If you’re a marathon runner and would love to take on some of the best races in the world over the weirdest, wildest, most gruelling or most picturesque countryside on the planet, this post is for you!
I wrote this for all my sport-billy friends who will find it helpful to have – all in one place – a list of the world’s best marathons by date, links to the sites and all the info they need to plan their training schedule.
Note, I said I wrote this for my friends. I do not run. I have a perfectly good car!
BUT if your goal is to run the New York Marathon or the Paris or the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica or even run with the Big Five in Africa, read on…
Paris Marathon, April
Join 50,000 people in the 5th largest marathon in the world from the Champs-Elysees past all the major sites. Just a pity you won’t have time to take pics as you puff past.
London Marathon, April
The TCS London Marathon starts in Greenwich and runs through south London, crossing the Thames at Tower Bridge past Big Ben and parliament buildings to end at St James Park.
Boston Marathon, April
Held on Patriots Day each year, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world having started in 1897.
The Great Wall Marathon, May
Climb, walk, run, drag yourself over the 5164 steps and shuffle along the Great Wall of China and work those muscles.
The Big Five Marathon, June
You will literally run through a big game reserve in South Africa with nothing to separate you from the elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. No fences, no rivers, just you and your Nikes. This marathon is so popular you need to register a year in advance.
Sydney Marathon, September
Run alongside 35,000 people over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge through the Botanic Garden, around the Rocks, into Hyde Park and finishing at the Sydney Opera House. There are also family fun runs held on the same day.
Auckland Marathon, October
Start in Devonport on Auckland’s north shore with 17,000 others, run over the Harbour Bridge and finish at Victoria Park, or you can do the half marathon or the kids fun run.
New York Marathon, November
Probably the most iconic marathon in the world. You’ll run through New York’s five boroughs with two million spectators cheering you on. You need to have your application in by about April, so do it now and spend the rest of the year getting ready!
My brother ran the New York Marathon and my husband and I went over to watch him. We missed him. I have a few tips for how you can avoid that when you go on this post!Click here for my blog of Tips for race day at the New York Marathon >>>
Athens Marathon, November
This is where the first marathon started over 2500 years ago! Hopefully the originators fate won’t happen to you, but the very first marathon was run by a man named Phillipides who ran from Marathon to Athens (42.195 km) to announce that the Greeks had defeated the Persians. He then collapsed and died. If running a full marathon scares you, join in for the 5k or 10k run.
Queenstown Marathon, New Zealand, November
This is one of New Zealand’s newest and hands down, most spectacular marathon for the scenery. This running festival also includes a half marathon, 10km and 3km runs for the whole family between the Crown Ranges and the Remarkables and runs through the best of Queenstown.
Reggae Marathon, Jamaica, December
Head to Negril Jamaica, get your reggae running style on and enjoy the event, the food, and the reggae beats along the way. They also have a 5k and 10k run.
Need tips on how to get ‘marathon ready’? This post has some great advice for how to prepare for your first marathon including training plans, fuel for the day, footwear and more. Click here for the