Your guide to the Edinburgh Marathon 2023

Alongside the headline 26.2-mile run, there are eight other races to choose from at this vibrant festival in the Scottish capital.

The Edinburgh Marathon explores the beautiful areas of the Scottish capital

The Scottish capital is a city renowned for its heritage and vibrant culture, with medieval architecture and cobbled streets helping to create a spellbinding atmosphere. This makes Edinburgh the perfect scene for an active festival of running, with each route taking full advantage of its stunning location!

While the headline marathon is rightly regarded as the jewel in the crown of this event, there are eight other races to get excited about in Edinburgh in May 2023. These include four kids races, a 5K, 10K and half marathon, as well as the infamous Hairy Haggis Team Relay, which covers the full marathon distance. There's a race for everyone, whether you're an experienced runner looking for a PB on the flat, fast course or a beginner in search of a fun, friendly event. 

Edinburgh's iconic landmarks were on full display in September during the televised coverage of the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with many people feeling inspired to visit the city in the wake of this royal procession. These historic locations, including Holyrood Park, the Royal Mile and Arthur's Seat, are all enjoyed by runners in the marathon, including the unique experience of running through central Edinburgh on closed roads.

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival returns on Saturday 27 - Sunday 28 May 2023.

The marathon route journeys up the coast
The marathon route journeys up the coast, creating a fast, flat profile.

Route highlights

While each of the races at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival enjoys the stunning architecture of the city, the marathon route also journeys out of the city and to the nearby coast, visiting picturesque locations such as Musselburgh Golf Club, one of the oldest in the world.

Holyrood Park

The 26.2-mile race begins on Holyrood Park Road, with the backdrop of the park itself. This stunning royal park contains a variety of cliffs, ridges and gorse, making it a beautiful highlight of the city.

Historic Edinburgh

The course heads into the medieval and Georgian city centre, passing Surgeons' Hall and Festival Theatre among other famous landmarks. Runners will gain a unique perspective of these historic buildings on closed roads.

Royal Mile

On the exit from Edinburgh's city centre, runners will embark down this famous road, leaving Edinburgh Castle in their wake as they head down to  the resplendent Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Scenic coastline

After leaving the city, the course turns along the East Lothian coast and stretches nearly up to Craigielaw, which marks the 17-mile point and where runners turn back to the city.


The return route along the stunning coastline does not make it as far as the city, ending instead at Musselburgh and close by to its historic golf course, which lays claim to being the oldest in the world.

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Explore Holyrood Park in the Edinburgh Marathon
The Edinburgh Marathon explores some of the city's most beautiful areas.

What else is on?

While the marathon race and Hairy Haggis Team Relay grab all the attention, there are seven other races happening across the festival weekend!

Kid's races

There are four races for children and young adults available at Edinburgh, ranging from fun runs in the city centre to a competitive 5K for teenagers. These include:


  • 11:45 - Junior 5K
  • 13:00 - Kids' Kilometre
  • 13:45 - 1.5K Junior Race 1
  • 14:00 - 1.5K Junior Race 2
  • 14:30 - 2K Junior Race 1
  • 15:00 - 2K Junior Race 2

Adult's races

As well as the marathon and Hairy Haggis Team Relay, there are three other races on offer for adult runners:


  • 09:00 - 10K
  • 10:00 - 5K


  • 08:00 - Half marathon

The festival

Thanks to its central location, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival attracts huge crowds to support the runners, creating a vibrant atmosphere along each of the nine race routes. This enthusiastic support is often cited as one of the main reasons that runners return each year! What's more, there is an event village waiting for runners at the finish line, complete with food stalls and toilets.

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Run through Edinburgh's historic streets
Each race in this festival enjoys the stunning architecture of the city.

How to enter

Securing your place at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is simple - just head to our webpage for the event and get yourself signed up!

You can also apply to run for charity by contacting a charity directly.

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