Manchester Marathon guide: parking, route and start times for the 2023 race

The transport network and roads in Manchester and Trafford will be very busy before, during and after the race - here’s how to get there and enjoy the day.

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Around 28,000 runners are getting ready to get off their marks in the adidas Manchester Marathon 2023 this weekend and the city-region is set to be busy, with thousands more expected along the route to cheer them on.

Athletes and spectators attending on Sunday 16 April are being urged to plan their travel in advance and leave plenty of time, with a string of road closures affecting those driving or planning to catch a bus or grab a cab.

With the marathon start times scheduled from 8.55am for elite wheelchair athletes and 9am for elite athletes, it will be an early start. The rest of the runners will set off in staggered waves after that, according to the bib colours they have been allocated, up to 11am (see below). The fastest finisher in 2022 was Liverpool Harriers’ Jonny Mellor in two hours, 10 minutes and 46 seconds.

The 26.2-mile route for 2023 starts at White City Circle in Trafford and stretches across Manchester city centre, Old Trafford, Stretford, Sale, Timperley, Altrincham, Chorlton, and Hulme. We’ve produced a guide to the best places to watch the marathon here, and we spoke to the race director for her guide to the 2023 route for runners here.

Manchester Marathon 2023 start timesManchester Marathon 2023 start times
Manchester Marathon 2023 start times

Where can I park for Manchester Marathon 2023?

Marathon organisers recommend you use public transport such as Metrolink trams to get to the event as there will be many road closures in place. The nearest stop to the start line for the marathon is Old Trafford, located on the Altrincham line which will be running longer trams at double capacity, or you could also use Trafford Bar or Imperial War Museum for the start line, and you can use contactless payment to touch in/out on your journey. You can check out our full guide to public transport including trams, buses and roads here.

However, if you plan on driving, you can use one of the park and rides across Greater Manchester to get you there and parking is free with a valid Metrolink tram ticket. These include:

  • East Didsbury with 302 spaces.
  • Brooklands with 108 spaces.
  • Navigation Road with 81 spaces.
  • Sale Water Park with 300 spaces.
  • Ladywell with 250 spaces.
  • Parkway with 360 spaces.

Pre-bookable parking was available at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground but note this has now sold out. If you need disabled parking, contact the marathon organisers in advance here.

More dedicated travel advice for competitors, spectators and the travelling public can be found on the TfGM website.

Manchester Marathon 2023 travel advice

Sean Dyball, TfGM’s Head of Customer Experience, said: “We are looking forward to helping thousands of runners and spectators to get to the Manchester Marathon this weekend, and we’re wishing runners the best of luck for Sunday.

“Whether you are involved in the Manchester Marathon or using the network to make other journeys – both by public transport and by car – please check our dedicated webpage for how your journey may be impacted on Sunday by road closures, bus diversions, or by busy periods.

“To avoid congestion from the road closures and for a more enjoyable journey, consider jumping on the tram and using contactless for a fast and efficient way to pay. Park and ride sites also provide a free place to park before completing your journey on the tram to the race.”