Sun 6 Oct 2024 Chester, Cheshire, UK

MBNA Chester Marathon

A multi-award winning event and three-time winner of the UK's Best Marathon (up to 5,000 runners) as well as the UK’s only international marathon from the historic Roman/Medieval City of Chester!

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  • Sun 6 Oct 2024
Chester Racecourse, Chester




Age 18 & over

  • 26.2 miles road running


The multi-award winning and sell-out MBNA Chester Marathon has developed an enviable reputation with runners of all levels and abilities. As the 6th largest marathon in the UK and three-time winner of the UK’s Best Marathon, it is also the only marathon in the UK that spans across both England and Wales. The route takes in the beautiful surrounding landscapes and villages that both countries have to offer. 

Organised by runners for runners, this aims to be the 'perfect race'; a premier quality, competitively priced race which caters for the needs of runners of all abilities and speeds, combined with friendliness and personal touches which are unique to this event series. A rare Metric Marathon and Mini Marathon make the day exciting and inclusive for all abilities!

The event will once again host the England Athletics Age Group Masters Marathon Championship and be a qualifying race for the Abbott WMM Age Group World Championships.


  • Multi-award winning headline marathon
  • UK's Best Marathon Up to 5,000 Runners (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • 6th largest marathon in the UK
  • Stunning city centre start and finish
  • Qualifying race for the Abbott WMM Age Group World Championships
  • England Athletics Age Group Masters Marathon Championship qualifier
  • Run in city and countryside in both England and Wales
  • Metric Marathon (26.2K) and Mini Marathon on the same day
  • Part of the Chester Triple series for an extra challenge medal
  • Free, monthly, paced training runs and training seminars

This event is part of MBNA Chester Marathon and Metric Marathon.

Event video

  • All fitness levels
  • Event village
  • Families
  • Fancy dress
  • Newcomers
  • Spectators
  • Traders at event
  • Wheelchair users

Chester Triple Series

The MBNA Chester Marathon and the Metric Marathon are the last events in the Chester Triple Series - run in the 10K and Half Marathon too, for a spectacular Chester Triple medal!


Event sponsors, partners and charities will have stands at the event.

Disabled athletes

Disabled athletes are encouraged to contact the organisers to ensure a safe and enjoyable race. There is not a wheelchair race, but accompanied wheelchairs, visually impaired and learning disabled athletes have all competed successfully in the past. Choose your start pen with care, to avoid jostling it is usually safer to line up at the back of the race. There is chip timing so your race time won't be affected.

The course does involve some short, sharp climbs and will start on grass. There are some cobbles, speed bumps and hills.

Disabled toilet facilities are available on the marathon route in the village of Holt (16 miles).

If an athlete needs a carer or guide to accompany them during the race, the carer is entitled to a free place in the race.

  • Bag storage
  • Entertainment
  • Music
  • Paid parking
  • Rural
  • Toilets
  • Urban

Event HQ

Chester Racecourse

Chester is a destination city in its own right, with lots to do. There is fantastic shopping with superior high-street stores and boutiques. Enjoy a taste of history walking round the famous Roman walls, visiting the Roman amphitheatre and seeing the unique Rows (dating from Medieval times). Combine sightseeing and spectating with a stroll along the River Dee. There are numerous restaurants, pubs and delicatessens to suit all tastes. All this in easy walking distance. If you want to venture just outside the city, look out for Chester Zoo, the Blue Planet Aquarium or the Cheshire Oaks outlet village.

  • Check points
  • Cut off time
  • Distance markers
  • Entertainment
  • First aid
  • Marshals
  • Mass start
  • PB
  • Point to point
  • Single start
  • Sweeper
  • Toilets
  • Traffic free
  • Undulating
  • Water stations

Route highlights

  • From Chester Racecourse into the city centre
  • Pass the Town Hall, cathedral, Medieval buildings and landmarks, and Roman Walls
  • Cross the Old Dee Bridge
  • Pass the Duke of Westminster's estate
  • Cross the border into Wales
  • Rural lanes to the historic village of Holt
  • Cross the ancient Roman bridge
  • Triumphant finish on Castle Drive

Route description

This spectacular marathon route is both historic and scenic. Expect some fast times over this stunning PB marathon course on closed roads.

Runners leave the racecourse and head into the City centre passing the Town Hall, Cathedral, split level Middle Ages "Rows", Eastgate Clock, Amphitheatre and through the Roman Walls before heading out of the City across the Old Dee Bridge.

The route then leaves Chester past the Duke of Westminster's estate, through Pulford, before crossing the border into Wales and the villages of Lavister and Rossett.

Keeping to the rural lanes runners complete a small loop before entering the historic village of Holt. Then crossing the ancient Roman bridge at Farndon to return to England and the home stretch running through Churton, Aldford and Huntington.

On the way back into the City, runners pass the River Dee before a triumphant finish on Castle Drive!

The route is largely flat with some short hills or gradual climbs which are predominantly in the second half of the course. 70% of runners achieved a personal best marathon time.

Chester Marathon route map
Cover both England and Wales from historic city to rural villages.

Cut off time

6 hours.

Chester Marathon is a running event, and there is a race cut-off time of 6 hours.

Out of consideration for the local communities, there are two points where the marathon route will close, and runners who have fallen behind the 6 hour pace will not be able to continue on the marathon route:

  • Junction of Rossett Road and Borras Road (about 13.4 miles) - runners arriving here after 12:15 will not be able to enter the Borras loop. You will have the choice of getting into the sweep vehicle, or continuing towards Holt. This cuts 3 miles off the route so you will not complete the marathon distance.
  • 21 miles (exiting the village of Aldford) - runners arriving here after 14:00 will not be able to continue for their own safety. The route towards Huntington will be reopening - this is a very busy road once reopened, with no pavement. You will be transferred to the finish in the sweep bus.


Times for runners who finish over the cut off will not be listed on the final results.

  • Public transport links

Green Runner option

Why not enter as a Green Runner?

You wouldn't receive a finisher's medal, t-shirt or goody bag - instead, the cost of these items would be donated to the official race charity which is the West Cheshire Foodbank.

You'd help reduce waste and support the local race charity at the same time!

  • Cash prizes
  • Certificate
  • Chip timing
  • Goody bag
  • iTAB
  • Massage
  • Medal
  • Pre-event training sessions
  • Race photo
  • Technical t-shirt
  • Training plan

Before race day

  • Access to training plans to support your running journey
  • Support and advice, including free webinars and training runs to keep you motivated
  • Your personalised race pack including your race number and timing chip sent to you in the post (runners from outside the UK need to collect their race numbers from our Help Desk on race weekend)
  • Exclusive offers and competitions from sponsors right from the moment you sign up
  • Access to friendly and supportive social community on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, who are happy to answer any of your running queries, including past and present pacers
  • FREE runner-to-runner transfers - should you no longer be able to take part


On race day

You'll experience all the fitness and mental health benefits associated with running, plus you'll get:

  • A fantastic atmosphere as the England Athletics Age Group Masters Marathon Championships is hosted
  • A special long sleeve quarter zip technical T-shirt, bespoke medal and a tote-style goody bag packed with post-race nutrition when you finish
  • Prizes awarded for the top three men and women and the winners of each age group
  • Access to our runners Help Desk for any last minute queries or transfers
  • A safe running environment 
  • On course hydration and nutrition for refuelling 
  • Lots of medical support throughout the course should you need assistance
  • Access to our tracking website so all your supporters can track your live progress

Charity places

These charities have places in the event. To secure your place, select a charity, complete the form and follow the instructions.


North West Air Ambulance

Flying to save lives.

  • T-shirt
  • Fundraising support
  • Fundraising materials
  • Supporter cheer packs

Sign up



The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust

Offering support, advice and information to UK families affected by retinoblastoma.

  • Running vest
  • Fundraising support
  • Fundraising materials
  • Training guide
  • Dedicated contact

Sign up




Helping people with a learning disability to live their lives as they choose.

  • Running vest
  • Fundraising support
  • Fundraising materials
  • Dedicated contact

Sign up



Dreams Come True

Making dreams come true to bring joy to seriously ill children.

  • Personalised running vest
  • Fundraising support
  • Fundraising materials
  • Dedicated contact
  • Certificate

Sign up


  • Age 18 & over
  • Entries open
  • Charity entries open
  • Charity places
  • Collect race pack
  • Enter online
  • Event merch available
  • Race pack by post
  • Series discount
Enter now

The Chester Triple

Run the MBNA Chester 10K, the Essar Chester Half Marathon and either the MBNA Chester Marathon or Metric Marathon and you'll receive a fantastic Chester Triple Medal.

Entry fees

Entry fee (Unaffiliated)


Entry fee (Affiliated)


Gold award on RaceCheck - reviewed independently by runners:

Great course, well organised, fab marshals and a cheeky PB for me! Fran

My 10th marathon and the organisation was second to none. All absolutely awesome - well done! Ros

Thank you for a great marathon on Sunday and making my 100th marathon special. Brian

Fantastic event and one which really thinks about things from a runners perspective. Sarah

Ran with the 5 hour pacers, thank them for making it so enjoyable with the music and encouragement. Norma

Chester was my first marathon in 2017 where it got me good for age and now in 2019 holds my new PB. Jess

Thanks for a fabulous race, very well organised, lots of lovely marshals and great support along the course. Emma