If you are going to ask avid runners what are the best marathons in the world, you will get different answers. In this list, we have compiled for you nine of the best long-distance racing events in the world, so you can make that run which you will remember for a lifetime.
Photo Credit: http://www.weare.ci/team-interactive/boston-marathon/
Lineage and prestige the Boston Marathon has it all. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most-awaited marathon events in the world. In this event, racers who wish to join should have a record from another marathon within a year and a half before the time of the Boston event itself.
The event usually happens on Patriots Day during the month of April. Starting in rural Hopkinton, just outside Boston, the race meanders through a number of New England towns, and ends on Boylston Street.
Athens Classic Marathon
Taking place every November, this marathon is the biggest sporting event in Greece. It was inspired by the Marathon of Athens, which was started by the Greek soldier Pheidippides in 490 BC. Like the ancient marathon, the Athens Classic Marathon goes through the scenic hills of Athens.
It follows the same route as that taken by the runners during the 2004 Athens Olympics. As Caolan MacMahon, a running coach, said, Steeped in a rich history, this is a tough course with more than 30 [kilometres] of uphill, but it is the most worthy race.
Chicago Marathon is also fast becoming one of the most sought-after marathons in the United States of America. Since its 1987 mishap, this marathon is also gaining world-class credentials with regards to a fast course, excellent race management and a concern for the ordinary runner that other events would do well to mirror.
Great Wall Marathon
This event dominantly takes place on the Great Wall of China. In this marathon, the runners are expected to finish the entire race within an 8-hour limit. They start at the village of Huangyaguan, go through the Great Wall, and then finish at Yin and Yang Square.
According to LiveStrong, participants get to experience the 5,164-step course of the millennia-old structure and witness a stunning 360-degree view of China, including the scenic villages and rice fields.
This event takes place during May. Jennifer Purdie, a California-based running coach, said that the villagers support is very uplifting and very challenging at the same time.
Big Five Marathon
If doing a marathon in the wilderness of South Africa is your cup of tea, then test your limit at the Big Five Marathon. Forbes gives it the claim of the toughest run, a title that is hardly for show only. Runners go through steep hills and valleys of Entabeni Game Reserve in South Africa fuelled only by their adrenaline and mental strength.
This event happens in June. Participants of the event get to witness different kinds of animals, including antelopes, giraffes, zebras, and even lions. What is even more challenging about this event is the starting time depends on where the big five are found during the race day.
These big five are the famous animals of South Africa: The Cape buffalo, lion, rhino, African elephant and leopard.
The novel experience of running in a foreign land is truly one-in-a-lifetime, even for regular marathoners.
Photo Credit: https://dublinmarathon.squarespace.com/
Taking place in October, the Dublin Marathon has been around since the 1980s. According to Carl Ewald, race director for Philadelphia's ODDyssey Half Marathon, he chose to participate in the Dublin Marathon for his first full long-distance race because of the scenery and the people. After all, the marathon isn't dubbed the Friendly Marathon for nothing. Expect constant encouragement and support from the enthusiastic spectators as you make your way to the finish line.
Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris
Photo Credit: http://disfruta.co.za/package/paris-marathon/
This marathon allows you to see the marvellous lights in Paris, also called the famous City of Lights. The race course brings you through the octogonal Place de la Concorde and the historic monument, Louvre a landmark that represents the beauty of the city. You will also get to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Taking place in April, the event gathers between 35,000 and 40,000 racers.
Another marathon that happens during the month of October is the Amsterdam Marathon. Known for its beautiful rural scenery, the race takes you along the Amstel River, past stately homes and windmills. Most of all, leave yourself a memorable finish at the Olympic Stadium, where supporters and spectators have free access to the grandstand.
Unlike other known marathon events, the Amsterdam Marathon is still small and intimate, with only about 2000 runners. But size is not synonymous with excitement. You will leave this run with newfound friends and a beautiful memory.
BMO Vancouver Marathon
This marathon debuted in 2012, becoming the second largest international marathon event in Canada. Happening every month of May, the event usually limits its participants to just 5,000 people. But the most recent one in 2015 saw over 14,000 participants taking to the streets. With this marathon, runners get to witness the most scenic parts of Vancouver city, including Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park. That's not all. 70% of the race borders the shoreline, granting a fantastic view careful not to let your breath be taken away.
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