Looking for a fresh challenge this year? Sign up to an end-of-season marathon to focus your training through the summer and finish 2023 on a high!
Marathon season, somewhat uniquely, is neatly divided into two segments: spring events and autumn events. The former often get more attention, perhaps because runners setting New Year goals target races a few months away, perhaps because the schedule is dominated by the TCS London Marathon.
Our opinion, though, is that autumn marathons is where the fun really lies.
It's a fantastic fusion of optimal weather conditions, months of summer running in your legs and a truly superb selection of races. Whether you're looking for a challenge as a beginner runner or are on the hunt for a PB, an autumn marathon could be exactly the event you need.
These races are the best marathons coming up this autumn, including overseas marathons and special anniversary editions!
Sunday 24 September
Berlin was already renowned as a fast course but this was confirmed by Eliud Kipchoge's incredible performance there in 2022, setting a new world record in a blistering time of 02:01:09. Part of what makes the route so fast is its flat profile but the long, straight sections help too as runners have very few tight corners to navigate. Berlin is a wonderful city that makes the ideal location for a weekend break if you fancy chasing a new PB yourself.
Sign up for the BMW Berlin Marathon
Sunday 1 October
Regarded as one of the most scenic marathons anywhere in the world, this point-to-point route journeys from the southern end of the loch to Inverness, enjoying stunning views across the water and the surrounding Highlands. The race is held on roads and does feature some tough, long inclines, but there's also a fantastic and supportive atmosphere to help get you to the finish line!
Sign up for the Loch Ness Marathon
Sunday 8 October
Voted the UK's Best Marathon (up to 5,000 runners) three times, Chester has a fantastic reputation as not only a great marathon course but as having brilliant support, too. The route is exclusive in venturing into both England and Wales, enjoying superb scenery along its route, from the city centre start to its rural roads. This is also a qualifying race for the age group championships, if you're interested in picking up the pace!
Sign up for the MBNA Chester Marathon
Sunday 8 October
Hosted at Kielder Water, northern Europe's largest man-made lake, this off-road marathon explores verdant pine forest on swift, hard-packed trails. There are some inclines to manage but nothing that will significantly slow you down. This has quickly become one of the North East's biggest running events and enjoys a truly stunning location, as well as a series of other races available at the same time, including a duathlon.
Sign up for the Kielder Marathon
Sunday 8 October
Having been held every year since 1957, this is the longest running marathon in the UK and is still regarded as one of our isles' finest by many runners. The course is a single lap on roads along some of the quieter and more scenic roads in the North West of the island, starting and finishing in Cowes as well as exploring Yarmouth and the Hamstead Heritage Coast.
Sign up for the Isle of Wight Marathon
Sunday 15 October
Beginning at the iconic Olympic Stadium and passing through the Rijksmuseum, this fast marathon explores some of Amsterdam's most famous landmarks. After running along the Amstel River and into the picturesque Dutch countryside, the route returns to the city centre, including the Vondelpark, for a grandstand finish at the stadium. Considered one of the fastest marathons in the world, this event is also perfect for an autumn city break.
Sign up for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon
Sunday 15 October
2023 is the 10th anniversary of this popular marathon event so make sure you book your place on the start line early! The route begins in York's historic city centre, close to York Minster, before journeying into the surrounding countryside, returning to an exultant finish by the University of York. There is a 10-mile route option for anyone not interested in the full marathon distance and plenty of entertainment on the course to keep you motivated.
Sign up for the Yorkshire Marathon
Saturday 21 October
Considered to be the toughest road marathon in the UK, this Lake District course begins in Great Langdale and follows the same course as the half marathon, completing two loops. This means that runners climb Blea Tarn and Foulstep twice, culminating in a fiendish 3,400ft of total ascent. The reward is a truly stunning marathon course that will live long in the memory. Plus, there are five pubs on the course so that has to be worth something...
Sign up for the Langdale Marathon
Sunday 29 October
One of the largest marathons in Europe, Dublin is always over-subscribed so it pays to get your entry in nice and early. The reason for that is this is a fast, flat course that runs past the city's iconic landmarks and is dotted with entertainment zones to keep the atmosphere buzzing, not to mention the warm welcome from Dublin's residents. Over 20,000 runners run Dublin every year and the race gets consistently good reviews.
Sign up for the Dublin Marathon
Sunday 5 November
With over 55,000 runners taking part each year, the New York City Marathon has grown tremendously since its origins over 50 years ago, when it had just 55 finishers! This is now one of the greatest marathons in the world and is attended by runners from across the globe, all travelling to run past iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.