Exploring the World: Top 10 Marathons and Running Events to Add to Your Bucket List
July 26, 20234 min read
If you're looking for a blend of running adrenaline, breathtaking scenery, and the thrill of international travel, you've come to the right place! We've curated an exciting list of the top 10 marathons and running events that are sure to fuel your wanderlust and inspire you.
More than 800 marathons are organized every year, but only six have the title of World Marathon Major: Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon. We've included a few of these on the list, but there are other hits!
1. The Great Wall Marathon - China
The Great Wall Marathon is a one-of-a-kind event that combines awe-inspiring history with an ultimate test of endurance. Participants from across the globe gather to run along the legendary Great Wall of China, navigating its steep steps. As you conquer this architectural wonder, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding Chinese countryside! This marathon is an extraordinary fusion of cultural exploration and physical prowess.
2. Boston Marathon, USA
Regarded as the world's most prestigious marathon, the Boston Marathon is a mecca for seasoned runners. Established in 1897, it boasts rich tradition and an electric atmosphere that draws both elite athletes and dedicated enthusiasts. The storied course takes runners through the picturesque streets of Boston, attracting crowds of spectators cheering every step of the way! Running the Boston Marathon is a dream come true for many, a testament to their dedication and commitment to the sport.
3. Big Five Marathon, South Africa
For those seeking an unforgettable African adventure, the Big Five Marathon is an extraordinary choice held annually in June. This race takes you through the untamed African savannah of South Africa's Entabeni Game Reserve, home to the continent's famous Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. As you traverse rugged trails, you'll encounter breathtaking wildlife, making this marathon an unforgettable fusion of athleticism and safari experience.
4. Tokyo Marathon, Japan
The Tokyo Marathon offers a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern urban landscapes. As you run through Tokyo's bustling streets, you'll witness a harmonious coexistence of traditional temples and cutting-edge architecture. The marathon showcases Japan's renowned hospitality, with cheerful spectators lining the course, offering encouragement and local delicacies. Embrace the culture and immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of Tokyo!
5. New York City Marathon, USA
The New York City Marathon is an electrifying celebration of human determination and diversity. With its vast field of runners and energetic crowds, the race pulses through the city's five boroughs, offering a diverse range of cultures and neighborhoods. Crossing the finish line in Central Park is a moment of triumph and camaraderie, making this marathon an unforgettable journey through the heart of New York City.
6. Paris Marathon, France
Prepare to fall in love with the "City of Lights" as you conquer the Paris Marathon. It is the marathon with the second-most finishers in the world, behind the New York City Marathon. This iconic race invites you to weave through the city's romantic avenues, passing by world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum. The Parisian ambiance, combined with the challenge of the marathon, creates an enchanting and unforgettable experience.
7. Athens Marathon, Greece
Step back in time and run in the footsteps of history at the Athens Marathon. This iconic race pays homage to the origins of marathon running, with a course that follows the historic route from the town of Marathon to Athens! As you run, you'll pass ancient ruins, historic landmarks, and the majestic Panathenaic Stadium, where the modern Olympic Games were revived. Participating in the Athens Marathon is a testament to the enduring legacy of this storied sport.
8. London Marathon, United Kingdom
The London Marathon is a grand celebration of athleticism, diversity, and unity. Drawing participants from over 100 countries, the race showcases London's iconic landmarks, including the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and the River Thames. The cheering crowds and festive atmosphere fuel runners as they embark on a journey that epitomizes the spirit of the running community.
9. Berlin Marathon, Germany
The Berlin Marathon is renowned for its flat, fast course, making it a favorite for runners seeking personal bests and world records. As you traverse the German capital, you'll be immersed in its rich history and architectural splendor, passing landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral. The Berlin Marathon's efficient organization and inspiring route make it an ideal choice for all types of runners.
10. The Great Ocean Road Running Festival, Australia
Nestled along Australia's stunning coastline, the Great Ocean Road Running Festival offers an exhilarating and scenic race experience. Participants are treated to breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean and the iconic Twelve Apostles rock formations. The course's undulating terrain adds an extra challenge, making this marathon a thrilling adventure for runners seeking both natural beauty and physical exertion.
These top 10 marathons and running events provide unparalleled experiences for avid runners and adventure seekers alike. Choose your next destination, prepare for the challenge, and set out on a journey of self-discovery, cultural immersion, and personal triumph!
Are any of these on your bucket list? Or is there anything we should add? Comment your favorite marathon below 👇