/ Which marathon

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Irk the Purist - on 08 Oct 2012
Help please. I missed out on London (again) so can anyone suggest a fast, flat marathon in April/May 2013 please!

Anywhere in Europe, nice destinations a plus as I can take the wife and offset the brownie point debt I'll build up training through the winter!



C
andy - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Blackpool!!
steelbru - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
Lochaber ( start/finish Fort WIlliam ) is a very flat out and back course, not much support along the way, but great scenery.
IainRUK - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Edinburgh? meant to be fastest in the UK.. May.
IainRUK - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Barcelona is earlier.. towards the end of March.. I've entered it but doubt I'll run now.
andy - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Nice suggestions, guys, but I think I can confidently say that Mrs the Red won't get many more exotic, exciting destinations than Blackpool for a weekend away.

http://www.chesterfield-hotel.com/chesterfield_hotel_com_blackpool_all_inclusive.html

Check out "Steve on Sax"...
andy - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to andy: And if Mrs the Red needs any more encouragement, I can confirm, after checking out the faqs that all the rooms at the Chesterfield are smoking rooms.

What more d'you need?
ceri - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: White peak. Flat and downhill.
Vaughany89 - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Brathay? Around Windermere, only 35 entry and it goes to the Brathay trust, good karma all round
andy - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Vaughany89:
> (In reply to Eric the Red) Brathay? Around Windermere, only 35 entry and it goes to the Brathay trust, good karma all round

Lovely route and a great race - but with the exception of Snowdonia and Langdale, I'd say one of the least PB-type courses on the calendar.

And just try getting an all-you-can-drink deal AND a smoking room in Ambleside.
Nutkey on 08 Oct 2012
Rotterdam.
Liam M - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Eric the Red) Blackpool!!

<shudder>

Every time I've raced on the Fylde coast I've found myself being blown backwards and developing a perfectly smooth complexion courtesy of a complementary sand blasting! :)
The New NickB - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> <shudder>
>
> Every time I've raced on the Fylde coast I've found myself being blown backwards and developing a perfectly smooth complexion courtesy of a complementary sand blasting! :)

I did the Fleetwood Half a few weeks ago, miles 7-10 into the wind along the prom cost me about four minutes. Really flat, but I would happily swapped that wind for a big hill.
wilding - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:

Not sure about April/May, but what about september?
http://www.jungfrau-marathon.ch/en/course.html

It must the most scenic marathon in the world. My calves cramp just looking at the elevation change.
IainRUK - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to wilding: Just did this.. the finish is incredible.. I did it in 3:32 or so.. my PB is 2:42.. its basically a fairly flat half then a gradual climb.. steep in places just fairly relentless.. great race.
IainRUK - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK: and I beat Steck.. :-)
thomaspomfrett on 09 Oct 2012
I really enjoyed Brighton when I did it. All the fun of London without the hype.
wbo - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Paris will keep the wife happy and is a decent course in April.
yorkshireman - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to wbo:
> (In reply to Eric the Red) Paris will keep the wife happy and is a decent course in April.

I'm going to enter this - I've done London and it was fun but so hard to get into - and now I live in France so Paris is easier.

I see that the OP is in Sussex, so a Eurostar train from Ashford to Paris would actually be easier than many of the other races north of London.
bentley's biceps - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:

Manchester- the new course is very flat.

I did it this year, it was wet and windy and various bits were through flooded roads and ankle deep mud. The new course avoid these.
Irk the Purist - on 09 Oct 2012
Thanks everyone. Brighton is the obvious one for my location or Paris. Fort William is as far as Chamonix for me so forgive me if I choose somewhere that isn't Scotland (or Blackpool!) I live 15 mins from gatwick so short haul easy jet flights are very possible . Anyone done any big city European races?

Jungfrau looks good for Sept but I'm after a pb and sub 3!
IainRUK - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: I did Kiel marathon.. 4 10k laps around the ferry terminal..

Otherwise I've only done Jungfrau, Loch ness (not that quick some sharp climbs), Snowdonia (4 times), Kiel.

And then in the States Austin, Boston, Fort Worth and this weekend Mt Desert Island.

2:42 (Austin), 2:44 (Boston), 2:46 (FW), 2:50 (Kiel), 2:51 (Snowdonia '11), 2:53 (LN), 2:56 (Snowdonia '10), 3:01 (Snowdonia 09), 3:03 (Snowdonia 08), and 3:31 (Jungfrau).

Snowdonia isn't that much slower than Loch Ness, which is down hill but some short sharp climbs.

Potentially Boston should have been my quickest but it was 30 C, and Austin was ran off zero rest and its a hilly course. 2:51 in Snowdonia is probably my best run though.
The New NickB - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:

Rome might be a nice one and it would probably get you brownie points, but given the city is famously built on seven hills, it might not be all that flat.
clochette - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to wilding: Scenic yes, but didn't he say "flat"??? Okay so the first part from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen is pretty flat for a mountain marathon but after that I recall fairly relentless uphill! You're right though that it's one of the best - of its type.
clochette - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: Paris is usually just before London I think. Also isn't there a marathon on the Isle of Scilly the same weekend as London? I remember reading something about it. That might be pretty.
tony on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to clochette:

A friend of mine did Paris this year. His main recollections were of standing around for ages before the start, getting very cold, and not getting warm for the whole race.
Liam M - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: A club mate did Geneva in May a few years ago. He seemed to enjoy it and pbd there, so I'm guessing it's not too slow (I can't recall many hills around Geneva itself)
yorkshireman - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to clochette)
>
> A friend of mine did Paris this year. His main recollections were of standing around for ages before the start, getting very cold, and not getting warm for the whole race.

Any big city marathon will involve this (although my only experience is London) as the logistics make it impossible to move 10s of 000s of people any other way.

The advice is always to take some old trackie bottoms/fleece or a bin bag to wear to keep warm and then ditch them at the start.
Neil Henson - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red: I really enjoyed the Paris marathon this year and achieved a personal best. The course is flat and they stagger the start, which means you don't end up walking the first two or three miles (unlike London last time I did it). Was held on April 15th this year, probably similar date next year.
Great scenery and great (free) food stalls at the end helped too.
clochette - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to tony: I believe there are some nice sights along the way.....anywhere can be cold can't it? Bit negative...
goatee - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red; The Burren Marathon in Clare Ireland. Definately not flat but an amazing course in an amazing place,
chopin-smith - on 22 Oct 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:

I've done Paris. It's local for me so easy to get to. Not a bad race -- loads of people so it has all the upsides and the downsides of any big city marathon. Crowd support is thin though, there are some empty, non-descript bits on the eastern and western edges of the city too (the bois de Vincennes and bois de boulogne). Organisation is good enough. The course is mostly flat but not Berlin flat. This year was cold and windy. Last year was hot...

Mont St Michel is a really nice one: very small (about 4,000 runners) so if you're a running at 3h15+ you'll have much much more space than you would in a big city marathon. Easy to get to too from the UK. It starts in Cancale (near St Malo) and follows the bay to the mount, finishing on the causeway. It's mostly very flat, you can enjoy the scenary and there is good crowd support in the villages. There are nice places to stay in Cancale/St Malo and great seafood to be had there. Helps if you have a car -- in which case a portsmouth-cherbourg or Newhaven-Dieppe ferry will get you close by.

Never done Rotterdam, but it's known as a fast/flat course if you're chasing a good time. Rotterdam isn't much of a "destination" though. Otherwise I've heard good things about Rome and Milan. Likewise Barcelona which I'm doing in 2013.

Good luck!
Snoerf - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
I've done Paris twice and the organisation is great, nice scenery and good crowd support. It's not exactly flat and the underpasses along the Seine are a bit of a killer around 25-35k, but otherwise good. If you want to get into Paris, you should sign up fairly soon.
Geneva is very small and it least when I did it, it was a two lap course. Very flat, but also very boring, especially the bit going along the lake on one side of the road and coming back the other. It's a very small race as well and practically no crowds.
Rome is not exactly flat and the cobble stones are a killer in the last 5k or so. Wasn't too big a fan of the organisation as well as it was really hot this year.
Edinburgh is excellent as well if you're looking for a pb.

Loch Ness is great scenery and organisation-wise, but held in September and not flat at all.
michaelc - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Eric the Red:
Berlin has already been alluded to in the thread, but not proposed. A friend of mine ran it a few years back hoping to get a good time to qualify for another race (NY, Boston?). He got a PB, but didn't hit his qualification time, however he loved the race. Very flat, well organised, said support was good, and it's a nice city to visit in any case.


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