In less than 2 months, on Sunday 27th of February, thousands of runners will meet at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to start a course that will take them from ancient to modern times. Runners will pass by the Imperial Palace, Tomioka Hachiman Shrine and many other important historical and touristic areas. Then, they will enter our modern times running by the Tokyo Skytree & the Tokyo Tower, to get to the finish line at the famous Tokyo Station. The atmosphere during these days is super welcoming and warm, despite the cold, as the marathon will have the support of 10,000 volunteers and the enthusiasm of more than 1 million spectators.
Find out more about Tokyo Marathon, a Boston Marathon Qualifier: marathon.tokyo/en/
Book the day, on March the 12th you have a date that you cannot miss in Barcelona. The 39th Zurich Marato Barcelona edition is awaiting you. The course feels flat during most of the time, but it has some inclines for a few kilometers. In 2010, the Kenyan Jackson Kotut set a record at 2:07:30 (h:m:s), which became the fastest marathon ever run in Spain. Last year the Barcelona marathon attracted 16,000 runners. The course will start from Placa d’Espanya and will take you to the most impressive and beautiful places in Barcelona. Picture yourself discovering this beautiful city as you run, passing by the unforgettable Sagrada Familia, the Camp Nou (Barcelona FC stadium), the old city center and back to Placa d’Espanya for the finish line. Locals and volunteers cheering you up from beginning to end will give you a high dose of adrenaline and excitement!
Find out more and register here: zurichmaratobarcelona.es/eng
The city of lovers holds its annual Marathon on April the 9th. Don’t miss out the opportunity to join 57,000 runners from everywhere in the world to discover the beauty of the #1 most touristic city in the world. The course will leave you speechless from the start to the finish line as you will begin from the beautiful Arc de Triomphe, running through the astonishing historical streets and areas of Paris, the luxurious Champs Elysees, passing by the Louvre Museum, Place the la Bastille and of course the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. It is a fast course as its profile is mostly flat with a couple of bumps. The Paris marathon is a truly memorable journey that you shouldn’t miss, and it is, along with London and Berlin, one of the biggest in Europe. On 2016, Cyprian Kotut won the course with a time of 2:07:11 while on the women category, Visiline Jepkesho got the 1st position with a time of 2:25:53.
Discover more about the Paris Marathon here: schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/us
Bucket-list race, the father of them all, the Boston Marathon will take place on April 17th. It is the most well-known Marathon race in the world and a unique one as you need to reach certain quality standards to be able to participate and it is one of the 6 World Marathon Majors. The event attracts each year half a million spectators and has around 30,000 participants, therefore a great atmosphere is more than guaranteed during the race day. In order to reach the qualification standards, a runner needs to complete a standard marathon course certified by the IAAF and finish the course under a specific time. The course will take you through 8 different cities in the state of Massachusetts, bringing you, at mile 21, to the scary Heartbreak Hill where you will hit the wall, to finish in the center of Boston, where the finish line is located at Copley Square, by the Boston Public Library.
Read more about the Boston Marathon: baa.org
On April 23rd, the London Marathon (Virgin Money London Marathon) will take place. It is not only one of the top 6 international marathons but also the largest annual fund raising event, raising more than £450 million for charity since 1981. The course goes along the River Thames, is mostly flat and will take you through worldwide known touristic attractions such as Greenwich Park, Canary Wharf, the London Eye and more. When approaching the finish line in The Mall alongside St. James Palace, runners will catch sight of the memorable Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. The course’s flat profile has seen 4 new world records since the marathon was first established in both categories, men and women as well as for the Wheelchair Race course record at 1:28:57 (h:m:s) by the Australian Kurt Fearnley in 2009.
Find out more about the Virgin Money London Marathon here: virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/
Very demanding, fun and awesome experience. This is how we better describe this one-of-a-kind marathon. This upcoming May the 20th, the Tianjin section of the Great Wall of China will be awaiting for many runners coming from every corner of the world, to go up and down the 5,164 steps of the history of China. The Great Wall Marathon is pretty new as it first started in 1999, growing from a hundred of initial participants to thousands nowadays. It is a challenging race that will test your limits, at the same time the amazing landscape will wow you constantly. It is an inspiring experience that you will remember forever and that you will not regret!
Check this link to get more info about the race: great-wall-marathon.com
On May the 28th, Normandy, in the West part of France holds its 20th Marathon Edition in Mount Saint Michel. It is a beautiful Marathon that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the majestic Mt. Saint Michel - UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the very beginning of the marathon. The course is point-to-point and takes you to charming, traditional small villages all along the seaside. This race counts with around 5,000 participants, and although it is not as known as the others, it is worth mentioning!
Discover more about the marathon here: marathondumontsaintmichel.com/us
In the African Savannah, without fences or barriers, you will experience wildlife on your own skin. Buffalos, elephants, lions and other wild animals run free in this safari-like marathon (but don’t worry, the whole race is supervised for safety reasons). The Big Five takes place on June the 24th, in Entabeni reserve in the Limpopo Province, close to Johannesburg. You will have to face the harsh sun on the open savannah -even though it will occur in wintertime, as well as a tough, changing profile (from around 1200m up to 1702m) comprising sand, concrete and dirt ways. The Big Five Marathon first appeared in 2005 and received its name from the famous Big Five Game African animals: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. In 2016, the overall winner was Anne-Sophie Eriksen Windell with a time of 3:45:24 (h:m:s). Connect with your wildest inner self and enjoy this unique experience!
Learn more about the Big Five Marathon: big-five-marathon.com
During this year 2017, Berlin will hold its 44th Marathon which will take place on September 24th. (Sunday). It has been for years one of the largest and most popular in the world, receiving nearly 47,000 entrants in 2016. The Berlin Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier and its course is well-known among marathoners for having a very even and flat profile, which makes it one of the fastest in the world. Year after year, Berlin gets to see runners setting new world records. In 2014, Kenyan Dennis Kimetto set up the world record at 2:02:57 (h:m:s). The course starts and finishes at the impressive Brandenburg Gate and takes the runners through historical areas of the city such as the Reichstag, Tiergarten (famous park) or the Berlin Cathedral. All along the 42K, runners can experience the feast and lively atmosphere that involves the whole city as well as the warm support of the spectators (more than 1 million during the 2016 BMW Berlin Marathon).
Find out more and register: bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/
You have plenty of time to prepare your best “Aloha Hawaii” greeting, as the Honolulu Marathon will take place on December 10th. It is one of the most popular marathons for its exotic location in Hawaii, and especially popular for Japanese runners. Each year Hawaii receives more than 20,000 participants, ready to explore Honolulu in a different and exciting way. The spectacular scenery of Hawaii will keep you looking in all directions to appreciate its beautiful landscapes. The course starts at 5AM near Ala Moana Beach Park and directs to the West towards the center of Honolulu, then Waikiki and Diamond Head, to finally reach the finish line at Waikiki’s Kapiolani Park. This marathon is considered hard as runners are not used to run under the humidity of the tropical weather and because is less flat than many other marathons. This 2016, the Kenyan Lawrence Cherono obtain the first position with an overall time of 2:09:37 (h:m:s)
Learn more about the Honolulu marathon: honolulumarathon.org