Tallinn marathon - The best way to celebrate Estonia’s 100th birthday

Tallinn marathon - The best way to celebrate Estonia’s 100th birthday

This year Tallinn marathon will be will be celebrating the Republic of Estonia's 100th anniversary by having all participants run in the national flag colours. They are expecting to have more than 5000 tourists run and take part in the celebration.

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When was the first race and how come the race started?

The first Tallinn Marathon took place in 1989 and in 2007 the event name was bought by Sports Event Team. In 2010 the first race with a marathon distance in Tallinn City Centre took place, back then we had 995 marathon finishers. Since 2010 Tallinna Maraton programme has included a marathon, half-marathon and 10km distances, latest addition with We Run Tallinn 5km came in 2014.

What is the race´s record since the start?

Tallinna Maraton’s 42,2 km distance record is fairly new and comes from 2017 when Kiprotich Kirui won the marathon with a record time for the Baltic states and Nordic countries, which was 2:09.22.

How many participants do you expect for next edition of the race?

Next Tallinna Maraton takes place 7-9 September 2018 and our event is also part of Estonia’s 100th birthday celebrations. Our centenary worthy goal is to hold the largest recreational sports event in the history of Estonia. This means breaking our records from 2013 when we had 20 562 finishers. So for 2018, we are hoping for at least 20 563 participants.

Which added value do you offer the runners?

On this special year with Estonia’s 100th celebrations, Tallinna Maraton’s dress code is Estonia’s national flag colours: blue black and white. For this, we have designed unique tricoloured running shirts, which are included in the marathoner’s race pack and is available with half the price for other distance runners. An added value for Tallinna Maraton participants throughout the years is that our marathoners have a special lounge area, where they can enjoy Estonian beverages and food, get a relaxing massage and chill, this has been very popular amongst foreign runners and we have gotten great feedback on it. Also, our runners’ start number is personalized with your country’s flag and name on it, this makes it easier for the crowds to cheer when you’re running. In addition, when presenting your start number, you can use the public transport for free!

What makes the race a special experience?

This year is extremely special because the Republic of Estonia is celebrating its 100th anniversary and Tallinna Maraton is part of the official programme. To spread the centenary celebrations, we have kept our official event name in Estonian – Tallinna Maraton and have set a common dress code for our runners. We kindly ask our runners to wear the colours of Estonia’s national flag: blue-black-white. In 2018, all Tallinna Maraton distance finishers will be rewarded with a medal! Marathon, half-marathon and 10km medals are decorated with Estonia’s national flower -cornflower- element and come correspondingly in gold, silver and bronze colours. Worthy to mention is Tallinna Maraton’s course, which has been updated for the centenary celebrations – the marathon course is on one lap and for all distances, the start and finish are in the Old Town of Tallinn.

Places of interest along the race route?

Start for all Tallinna Maraton distances will be given from the UNESCO declared Old Town of Tallinn’s Freedom Square, next to the War of Independence Victory Column statue. The last kilometres for 10km, 21km and 42km will go around and then into the Old Town through the Viru Gates and towards the finish behind the Town City Hall building. The finish line for all distances is next to St. Nicholas Church. It’s also noteworthy that the 10km course goes straight through the Tallinn Creative Hub and around in Kalamaja which is the bohemian side of Tallinn with lovely colourful wooden houses. The marathon course goes through and around the Open-Air Museum of Estonia and similar to the half-marathon course then goes along Stroomi beach where you can enjoy a relaxing sea view towards Tallinn.

What do you recommend international participants to do before or after the race in order to inspire to extra nights?

A must go place when you are in Tallinn is the UNESCO declared Tallinn Old Town – Town Hall Square, St. Catherine’s Passage, Kohtuotsa viewing platform, St. Olav’s church and a walk on the top, Patkuli viewing platform and various restaurants where to enjoy Estonian cuisine and feel like you are back in the Medieval times. A short walk from the city-centre is Kadriorg Palace – Kadriorg Art Museum with the amazing Kadriorg’s park and the former industrial complexes of the historical wooden townhouse bohemian district called Kalamaja. Take a city bus to Tallinn TV Tower and enjoy a walk on the edge at 170-metre level with stunning views, rent a car and you will not forget a walk/hike in Viru bog! Just recently Lonely Planet named Tallinn as the ‘Best Value Destination in 2018’! It is not an understatement when tourists say that there is Wi-Fi everywhere in Tallinn – if you need to work while travelling it’s definitely not a problem here. For more places to visit, we recommend the official tourist information website and

Former and present participants worth mentioning?

The first-ever triplets to compete in the Olympics in Marathon distance (in Rio 2016) – Leila, Liina and Lily Luik – have been our participants for several years. If they are not behind the start line they have given the start for our marathoners. Countries, where both the President and the Prime Minister participated in a sports event, are not many. Among thousands of other runners at Tallinn Marathon 2017 was our President Kersti Kaljulaid who ran the half marathon and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas who took on the 10 km track with a basketball in hand. Bouncing two basketballs, an Estonian Marti Medar completed the marathon track with 3:54.16, a time that landed him in the Guinness Book of Records.

Do you expect many tourists in the race?

In 2017 we broke our foreign runner's record and had over 3000 tourists. For 2018 we are hoping to welcome over 5000 running tourists at Tallinna Maraton and currently, we are moving in this direction.

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