GRAB your running shoes because one of Southampton's biggest events is returning this Spring.

The ABP Southampton Marathon sees thousands of runners race around the city in a bid to raise money (with the potential added bonus of a personal best).

Last year's event was delayed until September 2021 but this year will see the event make a comeback on April 24.

Organiser Chris Rees is expecting this year to be the best yet.

He said: "We are expecting our largest run to date this year. This is going to be the largest Spring run as the London marathon is now in October.

"We are pushing for runners to take part in the marathon this year. 

Daily Echo: ABP Southampton Marathon 2021, Start of the 10k race. Credit Stuart MartinABP Southampton Marathon 2021, Start of the 10k race. Credit Stuart Martin

"Last year, we topped £2m in charitable donations since the event began. 

"We are excited to have the marathon back in its usual place in April this year, and it’s only 16 weeks to go.  

"We are looking towards a normal year and people being fit and having the community together."

With that in mind, if you are toying with the idea of taking part or want further information, we've got you covered.

Here's what you need to know about the 2021 ABP Southampton Marathon. 

  • What's the last date for entries?

Entries for 2022 are set to close on April 15 2022 and can be booked online here

It is unlikely that there will still be spaces left on the day. Sign up quickly to avoid disappointment.

  • Where do the races start and finish?

​The 10k race, half marathon and full marathon all start and finish at Guildhall Square in the city centre.

  • Will I receive a race pack?

​Yes. Dates for receiving race packs will be released in the New Year. These include full timings and other important information. 

  • What happens if I'm late on the day?

​Organisers recommend participants arrive at the start area a minimum of 90 minutes prior to the start.

Also plan to have an extra 30 minutes to your normal journey time due to road closures.

  • Is there a cut-off time for the full marathon?

​Runners need to complete lap one by 12 noon (start time 9am) and finish the full route by 3pm.

Motivators will be at the back of the race so no-one will be on their own.

  • Will I receive a medal?

All Finishers across the finish line will pick up a medal as they go through the Finish Gantry and into the Finish Distribution area in Southampton Guildhall Square. 

On a related note, all results will be available via the marathon's live results page, which will be live on the website closer to the event.

The 10k race

The 10k starts at 10am, beginning and ending at the Southampton Guildhall.

This route begins in the city centre before taking you through Queen’s Park.

You’ll then run over the Itchen Bridge, then follow a loop around Woolston before heading back towards the city centre.

This will take you right past St Mary’s Stadium.

Continuing through St Mary’s, using the underpass, you’ll run through more of the city’s green spaces, in the shadow of Solent University.

With a final loop, you’ll be on to the home straight ready to focus on the finish line.

Half marathon

The half marathon starts at 9am. 

This route begins in the city centre, before you run past the ABP Southampton docks then over the Itchen Bridge.

Following a section by the shoreline at Weston Shore, the route takes you inside  St Mary’s Football Stadium.

Passing over Northam Bridge with riverside views once again, you will run through Riverside Park before crossing into Portswood and running through Southampton Common.

You will then head back and finish under the towering clock of the Southampton Guildhall.

Full marathon

The full marathon also starts at 9am.

If you haven't already guessed, you will be running the same route as the half marathon, only twice. 

So make sure you wear a pair of comfy trainers and find your rhythm!