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The 8 Best Marathons To Join


Marathons have reached a new cultural high. This is largely in part to the rising popularity of health and fitness. But, it is also because of a growing trend on social media focused on completing multiple marathons.

Many personalities have emerged on Facebook and Twitter, covering their preparation and competition in different marathons, often in exotic locations. This has sparked off a rise in many recreational marathon runners to begin their own multi-billion journeys. But, with the many different places in which marathons are held, it can be difficult to find out which ones are worth competing in, and which ones are best left alone.

With this in mind, we decided to review the eight best marathons that are regularly hosted and that anyone can compete in.

Best Marathons #1: The Great Wall Marathon, Tianjin, China

Date: 20th of May

Location: Huangya Pass, China, Asia

Official website: http://great-wall-marathon.com/

To start this list is one of the most exotic options that you could choose. The great Wall marathon does what it says and has you following the great wall’s route for an eight hour run. Along with some amazing scenery, the run also gives you a chance to explore the great Wall like never before, and possibly tick another item off your bucket list.

One thing that may not some runners, and should be considered when looking at this choice, is the hot and humid temperatures, which can reach up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. So, those who have problems with heat should probably take note of this.

Great Wall Marathon

Best Marathons #2: BMW Berlin Marathon

Date: 19th of October

Location: Berlin, Germany, Europe

Official website: http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/

This is one of the more diverse options on the list, with multiple types of runs to choose from, alongside the classic 24 mile track there is a team run and a skate or cycling and wheelchair option.

The Berlin Marathon offers a choice for everyone, from the beginner looking for something fun and easy to start off with, to the hardened veterans looking to dominate another competition.

BMW Berlin Marathon

Best Marathons #3: Napa Valley Marathon, California, USA

Date: 5th of March

Location: Calistoga, CA, USA

Official website: http://napavalleymarathon.org/

For those who enjoy beautiful scenery, the Napa Valley Marathon is hard to beat. The event is also very well managed, with transfers from multiple hotels, in-race supplements and beverages, and a Post-cycle shower and food all included in the event.

The weather, while warm, is also very pleasant, with both heat and humidity reasonably cool for running in. So, for those who are seeking a view with their run, the Napa Valley provides more than enough to gaze at.

Best Marathons #4: Niagara Falls International Marathon, Canada

Date: 15th of October

Location: Buffalo, NY, USA to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Official website: https://niagarafallsmarathon.com/

The Niagara Falls International Marathon is one of the most popular marathons in the world, which should come as unsurprising, considering the Falls themselves are one of the biggest tourist destinations around.

Like the Great Wall Marathon, this option offers a way to both take on a grueling marathon and see one of the most popular sights in the world, making it an ideal choice for runners with a flare for tourism.

Niagara falls

Best Marathons #5: SSE AIRTRICITY Dublin Marathon, Ireland

Date: 29th of October

Location: Dublin, Ireland, Europe

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dublinmarathon/

The Dublin Marathon is another very popular choice for runners, particularly Europeans. This is because of the varied scenery, which includes a run through both the city and the landmark Phoenix Park.

It also includes a host of additions including a free full Irish breakfast, supplements and beverages provided during the race, and a post-race meet-up and buffet. So, for those looking for an all-inclusive event, the Dublin Marathon offers a fun day out.

SSE AIRTRICITY Dublin Marathon

Best Marathons #6: Virgin Money London Marathon, UK

Date: 23rd of April

Location: London, UK, Europe

Official website: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/

This Marathon is a great way to see London city, and is also one of the busiest marathons in the world. So, while this is a well-organized and highly competitive event, it may be a little too difficult for some beginners to start off with.

So, if you’re an intermediate or advanced runner with a history of completing marathons, the London Marathon is a good choice. However, some of the other choices on this list may suit you better if you’re just starting out.

Virgin London Marathon

Best Marathons #7: Athens Marathon, Greece

Date: 12th of November

Location: Athens, Greece, Europe

Official website: http://www.athensauthenticmarathon.gr/site/index.php/en/

Returning to the country where the marathon started has an obvious appeal to it. But, aside from the historic location, there is a lot to love about the Greek Marathon that makes it stand out as one of the premier places for the run.

Firstly, the marathon makes full use of the Ancient Greek setting, with the run starting in the famous Hippodrome and follows a route that gives you full view of the ancient temples and old city structures.

But, it also merges this old-fashioned scenic route with some cutting edge technology, as information and updates in the race are delivered through their own marathon app, which can make preparation for the event a lot easier.

Overall, for both novice and advanced runners, the Athens Marathon will offer an enjoyable, unique and challenging experience.

Athens Marathon

Best Marathons #8: Antarctic Ice Marathon, Antarctica

Date: 24th of November

Location: Union Glacier, Antarctica

Official website: http://www.icemarathon.com/

This option is undoubtedly for the more extreme and brave-hearted individuals. It is also the most exotic choice, complete with a stopover in Chile with a pre-departure briefing and equipment check.

This run offers both a full and half-marathon and follows a route that travels along the mountainous and icy terrain, beginning and ending at a base camp.

But, while the difficulty of this option is obvious, another reason it is reserved for the most elite and experienced runners and extreme sports enthusiasts is the price, with a registration fee of 15,000 euros.

So, if you’ve completed a range of different marathons, or you’re an extreme sportsperson who is looking for the ultimate challenge, then the Antarctic Ice Marathon will push you like never before.

World Marathon Challenge Antarctica

So, Which Is The Best Marathon?

Marathons offer a great way to increase fitness, test yourself to the limits, and can offer a lifelong passion and hobby. As can be seen above, they can also offer a means of seeing the world’s landmark sights and taking in some magnificent scenery, along with visiting many different countries and continents.

Along with this, many of the above options also offer half-marathons, skating and cycling routes along with spectator options. So, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, there is a reason to see, or participate in, all of the above events.

Picture credits: Wikipedia, Steffen Zahn, Peter Mooney, Stephen Craven, Brakspear [Public domain], HBaraka