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Not just a race, but an entire running festival. From the 5k to the marathon there is something for everyone, and this has been voted as the fastest marathon route in the UK. Come for a course that is ripe for smashing those PBs and bask in the weekend's festival atmosphere.
C-19 Plan
GSi Events has confirmed that this event will be going ahead as planned on Friday 28th May 2021 in accordance with the COVID-19 safety measures. Learn more

Review summary

14 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Mary K
"Well organised as usual at start and finish but new route was too narrow in..."


Manon V
"Despite what people had previously told me, I thought this course was so great...."


Geneviève O
"I'm not usually a fan of courses that have U-Turns but I really enjoyed this..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Edinburgh Marathon Festival

  1. EMF Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
  2. EMF Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Book Now
  3. EMF 10k

    Run 10km
    Book Now
  4. EMF 5k

    Run 5km
    Book Now
  5. EMF 4 Person Marathon Relay

    Run 42.2km
    Book Now
  6. Junior 5k

    Run 5km
    Book Now
  7. Junior 2k

    Run 2km
    Book Now
  8. Junior 1.5k

    Run 1.5km
    Book Now
  9. Kids Kilometre

    Run 1km
    Book Now

Edinburgh Marathon Festival routes

Take part in Scotland's largest running festival, made up of a variety of race distances.


Once voted as the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World, this course is ideal for those seeking a PB and for those making their marathon debut.

The race kicks off in central Edinburgh, within the grounds of the sixth-oldest English-speaking University. From here, runners will speed through the heart of this ancient city, passing by notable landmarks such as Greyfriars Bobby, the Mound and the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

From here you will make your way out of the city passed Arthur Seat and toward Musselburgh - passing by the Oldest Golf Course in the World which dates back to 1672.

This is a quick, picturesque marathon and not one to be missed.

Half Marathon:

The Edinburgh Half follows a similar course to the marathon itself, starting in the historic centre of Edinburgh before making its way out toward the largest East Lothian Settlement, Musselburgh.

Ideal for those new to distance-running and wanting to get into the atmosphere of the weekend.

Marathon Relay:

Four runners, 26.2 miles, one leg each. The relay is perfect for teams looking to get involved with the running festival. Details of each leg can be found below:

Leg 1: The Royal Leg – 8.3 miles: This is the longest and, undoubtedly, the most historic section of the marathon. Runners will have the opportunity to take in the centre of Edinburgh and all of its iconic sites, before heading out the city past Arthur Seat.

Leg 2: The Cock & Pan Leg – 5.5 miles: This section will take you across the River Esk and into East Lothian. Passing by Musselburgh's famous race-course, home to the world's oldest golf course.

Leg 3: The Gosford Leg – 8 miles: The penultimate leg takes you through Scotland's golfing coast and is the jewel in the crown of East Lothian. Passing by Longniddry and into Gosford House, this is a truly scenic route.

Leg 4: The Glory Leg – 4.4 miles: The home straight. The final runner will loop back passed Post Seton and toward Musselburgh, before entering Pinkie Playing Fields and over the finish line.


This is a looped course which starts and finishes at Dynamic Earth, the EMF hub. Throughout, runners will experience spectacular views of Edinburgh castle. The course takes athletes passed the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace before heading toward the prominent Arthur Seat.

For the final 5KM the course doubles back and along the Innocent Railway Road and back toward Holyrood and the finish area.


Once again, this is a looped course which experiences many of the same sites as the 10KM race. This course will loop right around Arthur Seat, passed Dunsapie Loch before hitting epic views of the Pentland Hills. This is the same route for the Junior 5KM.

Junior Races:

The junior races offer scenic views of the city and Edinburgh Castle as the route for each will take our mini runners around Holyrood Park. The races are suitable for the following ages:

  • Junior 5k - 11-18 years old
  • Junior 2k - 9-12 years old
  • Junior 1.5k - 6-8 years old
  • Kids Kilometre - 3-6 years old (accompanied by an adult)

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Wicking finisher’s t-shirt
  • Chip-timed results
  • Free and tailored training plan
  • Unique finisher’s medal
  • Race recovery pack
  • Course marshalled
  • Aid stations
  • Refreshment stations
  • Fantastic running experience
Raceday Logistics



09:00 EMF 10k Start

11:00 EMF 5k Start

11:45 Junior 5k Start

13:00 Kids Kilometre Start

13:45 Junior 1.5k Race 1 Start

14:00 Junior 1.5k Race 2 Start

14:40 Junior 2k Race 1 Start

15:00 Junior 2k Race 2 Start


08:00 EMF Half Marathon Start

10:00 EMF Marathon Start and EMF Team Relay Start

Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled race time.


There will be a spectator's pack that will become available from the beginning of May on the EMF Hub.

You are welcome to share this with your friends and family who want to support you on the day - it holds all the information they will need to enjoy watching you run.


Event teams are crucial to ensuring the success of events like this.

If you are interested in volunteering to help at this event, please visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enter the Edinburgh Marathon?
You can enter normally or choose to run for a Charity. There is no ballot for the Edinburgh Marathon.
What is the cut-off time for the Edinburgh Marathon?
The cut-off time for the marathon is 6 hours and 30 minutes, and for the half marathon the cut-off time is 3 hours and 15 minutes. This equates to a pace of 15 minutes per mile, or 9 minutes 15 seconds per km.
When will I receive my race pack for the Edinburgh Marathon?
Race packs will be posted to you; if you have not received it before the event, you will be able to pick it up at the Race Village the day before the race.
Is there an age limit for the marathon and half marathon at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?
EMF age limits align with UK Athletics, entrants for the marathon must be 18+, half marathon 17+ and 5/10K 15+.
Where can I find my official race photos from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?
Race photos can be found at the following link after the event:
Where can I find my results from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?
Results will be available on the event website after the event.
Are there toilet and changing facilities at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?
Yes, there will be plenty of toilet facilities available and there are changing facilities at the finish line.

Meet the organiser

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BRINGING CHARITIES AND COMPANIES TOGETHER THROUGH EVENTS GSi Events Ltd specialise in organising events that provide a fundraising platform for charities.



Edinburgh Marathon Festival reviews (14)

4.3 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the EMF Half Marathon in 2019

    Never been to Scotland before & chose the Half Marathon as a great excuse to visit, we all had a great time away, such a historic place. The run was really nice the rain did not detract from the fun of the at all. We booked a fabulous apartment in the city & camt wait to return next year.
  • Did the EMF Half Marathon in 2019

    Very well organised with all the information sent to me good time in a readable format. On the day the volunteers and staff were great and i knew where I needed to be for when. The route itself was ok, didn’t really see many landmarks but the atmosphere was brilliant and the reception at the finish spot on
  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2019

    Despite the heavy showers in the morning, the weather cleared up nicely just in time for the start of the marathon. The first 5 miles through the city are gradually downhill, followed by an out-and-back section along the East Lothian coast. Lots of supporters lining the route in and around the towns, but out towards the turnaround point the atmosphere was a bit flat. Good organisation, the only minor complaint being that the shuttle buses picked up about 30 mins walk from the finish 😫
  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2019

    The course starts in the heart of Edinburgh city centre and starts downhill through the streets before heading towards Arthur's seat, around this part is very congested and very tight as there are runners coming towards you on the other side of the road, once through you make your way out of Edinburgh, through Portobello towards Musselburgh and given the weather this year I was very surprised to see so many people out on the course cheering you on.
    Once in Musselburgh you run alongside the track that you will be finishing in about 16 miles, the support around here is as expected amazing as this is also where the half marathon comes through earlier in the day to finish. Heading out you go through Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton before heading out on a very long loop with very little support aside from your legs, it's this loop that can get to a lot of people, especially as you make the return and know how far it is to get back to the finish line that you passed at what seems like an eternity ago. As you get to the Haven holiday village you know that the support will be coming back to you but if you've made the mistake of walking because the support wasn't there earlier (like I did in 2018) it's very difficult to get back into a rhythm. You head back for the final 7 miles with a potential of strong headwinds, this year (2019) we had standard winds of 14mph with gusts of up 35mph to face us on the final leg of the journey. The last 3 miles are brilliant though as you remember that you only have one more water station to get you through, after that the support hits you as a thunderous applause greets you on the final part of the track, don't get carried away though, you still have a whole mile left as you run alongside the Musselburgh racecourse. Crowds line both sides of the street and you know you are getting close, you have one corner left and there it is, that large blue entrance to the runners village.

    The weather this year was a little bit of an odd one as the rain came down hard whilst we waited for the gun, the rain soon stopped and then it was very warm and as mentioned earlier the winds were very difficult to negotiate. The overall organisation of the event was top draw, bag dropped in seconds and collected in seconds.

    I have ran this marathon 3 years in a row and would highly recommend it to anyone, even if support is your thing this is definitely a bucket list marathon

  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2019

    I'm not usually a fan of courses that have U-Turns but I really enjoyed this course. You see the best of the city centre before heading out along the coastline....some great scenery and quaint little towns. You felt like you had some space running too, rather than packed so tightly you had to watch your footing! Given it heads out of the city, it's not like London Marathon with crowds cheering you the entire way, but this said, spectators at the various little villages were a great boost. Could improve organisation on some fronts - didn't get race pack in post so had to collect the day before (no stress though). It's not the best course for spectators as the finish is pretty far from the city centre. They don't have a tracking app in place for runners which was a shame too. But all in all, a really great event with some beautiful scenery along the way!
  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2019

    Despite what people had previously told me, I thought this course was so great. You start in town and then head down to the sea and run along the coast for the majority of the run. It does mean there aren’t many spectators along the route, but when we did pass through towns the atmosphere was amazing. Only downside to the organisation is that there’s no live athlete tracker!!
    Would 100% recommend though.
  • Did the EMF Half Marathon in 2019

    Well organised as usual at start and finish but new route was too narrow in many places for number of runners. I’m sure will this have affected times. First mile especially slow because of snarl up at Princes Street Gardens. Thanks to the householders at Joppa and Musselburgh for music that raised spirits. Thanks also to all volunteers who smiled throughout. The EMF buses mostly empty. This needs to be addressed. Too dear? Not going near enough to finish (stop at normal bus stops instead of Wallyford Park and Ride)? Overall a great event.
  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2019

    This was my second marathon of the year after London in April. The level of organisation was second to none. Event helpers were everywhere at the start, so finding toilets, baggage drop off and the start line was a doddle. The finish was equally well put together. It is clear a lot of thought has gone into how runners meet family at the end and the park at the end in Musselburgh is big enough to accommodate loads of finishers and their family. The atmosphere was great, obviously there are quiet patches but the views and coastal route was superb with the extra treat of a Gosford Park loop before heading back. My only gripe is the difficulty of parking at the end for family. I understand it’s busy, but it was a real challenge for family to get to me. Buses are put on for Edinburgh transfers but the fact it finishes well outside means some challenge in getting about for family. Other than that it was brilliant and the route is one to savour.
  • Did the EMF Marathon in 2018

    What a cracking day out! Great course, fab city. Stayed up there for the weekend and would certainly do it again.
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