Welcome To The Third St. Magnus Marathon, The UK’s Most Northerly Marathon
And the Second St Magnus 10K

Sign up for the 3rd St. Magnus Marathon

Sign up for the second St. Magnus 10K

Sunday 1st July 2018
  • After the great success of the inaugural event in July, 2016, the Birsay Community Association welcomes you to the third St. Magnus Marathon, and the new St. Magnus 10K.

  • To be held on Sunday 1nd July, 2018, starting at 10:00am from Kirkwall’s St. Magnus Cathedral, the marathon route follows that associated with the journey undertaken by his followers after the martyrdom of the Viking Earl Magnus to the ancient Christ’s Kirk in Birsay, finishing at the nearby Birsay Community Hall.

  • Starting from the front of Kirkwall’s historic Cathedral the marathon route proceeds into the beautiful north-west corner of the mainland, Orkney’s “Hidden Treasure” of Birsay. It will provide great photo opportunities at various points on the route; the UK’s most northerly, it is also one of the most rewarding distance runs, through wonderful coastal scenery, with challenging gradient changes in the early stages and gentle gradients latterly. A map of the route can be found at www.birsayhall.com

  • Such was the success of last year’s meeting, and in response to the many requests received, the organisers welcome entries for the new St. Magnus 10K, taking the circular route from the Birsay Community Hall round the Loch of Boardhouse, a wonderfully scenic road run.


All entries are via Entry Central; there will be no entries on the day of the race. Transfers are allowed until Friday 22nd June, 2018; this must be done by contacting the Race Director at admin@birsayhall.com After that date race entries are not exchangeable.


St. Magnus Marathon: Race Numbers will be issued from 08:00 on the day of the race at Registration at the Kirkwall Town Hall, immediately opposite the St. Magnus Cathedral, and adjacent to the Start line.

St. Magnus 10K: Race numbers will be issued from 10.00 on the day of the race at Registration at the Birsay Community Hall, adjacent to the Start line.

If you are unable to compete for any reason we ask you to kindly let us know. Refunds will not be made and there will be no deferrals.


The Marathon starts at 10:00 am. In Kirkwall

The 10K will start at 11:30 am in Birsay

Health and Safety

Clear route maps will be posted at Registration and sent out in a reminder email 2 weeks before the event; we ask you to study these clearly before the race. The route is well signposted, but it is almost all on public roads, not closed to traffic. Unfortunately, due to UK Athletics rules, runners must NOT wear headphones when running. The organisers are being assisted by a number of volunteer marshals. The safety of all is paramount and it is a condition of entry that competitors must follow the instructions of the marshals. First aid will be at the finish line and, if required on course, a marshal will contact First Aiders via our dedicated communications system.

The marshals will be on the course for the required time to oversee all capabilities of runners, noting that runners must enter emergency contact details on the back of their bib number.


There are prizes for first to third in both genders as well as the following age categories: male; 40, 50 & 60+; female; 35, 45, 55+. All finishers receive a medal and a "goody bag". Full results will be available after the race at www.thepowerof10.info


There are changing facilities at Registration including toilet facilities; car parking is available and details will be included with the Registration Pack. Coach transport will be available, (pre-booked) between Birsay and Kirkwall on the morning of the events, with runners’ kit being taken to the finish at Birsay Hall, and transport back to Kirkwall in the afternoon for those returning there.

There will be 7 water stations on the Marathon route with 1 on the 10K route, and water will be available at the finish.

A Week-end, as well as an Event

We look forward to welcoming all to Birsay to enjoy this unique event, both local Orkney folk as well as visitors from elsewhere.

An added attraction will be the popular 5K Fun Run, again following a circular route starting at the Birsay Hall.

Catering and refreshments will be available from 10am on the day, along with childrens’ and other entertainments.

A ceilidh will be held in the Hall on the evening of the event, again by ticket only.

(Please note that entrants and their families will be given priority for ticket purchases for the ceilidh, and coach transport will be provided back to Kirkwall on the Sunday evening).

Travelling to Orkney

By railway, coach, or car, plus ferry, make your way to either Aberdeen or Scrabster, the harbour by Thurso, from where you can travel by NorthLink Ferries, or to Gill’s Bay, near John O’Groats, to travel with Pentland Ferries: both coach and train links connect with these ferry services.

Where to stay

Excellent camping and caravan, and Hostel, facilities are available immediately next door to the finish at the Birsay Community Hall, with self-catering and bed & breakfast accommodation throughout the parish. Orkney also has more of these, as well as excellent hotel accommodation, in the larger towns of Stromness and Kirkwall; we will again ensure fantastic transport arrangements are in place for easy movement to the event and the supporting entertainments. Please go to www.visitorkney.com for more information on travel and accommodation.