Glasgow Marathon 1980s

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Test yourself at this classic race from the 1980s, the Glasgow Marathon. Bring it back!

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Glasgow Marathon 1980s

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The Glasgow Marathon made its debut in 1979 and from then until 1981 featured a four-lap city centre route. As the popularity of marathons increased in the 1980s, 1982 saw the introduction of the “Scottish People’s Marathon”. The route was changed to take in more of the city, starting at Glasgow Cross before heading through the city centre, to the West and North of the city before swinging back to the centre and across to the Southside before crossing back over the river to finish at Glasgow Green.

A great history of the Glasgow Marathon and other races can be found on the Scottish Distance Running History website and there is a Facebook page which campaigns for the race’s reintroduction.

An exact profile of the route is hard to come by but we’ve been helped by @ShirlawJames sharing his Strava attempt along with the old 1984 map and watching some old YouTube videos from the 1983 and 1986 races.

Source Paris-Roubaix on Flickr


We’ve changed some of the route due to the lack of pedestrian access in some areas (e.g. the Clydeside Expressway) and changes to local roads. We’ve added a wee loop around the Riverside Museum to make up the distance. It’s also hard to tell if runners ran up Buchanan Street or West Nile Street from the map but it looks like West Nile Street in one of the YouTube videos. Similarly, it was hard to tell where the exact finish line was other than close to the People’s Palace.

Drop us an email if you see any glaring errors.


Line yourself up facing Glasgow Cross and run up High Street, taking a left along George Street with Strathclyde University buildings on your right. Take a left when you pass the end of the City Chambers to run past the Cenotaph and around George Square. Continue on and take a right to run up West Nile Street to reach Sauchiehall Street which you’ll run all the way to Kelvin Way (be careful with traffic at the Charing Cross end).

Take a left for the steep climb up University Avenue past Glasgow University and take a right at bottom to run along Byres Road, crossing Great Western Road to continue past the Botanic Gardens and up Queen Margaret Drive. At the top, take a left along Maryhill Road for about one mile, passing the Maryhill Locks and turn down Cowal Road. As you reach the end, take the right at the roundabout, going over the narrow bridge (careful for traffic and bin lorries) and take the first left down Temple Road.

As you reach the busy Bearsden Road try and cross safely to the right-hand side, it’ll make crossing onto Anniesland Road easier. After the up and down Anniesland Road, turn left at Lincoln Avenue/Queen Victoria Drive for a short run before another left onto Danes Drive and run past Scotstoun Stadium. When Victoria Park comes into view, take a right down Westland Drive onto Dumbarton Road and stick to the right-hand side to run past the car dealerships onto Castlebank Street and the Glasgow Harbour flats.

Follow the road round to the Riverside Museum, doing a loop around the back past the Tall Ship then join the main walkway that continues along the Clyde. At the Squinty Bridge, move up to the pavement so that you can run across George V Bridge then turn right to make your way to Paisley Road West.

Stick to the right-hand side of Paisley Road West so that when you reach La Fiorentina you take right fork onto Govan Road. As you pass the South Rotunda and STV Studios, take a left and onto Lorne Street where you re-join Paisley Road West along to Bellahouston Park. Enter Bellahouston at the gate opposite the police car park entrance, follow the path round to the right then continue past the cycle track (good for track running too) and exit on Mosspark Boulevard. Cross the road directly and head up Bellahouston Drive to Corkerhill Road.

Stay on the left-hand side of the road as you run from Corkerhill to Braidcraft Road where you do a quick U-turn onto and around Damshot Crescent. After passing St Paul’s High School take a left along Barrhead Road and left again at the big roundabout to Pollokshaws and into Pollok Park, following the road all the way to the exit between the golf and rugby club. Stay on the left side again until the next junction and cross at the lights onto Fleurs Avenue.

After a quick right then left onto Maxwell Drive, make your way back towards town via St Andrew’s Drive, Shields Road and Seaward Street, keeping on the left for ease at traffic lights. You’ll then re-join Paisley Road West and retrace your steps back over George V Bridge.

5k left to go as you leave the bridge and take a sharp right to run back along the Clyde Walkway to Glasgow Green. Run under the McLennan Arch, take the path to your left and ready yourself for the big sprint finish at the People’s Palace.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had it again!

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