How will Covid-19 impact your event?
The health, safety and welfare of our runners, volunteers, staff, contractors, stakeholders, the public and local community remains our priority.
We will continue to follow the advice and current guidelines provided by national and local government, and the governing bodies for our sport. This is a highly dynamic situation and every aspect of our races is under review, we will continually adapt and adjust our event plans as appropriate. Full details of the measures required to enable us to host Covid secure events and to ensure the safety of everyone involved, will be confirmed closer to race day. Please rest assured we are continually working behind the scenes with stakeholders and leading crowd management specialists to deliver a safe and amazing experience for our runners.
If you think you may have any symptoms of Covid-19, if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days and/or if you have been potentially exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 within or outside of your household, all within 10 days prior to the event, please follow the latest government guidelines found here. If you live in another of the Home Nations you should ALSO follow their guidance if intending to travel to England.
Where is the race start?
Both races start at Chester Racecourse, Chester, CH1 2LY.
How much is it to enter?
How do I get my race pack?
For those with a non-UK address your pack will be available for collection on race day at the help desk.
For UK runners we will post out entries that are completed in time. Late entries will be able to collect their race numbers from Help Desk during race week.
Is there a cut off time? Is there a minimum standard?
Chester Marathon is a running event, and there is a race cut-off time of 6 hours. Road closures are lifted in line with the 6 hour pace, and if you are not able to achieve this you may have to withdraw for your own safety.
Out of consideration for the communities we run through, 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. We will transfer you to the finish in the sweep bus.
Times for runners who finish over the cut off will not be listed on the final results.
I want to run for charity
Our race charity is Claire House Children's Hospice. You can of course run for any charity of your choosing.
Can I run in Fancy Dress?
Yes we welcome runners in fancy dress. Why not run as a Roman Centurion? It would be great to see the streets of Chester full of Centurions again!
We do ask that you are considerate to your fellow runners, and don't wear a costume that might be obstructive or dangerous to others.
Can I enter as a relay team?
There is no relay class at this event.
What is the race route?
You can see the route and the profile here. The route is on fully closed roads.
How far apart are the drinks stations?
The drinks stations will be 2.5 to 3 miles apart and can be seen on our route maps. There will be water in bottles at each drink station. Info about sports drinks/gels available on course will be published on our race information page before the event.
Will there be start zones?
There will be start zones clearly marked with estimated finish times. Please assemble in the appropriate zone for your realistic expected finish time.
Where will the toilets be on the route?
There will be toilets at every drinks station, these are 2.5 to 3 miles apart.
Is there a baggage store?
A decision on baggage store will be taken nearer to the race day, based on the COVID situation at that time.
Where are the toilets?
There will be ample toilets at the start, all clearly signed. There will also be toilets at every drink station and at the finish.
Where can I park?
Parking for competitors and supporters will be available on the grass at the centre of the Chester Racecourse. The car park will open at 06:30hrs and will close at 07:30hrs to allow for the start of the races.
There will be a fee of £4.00 for parking. Please have the correct money ready when you arrive. The car park will re-open at approximately 1100hrs and will remain open until approximately 1800hrs. Disabled parking will be available closer to the main buildings of the racecourse.
After the races there may be queues at busy times, please be patient whilst we work to help everybody leave as quickly and smoothly as possible.
There are over 3,000 car parking places available in car parks within easy walking distance of the racecourse in Chester city centre. These car parks will charge a variety of fees dependent on the length of time vehicles are parked. Further details of the locations of the council car parks and the fees charged can be found here.
Will there be official race photos?
Our official race photographers AWOL Adventure will be on the course and at the finish - see more details here.
Athletes with a disability
We want disabled athletes to have a safe and enjoyable race. If you have a disability please contact Andy so we can understand your needs.
There is not a wheelchair race, but accompanied wheelchairs, visually impaired and learning disabled athletes have all competed successfully in our past events. Choose your start pen with care, to avoid jostling it is usually safer to line up at the back of the race - we have 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. To apply for this, or if you have any questions about the suitability of the route, contact Andy.
Where is a good place to spectate?
You can stay at the racecourse to watch the start, or walk less than half a mile into Chester to watch the Marathon athletes running through the city centre, or running across the Old Dee Bridge.
There is limited access out on the course, as the roads are closed for the athletes. If you want to spectate on the Marathon course, the best place is the villages of Holt and Farndon (access from the A41 and the A534). There is limited parking here, please park responsibly.
For the Metric Marathon, you can watch the start at the racecourse, or walk up to the city centre to watch athletes running through the city.
When is the next race?
The next Chester Marathon and Metric Marathon are on Sunday 3rd October 2021
The marathon 26.2 miles race starts at 9am
The metric marathon 26.2km (approx 16.3 miles) starts at 10:15am
How do I enter?
To enter please click the "Enter Now" button.
How old do I need to be to run?
To enter the marathon or metric marathon, you must be 18 or over on race day.
I can no longer take part in the event, can I get a refund?
If you no longer wish to take part in the event, you can transfer your race place to someone else at no extra cost, any time before the event closing date, by using the official transfer process outlined in your entry confirmation email or by logging into your Nifty account and choosing transfer my entry. Race places are not transferable between events or years.
You will be able to cancel your entry and receive a full refund (including any added extras at the time of registration), within 14 days of your purchase. As stated in our Terms and Conditions of entry, we will deduct a £5.00 administration fee from all refunds.
Notice of withdrawal from the event must be communicated by emailing email@example.com stating clearly the desire to withdraw and putting the word WITHDRAWAL in the subject line of the email. Withdrawals will not be accepted by telephone or post.
Refunds will not be issued under any circumstances after 14 days of purchase, if you enter a race within four weeks of race day or if the race sells out of general entries within 14 days of your entry. Participants can withdraw at any point prior to the race with no refund.
If you have entered the race using a transfer from another runner, we are unable to offer you the 14 day refund period, as you have not made a payment to us.
If you have purchased Refund Protect through Nifty when you completed your registration, and have any queries in relation to this, you will need to liaise directly with Refund Protect. This service is purchased through but is not administered by Active Leisure Events Ltd.
Do I have to run for charity to get a race number?
What if I am ill before the race?
Running is a very strenuous activity, and running if you are ill could seriously threaten your health.
If you think you may have any symptoms of Covid-19, if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days and/or if you have been potentially exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 within or outside of your household, all within 10 days prior to the event, please follow the latest government guidelines found here.
Can I wear an iPod or music player?
As the race is run on fully closed roads, headphones are permitted under UK Athletics rules. It's still important to be able to hear your fellow runners, and instructions from marshals, therefore we recommend "open ear" bone conduction headphones for enjoyment and safety.
If you do wear in-ear headphones, please leave one out so you can hear the sounds around you, including warnings from marshals or blue light vehicles on the course.
Can I run with a buggy or a dog?
No, it is not possible to run with a buggy, or with a dog. This is against UK Athletics rules and you will be withdrawn from the course and disqualified.
What are the rules for the event?
The races are run under UK Athletics rules. Please ensure that you are familiar with the road running rules. The rule book is quite long, but the road running section is short.
What sports drink will be available?
Please see the race info page near to the race for more details.
Will there be mile or km markers?
There will be mile markers, every mile on the marathon and kilometre markers every 5k on the metric marathon.
Will there be pacers?
Usually there will be Marathon pace runners at the target times of 3:00 and every 15 minutes up to 5:00 hours (chip time). However, there won't be any pace runners this year to prevent large groups of runners forming on course.
Is there an Expo?
Some of our sponsors, partners and charities will have stands at the event.
When will the results be available?
Draft results will be posted online during the race, and final results will be available no later than two weeks after the race.
Where can I stay in Chester?
There is a variety of different accommodation in Chester which can be found through internet searches, on www.visitchester.com or by calling 0845 647 7868.
Disabled access and parking
Hard standing parking is available in the disabled bays within the hotel car park; access this via the main racecourse car parking entrance. Alternatively you can park on the main car park, which is on grass and nearer to the start and finish. There is no charge for parking for Blue Badge holders and you don't need to book in advance, just show the car park volunteers your Blue Badge when you arrive.
The start is on grass in the centre of the racecourse and there is step-free access from the hotel car park and the main car park. For people who wish to view the race start there is flat level viewing on the grass.
The finish is on tarmac in Grosvenor Park, less than 1 mile from the start. The finish will have a PA announcement system giving the finishing numbers for many of the runners, however there is no TV, hearing loop or results display to give information. No designated viewing space is provided as the start and finish can be accessed on flat level surfaces. It can be quite busy with spectators so try to give yourself plenty of time to secure a good viewing location.
The Chester Racecourse has disabled toilet facilities. There will also be a disabled portable toilet available close to the start of the race; adjacent to the other portable toilets.
The Grosvenor Park has a disabled toilet behind the Pavilion.
What can my family do in Chester?
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 our 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.
If you get hungry 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.
Take a look at Visit Chester for lots more ideas.
Never miss our training runs or special offers!
The route is renowned for being fast and largely flat – more than 70% of our runners achieve PBs!
Marius Ionescu in 2014
Julie Briscoe in 2013
2021 Marathon Results
|1st||Michael Young (West Cheshire AC)||2:27:32|
|2nd||Joseph Turner (Cambridge & Coleridge AC)||2:28:47|
|3rd||Tomos Roberts (Meirionnydd RC)||2:33:45|
|1st||Melissah Gibson (Ealing Eagles RC)||2:48:44|
|2nd||Keely Smith (West Cheshire AC)||2:58:29|
As with all such events, our events would not be possible without the help of a huge team of volunteers.Find out more.