The Complete Guide to the Leeds Marathon 2024

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Author: Rob Marshall
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Run route past Leeds Town Hall

The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon will see over 10,000 participants take on a brand new route through Leeds that starts and finishes at Headingley Stadium. It will pass by a number of more scenic locations in the city. 

The marathon is being held in support of the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal, and the MND Association. Former Leeds Rhinos player Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019. Since then, Rob and his family have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to support other families living with MND.

When is the Leeds Marathon 2024?

Sunday 12 May 2024 is the date of the Leeds Marathon. The marathon starts at 9am in the morning. However, we would recommend planning to get there much earlier than this, as there will be road closures and extra footfall in the centre of Leeds.

Although this is currently the date and time of the event it is always subject to change.

How Many People can Take Part in the Leeds Marathon?

Over 10,000 runners will take part in the Leeds marathon. The Leeds Marathon will see the most recorded runners take part in a marathon for the first time ever.

This number was originally meant to be 7777 runners for the 2023 marathon, in reference to Rob Burrow’s shirt number ‘7’ which he wore when playing for the Leeds Rhinos.

Who is Rob Burrow?

Rob Burrow, born in 1982 in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, was a professional rugby league footballer who spent 16-years playing for the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League. At just 5 ft 5 inches and less than 11 stone, he was often referred to as ‘the smallest player in the Super League’. Rob Burrow is one of the most successful players in Super League history. 

Between 2001 and 2017, Burrow played 493 matches for the Rhinos and scored 198 tries. He also earned 15-caps for his country. The 40-year-old won a total of eight Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and was named in the Super League Dream Team on three occasions. Burrow went public with his motor neurone disease diagnosis in December 2019, and a year later was appointed MBE in the 2021 New Years Honours List for his services to the rugby league and the MND community.

What is the Leeds Marathon Route?

If you want a hi-def interactive route map of Leeds Marathon, then this is the page you want to look at. Or checkout Jamie Jones Buchanan MBE taking you on the route:

However, if words are more your style read on…

The Leeds Marathon starts at Headingley Stadium, facing out onto St Michaels Lane. Once out of the gate you will head up St Michaels Road and turn right on Headingley Lane heading towards the city centre.

You will leave Headingley and approach Woodhouse Moor. Here the route moves anti-clockwise around the park via Hyde Park Road. It then comes back onto the Headingley Lane dual carriage, before deviating it to run a triangle around Cavendish Road, Hilary Place and Blenheim Terrace.

There is then a long stretch north up Otley Road. Here it gets a bit hilly! The route heads up towards Bramhope. Follow Creskeld until you reach Arthington Lane taking a right on this road and running a mini out-and-back to the edge of Arthington Park.

Running west on Arthington you will continue directly through Pool in Wharfedale. Keep running west on the A659 until you get to Otley – you’re two thirds complete at this point – and brace yourself for the second series of hills. The Leeds Marathon route will push each runner up and over 633 metres of ascent climbing over its entirety.

In Otley begin running south on the A660 past Bramhope and back onto Otley Road. Run south back the way you came until you reach the Kirkstall Lane right turn and the Headingley Stadium finish! Well done marathoner!

Are There Toilets At the Leeds Marathon?

If you’re wondering where there will be toilets at the Leeds Marathon event, we wondered that too. The event village which marks the start and finish of the event will have a portaloo area for any runner needing the toilet. 

At different points of the 26.2 mile course there will be portaloo toilet stops on the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon course. These will be available for the runners and not the public. Run For All are planning on providing 8-water and toilet stop combinations for you to use. That gives you a toilet break roughly every 3-miles during the event. 

Landmarks to Look out for on the Leeds Marathon Route

The route takes in some of the better parts of Leeds, but our favourite is when the route passes through Adel and then Golden Acre Park. The lack of cars will make this section of the route a calming break from the roads.

What are the Best Spots to Spectate the Leeds Marathon?

If you’re not running or volunteering for the Leeds Marathon then you may fancy spectating this special event. We’ve looked at the route and picked out 3-spots that provide a great view of the runners. 

Taking up a spot on Hyde Park corner (Woodhouse Moor) will give you a vantage point of the runners completing the first mile of the race. Happy smiles and a nervous adrenaline fuelled energy will be in abundance at this point. 

Otley Road is one of the straightest stretches of the entire race. You can take up a place along Otley Road to view the runners in the first and final section of the race. With the final couple of miles to go expect to see runners giving it all they’ve got on this stretch.  

If you’re a little further out north of Leeds then Otley and Bramhope are two of the best places to watch the field of runners. Otley and Bramhope will have dedicated spectator hubs, with transport put on for both areas. 

How to get to the Leeds Marathon event?

Leeds Marathon 2023 will be starting and finishing at the icon Headingley Stadium. Travel to and from Headingley Stadium may be restricted as a result of the event road closures. If you’re travelling by car we recommend using the Stourton Park & Ride  which connects to a city centre shuttle bus up to Headingley Stadium. 

It is recommended to travel to the event by public transport. For the most up to date travel advice check out Northern Rail trains and First Bus Leeds.

Training for the Leeds Marathon

We have put together a couple of pieces on how to train for a marathon. If you are wanting to get stuck in, take a look at our ‘Training for a Marathon as a Beginner‘ article.

Another piece of writing may be helpful is the ‘Top Winter Training Tips‘ written by Nick Green from the Running Studio. It walks you through how to get training and keep training through winter.

What to Wear to Run the Leeds Marathon?

A good pair of running shoes are incredibly important. This might seems like an obvious statement but it can be easy to overlook. If you wear a pair that are not suitable for your feet, this could lead to blistered feet, or even worse, injury.

It is worth getting two pairs and using these simultaneously on alternate runs during your training. 

It’s a good idea to seek professional advice from a specialist running shop. Take a look at this rundown of the best running shops in Leeds, that should help!

How to Volunteer at the Leeds Marathon?

The 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon are recruiting volunteers to the ‘Eventeers’ team. The volunteer roles include helping with baggage and water stations; providing general event information; marshalling the route; and handing out medals and goodie bags at the finish line.    

Volunteering for the ‘Eventeers’ team is an effort that is felt beyond the start and finish line on race day. Your support is a direct contribution to the wider effort to raise awareness and funds to support families across the UK living with MND. Register your interest and sign-up to the ‘Eventeers’ team to support the Leeds Marathon event. 

What is the Official Leeds Marathon website?

The official website is the Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All website. This website contains information on the event and fundraising sponsorship you can raise as part of your efforts.

If you are looking for a link to buy a ticket for the event, then you want the Active website.

Road Closures for Leeds Marathon

Due to the size and scale of a marathon, there are going to be quite a few road closures. Take a look at this map to see if any changes effect you.

Author profile image of Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall

Rob is a passionate running enthusiast who has dedicated his life to exploring the running culture of England. An avid runner himself, he has helped to start a number of running and tourism websites across the UK, and has been actively involved in the running scene in England since 2017. He loves running and walking, and is always looking for new and exciting places to explore. He is always looking for new and exciting running challenges, and is determined to help make running more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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