Tallinn Marathon

15 - 70 €












  • Easy access of start-finish area
  • Fast, flat track
  • Well organized multi-event race
  • Nice destination
  • Runner friendly weather conditions


  • The start package coupons only in estonian
  • Can be not easy to reach from all Europe
Year of 1st Edition:1989
World Athletics Label Road Race:Yes
Expected participants22000
Distances42K, 21K, 10K
Type of raceFlat, fast, city run
Time limit7h (42K), 4h (21K), 2.5h (10K)

My first race in the Autumn season was the biggest running event in the Baltic area, the Tallinn Marathon. It was a hard choice between two races for a Libra, but at the end, Tallinn won against the Vilnius Marathon, thanks to its superb homepage, Facebook and Instagram sites. They used these media for daily communication about the event, with many info, videos, details. I found it very helpful and inviting! I can say, that the better advertisement helped me to make the decision. It was a great choice, I loved the city and the race too! And I could run 17 minutes better than on my previous marathon in August!

Course main characteristics

The route is fast-flat track, and the weather was runner friendly too, around 12-17 degrees, without too much sunshine. The pacemakers helped me too – but not on the usual way 😀 I never joined a group of a pacemaker, but I knew one thing – I won’t let the 4:45 pacemaker take over me! 😀 And that motivation was enough to run a nice 4:42:00! 😀

This year’s Tallinn Marathon was the long-distance running event with highest level that is ever held in Estonia. New race records were set in women’s marathon, and in men’s and women’s half marathon too! And a huge number of  runners choose this race for the first weekend of September.
This is the Estonian Championship for marathon runners too.
It is planned, to become an IAAF bronze label race from 2020, and the route is AIMS certified.

The program

The Tallinn Marathon has distances for all abilities, offers a whole weekend of runs with something to suit everyone – all ages and all abilities. The three-day program starts on Friday with the We Run Tallinn 5km, followed by the Optibet 10km (for runners, walkers and Nordic walkers – even with time measurement, or without it) on Saturday. On Sunday, the marathon and half marathon runners fill the route and the city.
All distances foresee a finisher’s medal. The start and finish area is on the same place, and the baggage deposit is close too.
This event is the one in Estonia, where you can choose a distance best suited for you and your family!
The maximum times are extremely runner friendly too, you don’t have to worry about running out of time! Marathon time limit is 7 hours, while for the half marathon it is 4 hours, 2,5 hours for the 10 km.

The event in numbers

The participation was:
Friday: 5km – 3741 participants
Saturday: Kid’s race – 1-12 years, 4430 participants
10k – 7776 participants (runners, walkers, nordic walkers)
Sunday: Half Marathon – 3388 participants
Marathon – 2159 participants
For a total of 21.494 participants, from 65 countries! Around 5000 foreigner runners! I’m so happy to be one of them!

The 10k of Tallinn celebrated it’s 20th birthday this year, and Estonia’s biggest Marathon is 30 years old in 2019. It could have been a big festival, because the city of Tallinn had a birthday too! The 800th!
Running the marathon I was thinking about that: ..I don’t know.. in my country, for a “birthday party” we don’t wear black, that’s for funerals! 😀  While the official T-shirt of this event was black! For me it is strange. I choose my own, colorful outfit, to run this race.

Why to run in Tallinn:

Their homepage says: “Experience the most well-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe by running the Tallinna Maraton.” I agree with this, Tallinn has a beautiful, UNESCO declared old town, really worth to visit! But fortunately, we don’t have to run on those cobble stoned narrow streets! The routes for all distances go out from the old town quickly.

The courses start and finish in Tallinn Old Town. For the 10k at the Freedom square, for the Marathon and Half marathon runners at the well known Viru Gates. The route will take you through the modern City Centre and give you a chance to experience picturesque views of the Baltic sea too.

For me, one of the most interesting part of the route was running across the Tallinn Zoo! 😀 Some animals find us so interesting, that they were staring us next to the fences.
At around half way, we run through a forest, at a wide path. It was a bit surprising to leave the asphalt, but the surface was fine for running. In total, the route was very long 😀 – like every marathon, and complicated, but is was impossible to get lost. It was well organized, well marked.

About the refreshment stations: There were many of them (15), but what I don’t like – in random places, rather than after a regular amount of km. The volunteers did a great job, the station’s surroundings were clean, and the supply was well too. What I missed so much, was the bottled water! I lost time to stop at the stations, drink from the paper cups, drink my gel there, to have a few sips of water after it. By the way using paper cups instead of plastic is nice and environment friendly! At two refreshments stations, we get gels too.

Registration fees:

The Kid’s races are for free, for the other distances, the fee varies depending on the distance and the date. 15-70 Euro.
There are discounts for age (over 60, and under 20) 20%, and for groups more then 10 people -10%.

What is in the registration fee:
The usual things, like: bib number with chip, refreshment stations, baggage deposit, first aid an shuttle back to the finish if needed, t-shirt, medal (very nice!).

Additional things I liked the most:
– massage: in the finish area there were about 5 tents with 10-15(?) masseurs, where you can write your name at the list, didn’t have to wait in line, and get a useful massage.
– marathon lounge: that was the name of the rest area and a super pasta party for marathon and half marathon runners. It was a big buffet with the selection of hot and cold meals. A delicious pasta, a strange soup with cucumber, sandwiches, pastry, yogurts, fruits, beer, sport drinks, water, also for take away. The best hospitality I have ever seen after a marathon!

My favorite discount from the start package was the so-called Tallink coupon, for a ferry between Tallinn and Helsinki. I used it on Monday, to visit Finland’s capital. The ferry is huge! Inside it is like a hotel. We in Hungary don’t have seas, with ships like this, and therefor it was a fantastic experience for me, to travel on a huge ship like this!

Summarizing my Tallinn Marathon:

I recommend this race if you are looking for a destination what is also good for sightseeing. You can easily spend hours, walking around in the old town, or you can go out to a Baltic beach too.
Visiting Tallinn, gives you the opportunity to visit the 2 other Baltic states too, and thanks for the gift voucher, it was easy to explore Helsinki too.
But as a Middle European, I have to say these countries are very expensive. Prepare for that.

It is a well organized race, and even though it is not cheap, you get value for your money (good race, big pasta party, Tallink ship voucher). The whole route is closed from traffic, we didn’t have to run next to cars. The course is wide, and the start zones let you run free, not in a big mass. The atmosphere at the old town is amazing, but i missed the cheering crowds along the route.

And dear men! If you are here, please don’t forget to buy flowers for your beloved ones, who are crossing the finish line! 🙂  The flower market of Tallinn is right next to the Viru gates 🙂

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