Bucket List Marathon: The 10 Best Marathons Around the World In 2019
If you want to go the full distance in 2019, you need to participate in a marathon to remember! We want to provide you with a list of the Top 10 Marathons around the world. However, these are not necessarily the most adventurous races out there! So, why did we put them on our bucket list?
We have focused on the following criteria: Size, elite field, crowd and atmosphere, speed, the host city, and sightseeing opportunities. Discover our top 10 must-run marathons here:
Difficulty: A flat route, but very busy.
Run it because: It has a great atmosphere and crowd!
London Marathon is known for attracting the world’s best runners. Great Britain’s Paula Radcliff holds the women’s world record set in 2003 (a fantastic time of 2:15:25) and Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran 2:03:05 in 2016 in London. Besides the elite field, over 40.000 runners participate each year, which means that the route can be quite busy.
However, the route takes you around in the city center of London. It starts at Greenwich Park, crosses the Thames, passes by iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, Tower of London and finishes at the Buckingham Palace. This means that the atmosphere, the crowd and the route through the city are breathtaking. There is nothing quite like turning the corner at Buckingham Palace and making it to the finish line along The Mall.
Difficulty: Due to its fast course, the marathon attracts some of the world’s very best talent.
Run it because: The second biggest marathon in Germany second to the Berlin Marathon will take you through the beautiful sights that the city of Frankfurt has to offer!
The Frankfurt marathon was established in 1981 and has since then taken place every October. It was only in 1986 that the annual event was aborted due to the initial sponsors - the OSC Hoechst 1960 athletics club - discontinued their efforts to organize the marathon. This run is an intrinsic part of the culture of Frankfurt and every year onlookers and participants alike pour out onto the streets of Frankfurt in support, celebration, and festivity.
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang holds the men’s course record in 2:03:42 and Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu holds the women’s course record in 2:21:01.
Difficulty: Many hills and bridges
Run it because: It is the world’s largest marathon!
A good reason to go see the city that never sleeps: NYC Marathon was established in 1970 and is considered as the largest marathon in the world today, with the largest number of finishers and entrants.
Like the London Marathon, cheering crowds along the streets of the New York City Marathon will make you forget your aches and pains. The course takes you through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The steepest climb will be in the first km’s over Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with Queensboro Bridge and Madison Avenue Bridge later to come – but they're all manageable if you pace yourself well!
Difficulty: Quite hilly! The Athens Marathon takes runners through the scenic hills of Athens, with more than 20 km uphill.
Run it because: It is the Marathon where it all started!
Over 2500 years ago Greek messenger Pheidippides ran from ancient battlefield Marathon to Athens to deliver the news of their victory. Follow the same path as the legend through the challenging hills and finish the race at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the modern Olympics was held for the first time. This historic race is an absolute must-run Marathon!
Difficulty: Point-to-point and net-downhill course, which means that the marathon does not meet the requirements set for courses eligible for world records.
Run it because: It is the world’s oldest annual marathon!
Established in 1897, the Boston Marathon is a very historic race and perhaps the only Marathon held on a Monday, also known as Patriot’s Day in the US. The route offers a net-downhill course with many famous landmarks and a big-city finish. Heartbreak Hill at km 32 is one of the historic points of the race and is known to draw crowds of up to 500,000 people to cheer on participants. The field is limited to around 36,000 runners, and age-based qualifying times are needed for entry.
Difficulty: Flat and fast!
Run it because: It is the fastest marathon in the world!
The Berlin Marathon is one of the largest and most famous marathons across the globe. In 2018 Eliud Kipchoge ran the current world record for men in the incredible time of 02:01:39. Besides a very fast and flat route, the Berlin Marathon takes you through the historic city of Berlin, which makes it a “fun” sightseeing tour for participants. Of course, you will also have to run – but the route will take you past the Reichstag, the Siegessäule, the Berliner Dom and Potsdamer Platz in a big loop through the entire city.
The finish through the Brandenburger Gate is magical and something you will never forget. Like New York and London, the cheering crowd will make all the pain go away. This marathon is simply a must-run marathon!
Difficulty: Not a completely flat race – expect some ups and downs
Run it because: It is a beautiful course!
The Paris Marathon is a stunning race! You will have the streets of Paris to yourself – well, you and approximately 50,000 other runners. The race starts on Champs Elysee heading to Place de La Concorde. Then you will pass La Rue de Rivoli and Le Jardins des Tuileries, the Louvre Museum and La Place de la Bastille. From the 23rd until kilometer 31, you will run beside the Seine river with a beautiful view from the Ile de la Cite, Pont Neuf and the Eiffel Tower. Besides the stunning setting, the crowds will cheer you on with allée, allée, allée!
Difficulty: It’s the sixth fastest course in the world, ideal for fast times
Run it because: It is a flat and beautiful course!
The route is packed with beautiful things worth seeing in Amsterdam. You pass the world famous Rijks Museum on the Museumplein twice, and you will run past the Museum of the Tropics and the Amstel Hotel. The marathon starts and ends in the historic Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, which makes the marathon quite special. The second time you come from the opposite direction you will enter the park from the Leidseplein side. The 48-hectare park, full of flowers, ponds, footpaths, and playgrounds is a favorite among locals. Along the way, the enthusiastic residents of Amsterdam will cheer you on.
Difficulty: A very hilly route, encompassing steep staircases and technical terrain
Run it because: It’s an incredible challenge!
Since 1999, the Great Wall Marathon has been known as one of the toughest and challenging marathons in the world.
The Great Wall Marathon takes you along the Great Wall of China to the east of Beijing. But don’t hold on to the hope for a personal best at this incredible race. The grueling route takes the average runner twice as long to complete than usual, due to the sheer amount of climbing involved – expect undulating trails, steep ascents and giant staircases comprising a whopping 5,164 steps. Luckily, the crowd and amazing scenery make up for the hard work!
Difficulty: Fast and flat course
Run it because: It’s a world-famous race with many fast times!
Chicago Marathon is a great race to push your limits because it’s flat, fast and has been the host marathon to four world records. Besides being at a crazy rapid pace, the marathon leads you through the entire city. From Boystown to Old Town to Pilsen – the marathon course is an aesthetic wonderland. The final 10 km are run along the South Arm, before making its way north, mostly along Michigan Avenue to the finish in Grant Park. The course features a large number of turns so knowing where you are and when the next turn will come can be very useful.
With more than 45,000 runners participating, this marathon is a top-class race. However, the weather in Chicago can be quite unpredictable, so make sure to check the weather forecast before entering the race. And as in many of the other marathons, the crowd is truly amazing. Around 2 million people are lined up along the route to cheer for you!
No matter which Marathon you will be running and which city you will be visiting, our DANISH ENDURANCE socks
will help you perform at your best and make it through that finish line!
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