The Runner’s Guide to the Manchester Marathon: Route, How To Get To The Start And More

Runners in the 2023 Manchester Marathon
(Image credit: Manchester Marathon)

Known for its fantastic atmosphere and enthusiastic spectators, the Manchester Marathon is one of the UK’s best marathons and it’s the fourth largest marathon in Europe with 32,000 entries in 2024. According to the organizers, the Manchester Marathon is the UK’s flattest and friendliest marathon. 

The flat and fast route makes the Manchester Marathon an ideal race to aim for a PB. The route starts and finishes near Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, and includes a loop through the city center. There’s even the option to run the marathon as a relay in teams of two or four runners. 

Registration is open for the Manchester Marathon 2025, and the good news is there’s no ballot—places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. The race usually sells out so it’s a good idea to sign up soon if you know you want to take part. You’ll also benefit from a lower price if you snap up a place early. 

When is the Manchester Marathon 2025?

The Manchester Marathon will take place on Sunday April 27, 2025.

How do you enter the Manchester Marathon 2025?

Registration is now open for the Manchester Marathon 2025 and you can sign up on the website. Prices start from £59 for a single entry and you can enter the relay as a team of two for £99 or four people for £109.

What time does the Manchester Marathon 2025 start?

Details of the 2025 race have not been released yet, but it will probably follow the same format as previous years. In 2024 the elite wheelchair race started at 8.55am, followed by the elite runners at 9am. Starting waves for the main race followed every 10 minutes from 9.10am until 11.10am. There’s usually some waiting around in the starting pen, so bring an old top for warmth at the start and donate it in one of the bins close to the start line. 

How do you get your race pack and bib number for the Manchester Marathon?

If you live in the UK, your race pack including your number will be sent to you by post. If you’re an international runner, or if for some reason your pack doesn’t arrive in the post, you will be able to collect it in central Manchester on the day before the race.

How do you get to the start of the Manchester Marathon?

The easiest way to get to the start is by tram. Nearby tram stations that allow crossings to the start are Old Trafford (a one-minute walk from the start), Trafford Bar (a 10-minute walk) and the Imperial War Museum (a 20-minute walk). Avoid Wharfside Way, Exchange Quay and Pomona stations because you will not be able to cross the route to get to the start.

What is the route of the Manchester Marathon 2025?

Route details have not yet been released for the 2025 race, however it is likely to follow the 2024 route. The usual Manchester Marathon route starts on the A56 under the Trafford Arch close to the Lancashire Cricket Club and Old Trafford Stadium. After the first three miles winding around Old Trafford district, the route takes runners on a loop of the city center via Deansgate. 

Around mile five, where there’s a giant screen showing live footage of the runners, the route turns south-west and heads out of the city center. There’s a loop towards the Imperial War Museum (mile 7) followed by a five-mile straight along Chester Road passing through Stretford and Sale. 

The route turns at the halfway point, heading south-east through Timperley (mile 14) and then taking a loop through Altrincham around mile 16 where there’s always plenty of support, as well as the course’s only notable hill. Then runners turn north-east heading back via Brooklands (mile 20) and Sale Moor to Stretford, looping around the two stadiums to the finish line near Old Trafford Stadium.

Is there a bag drop at the Manchester Marathon?

Yes. In 2024 the bag drop was at Lancashire Cricket Club, M16 0PX. If you’re using the bag drop, plan to arrive an extra 30 minutes before your start access time.

Are there water stations on the Manchester Marathon 2025 route?

In 2024 eight water stations were located on the route, and SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gels were available at some of the water stations. There are toilets at each water station. You can check locations of the water stations on the course map.

Manchester Marathon 2024 route map

(Image credit: Manchester Marathon)
Camilla Artault
Content editor

Camilla Artault is a writer and keen runner. She has covered women’s running gear – testing leggings, jackets, running bras, tops and shorts – for Coach since 2018, as well as interviewing experts and writing about a range of health and lifestyle topics.