Edinburgh Marathon: race times, route details and everything else you need to know

On the weekend of 25 - 26 May 2019, Edinburgh will play host to more than 20,000 competitors taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

Picture: Shutterstock

Here is everything you need to know about one of the biggest racing events in Britain.

When do the races start?

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The Edinburgh Marathon Festival takes place over two days and includes a range of events.

Picture: Shutterstock

On Saturday the festival hosts the 10k (9am), 5k (11am), Junior 5k (11.45am), Junior 2k (2.30pm), Junior 1.5k (1.45pm) and the Kids Kilometre (1pm).

On Sunday, the Edinburgh Half Marathon starts at 8am, while the Edinburgh Marathon will take place from 10am. This also includes the team relay, which splits the course up into four legs.

Can I still enter?

Standard spaces for the Edinburgh Marathon are now full, but there are still charity spaces left. The Kid's Kilometre, Junior 1.5k and Junior 2k are sold out.

There are spaces available in some of the other events, and the deadline for entry is 24 May. Here are details of the races with spaces available and the entry fee:

Half marathon - £42.50

Relay team: £151.50

10k - £35.25

5k - £26.20

Junior 5k - £26.50

What’s the route?

The course for the marathon itself starts on Potterrow and takes runners through the heart of Edinburgh, past Greyfriars Bobby, the National Museum of Scotland on your right, the Scottish National Gallery and into Princes Street Gardens.

It then winds down the Royal Mile, heading past the Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood, before heading east towards the coast, through Musselburgh and then back towards the finish line.

With a descent of almost 90 metres to near sea level, organisers believe this is the fastest marathon route in the world.

The 10k and 5k courses (including their junior races) start and finish near the EMF Hub at Dynamic Earth, and take runners around Holyrood Park.

Do I need to train?

While it is something that almost anyone can achieve with enough discipline, running a marathon is not for the faint-hearted and if you’re not in shape now you might want to try one of the shorter routes.

On the marathon website, you can find a range of training schedules to help you prepare.

Should I bring my own water?

There are hydration stations for the 10k, half marathon and full marathon distances. Runners in all races will be given water when they finish.

Hydration Stations will be positioned approximately every 5kms along the course. Water will be available in 330ml bottles and the cap will be removed for you.

EnergyGels will be provided on both the half and full marathon routes courtesy of High5 Sports Nutrition.

How do I run for charity?

The EMF partner charity is Macmillan Cancer Relief, but runners will be raising funds for a wide range of charities. While you don’t have to, if you want to fundraise or represent a specific charity at the event, you can find all the details on the Edinburgh Marathon website.

Where will I find help and information on the day?

On Friday 24 and Saturday 25 May, the venue of the EMF Hub and Event Number Station is Dynamic Earth.

Competitors can visit the hub to pick up an event number or for any information about the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. On Saturday evening, the Event Number Station will moved to the Teviot and the opening hours will be from 6pm – 9pm.

Where can I buy official merchandise?

If you want to buy EMF merchandise you can visit the merchandise tent at the EMF Hub by Dynamic Earth, where there will be experts on hand to give you advice on all things shoes and clothing.

How do I get there?

Organisers have arranged event buses for competitors taking part in Sunday’s marathon, with services running from Newcraighall Park and Ride, Sheriffhall Park and Ride and Straiton Park and Ride.

For spectators or competitors in the other events there are a range of options available.

If you are travelling within Edinburgh, both First and Lothian Buses offer bus services on race day. Edinburgh bus station is a 20-minute walk from the EMF Event Hub.

Edinburgh Trams operates services to the City Centre every seven minutes from locations such as Edinburgh Airport, Ingliston Park & Ride and Edinburgh Gateway. St Andrew Square tram stop is a 15-20 minute walk from the EMF Event Hub at Dynamic Earth.

Edinburgh Waverley Station is a ten minute walk from the EMF Event Hub.

Competitors and spectators are being advised to travel by public transport to avoid congestion, but if you must drive then you can park in one of the parking areas identified on the Edinburgh Council Parking website. Charges may apply.

Full details of transport for Edinburgh Marathon can be found on the website.

Will there be food?

Hungry crowds will be able to grab a bite to eat from a wide variety of food outlets including Well Hung & Tender and Mimi's Bakehouse. And the Dynamic Earth cafe is available within the EMF Event Hub.

Where can I stay?

Edinburgh is a popular tourist city and has plenty of accommodation, from Airbnbs to self catering apartments, hotels and guest houses.

If you don’t know Edinburgh very well, or have never visited before, OfficialHotels.com, the sister booking company to the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, can assist with making bookings for your stay.

They offer specially negotiated EMF rates across the city, in all types of accommodation from budget youth hostels, to 3, 4 and 5 star hotels convenient for getting to the race start.