The Bolton Marathon is back VIRTUALLY on 16th May 2021!
Countdown to the Big Race
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The Bolton Marathon is back in 2021.

The Race

Amazingly, Bolton has been without a marathon for over 30 years, but this is all about to change. First run in August 1981, the “British Marathon”, sponsored by sports clothing company Pony, had more entrants than the inaugural London Marathon held in the same year. Runners from around the globe descended on Bolton to complete what was the largest marathon to have ever been held in Europe at the time.

Organiser, local firefighter Vince Regan, received 5,000 paper entries on the first day that entries opened! A total of 8,200 people took part and the event continued to run until 1987, and at its peak saw 11,000 people take to the streets of Bolton to complete the race.

The race was originally planned to return to the streets of Bolton in May 2020 and with over 1000 runners signed up, we were forced to postpone the race due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. With constant developments in our fight against the virus, and with any changes we need to make to ensure the safety of everyone at the event, we’ll be back virtually on Sunday 16th May 2021.


Just as the original Bolton Marathon was ambitious, forward thinking and a catalyst that changed mass participation events in the UK. Our ambitions are just as bold and forward thinking.

Our aim is to become the first single use plastic free mass participation marathon in the UK and maybe even the world!

From water provision and reusable cable ties, to linen race numbers and date free signage, we’re working really hard to eliminate single use plastic from our events and want others to follow suit! See our full sustainability vision here.

Community Trust

As a not for profit organisation, our aim is to put as much back into the community as possible. For this reason, we have established the Bolton Marathon Community Trust as a registered charity with the UK’s Charity Commission. All profits generated from the event will be donated to the Trust for distribution to local causes aimed at getting local people more active and leading healthier, happier lives.

By taking part in the Bolton Marathon, 10k or Family Fun Run, as well as inspiring others you are also making a positive impact on the lives of many other people by taking part in a sport we love!