The Challenge Awards winner: best marathon in the UK

The Cybi Coastal marathon was voted the winner by runners

  • Location: Holyhead, Anglesey
  • Terrain: Trail, mixed terrain, mountainous, challenging
  • Participants: 200
  • Held since: 2018
  • Reviews: 5/5 (33 reviews)

    ENTER 2020

    Few races tick as many boxes as the Cybi Coastal Marathon. For starters, the route provides breathtaking scenery, whether passing through woods or along beaches. The paved trail paths on this remote coast bring runners closer to nature, and the views from dramatic cliffs out onto the Irish Sea provide a welcome distraction to runners. To improve this natural connection, the organisers have gone to great lengths to make the event as environmentally friendly as possible, avoiding the use of disposable cups and single use plastics.

    The event also supports the local community, and raises valuable funds for the RNLI Holyhead and Trearddur Bay lifeboat stations. On top of all of this, it’s also an extremely challenging and fulfilling course. The route undulates throughout, but that’s nothing compared to the final section of the race, where runners must climb Holyhead Mountain, before descending to the finish. A total elevation gain of 1504m makes this marathon a significant test of endurance.

    What do the racers say?

    Josie R: Great event, well organised with minimal environmental impact in this beautiful area. Tough course but well worth it for the fantastic scenery.

    Steve R: Did the first and now the second. Looking forward to the third. Great scenery and support around the course. What I call a 'proper' run as it covers terrain you won't get on a boring road marathon.

    Lucia C: This must be one of the most scenic marathons around. It was well organised, good value for money with well stocked check points. The route was very challenging but should be on every trail runner’s bucket list. It’s also for a good cause!

    On their success at the Challenge Awards, organisers Cybi Coastal Marathon said “Over a few beers, we came up with this crazy idea to organise a marathon with a few important morals, single use plastic free, raising funds for local RNLI, supporting local businesses and promoting Ynys Cybi as a destination. 2 years on and out of nowhere we find ourselves in London receiving the Award for best UK marathon.

    “It’s an honour to be part of a wider community that encourages people to challenge themselves, to see first time marathoners to seasoned runners cross the finish line knowing that what they have achieved means so much. But what makes our little race so special is the people who give up their time to help us, the island community that is so proud of where they live. Thanks guys.”

    And the runners up:

    2nd Place: Giants Head Marathon - By White Star Running

    White Star Running have gained a great reputation for organising challenging but entertaining events, and the Giants Head Marathon is the perfect example. This is an extremely hilly and testing course, taking runners up Sydling Hill, down its valleys, and around the iconic Cerne Giant. Runners will have seriously earned the Beer Tent and Hog Roast at the finish line.

    3rd Place: Maverick x TRIBE Run Free Marathon - By Maverick Race

    This event combines one of the best race organisers with one of the best running communities and sports nutrition providers. It’s no surprise, then, that runners love this race. Passing through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the route and organisation ticks all the boxes for a great trail adventure.

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