas of Acton and Rhosddu, industrial areas, some parkland and a little countryside. The final few miles of the race joins up with the Half Marathon runners on Redwither Lane with this no detriment as runners enjoy the camaraderie of the event. The race turns and heads back the way it came until reaching Caia Park in the centre of Wrexham where the run ends.
How to Enter
There are a number of ways to enter the Wrexham Marathon namely
Runners who are affiliated with a running club may enter the race via their club. Cost £35.00
Unaffiliated Members will pay £37.00 to enter although both affiliated and unaffiliated runners will receive a medal and T Shirt when running the Marathon
There is an online entry form available to fill in at the website.
Run for Charity
Many Marathon runners like to combine their love of racing with raising money for charity. Charities featured on the list at the moment include
- Nightingale House Hospice
- Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research
- Wales Air Ambulance
Charities that are not on the list may still wish runners to represent them and raise money. Runners should contact the charity of their choice to obtain a sponsorship form.
Contacting Run Wales regarding the Wrexham Marathon is facilitated by email at the website. There is also a telephone number available which is the quickest way to get in touch with race organisers.
- Tele 07590 690041
Salomon Trail Marathon Wales
The next Trail Marathon sponsored by Salomon will take place on the 18th June 2016 in the Coed y Brenin Forest in Snowdonia Park. This Marathon is widely hailed as one of the best trail Marathons in Wales or the UK for that matter as the route and backdrop takes runners through some of the most breath-taking scenery plus forest roads and pathways of Wales's Snowdonia Park. This is an amazing region of outstanding beauty where visitors come year after year to explore the greater area. This Marathon, which attracts over one thousand runners, is unique and is a superb challenge for those who prefer a rugged terrain to smooth urban pathways.
Marathon runners from all Europe and the UK travel to take Part in this superb Trail Marathon which is hardly surprising when we consider the amazing route through the Snowdonia Park. The route is fully marked out for runners and there are plenty of enthusiastic Marshalls to guide and encourage the runners through forest roads, paths, single tracks and heathland. As we would expect the course is really rugged and hilly in parts which is what makes it so unique, while there are plenty of down hills to compensate for the hard hilly pulls.
How to Enter
Applications to enter the 2016 Salomon Trial Marathon opens on 1st September 2015 with places available limited to six hundred for the Trail Marathon therefore the sooner runners apply the better. Ways to apply include
Runners may apply online with the fee set at £35.00 plus a small booking fee. Runners must be eighteen or over to take part.
Attend the Welcome Party
There will be a TMW Welcome party on June 17th at the Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre. The evening includes a buffet plus the chance to register for the race and socialise with other runners who are registering. It is £10.00 per ticket which includes a short trail running film and a goody bag.
- Trail Marathon Wales
- Yr Llyfrgell
- Institiwt Corris
- SY20 9SH
- Tele +44 (0) 7515 558670