1. New York City Marathon – United States
Sunday 1st November 2020
One of the most well-known marathons that even us non-runners know about, the New York City Marathon attracts 50,000 runners and more than a million spectators each year.
The course winds through the five boroughs of NYC: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. It is the world’s largest marathon, so people from all over the globe flock to see it.
There’s a lot of direct flights to New York from destinations around the world, and you can get around most places on foot. It’s best to stay in midtown New York, with heaps of hotel options, and it’s walking distance to the marathon finish line.
2. Boston Marathon – United States
Monday 20th April 2020
The Boston Marathon is one of the oldest in the world, with the first run taking place in 1897. Yep, that old! Apparently the appeal of this race is that the qualifying standards are harder than other marathons. Sounds hard to me! The race goes through eight cities and towns across Massachusetts.
Hotels near the marathon fill up quickly, so it’s best to book as early as possible. Certain hotels on Boylston Street offer views of the finish line if that’s what you’re looking for.
3. Paris International Marathon - France
Sunday 5th April 2020
In April, the buzzing atmosphere is what brings people to the Paris Marathon, and it’s a scenic delight, starting at the Champs Elysées, and continuing along some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as the Louvre, the Bastille and the Eiffel Tower. There’s also red wine and cheese served at the 35km mark, so perhaps we might enter this one…
You can always snag a flight deal to Paris, and if not only to watch or participate in the race, it’s the perfect excuse for a French holiday. Paris is a huge city, so stick to a budget, and try and find a place near the metro, as it’s the fastest way of getting around the city.
4. Virgin Money London Marathon – United Kingdom
Sunday 26th April 2020
London town is packed to the brim on marathon day, and it’s not only the elite runners that participate. You’ll see plenty of amateur runners in costumes in the name of charity, and you might even spot a few celebrities too if you’re lucky. The London landmarks are a real attraction, including the excitement of going past the Buckingham Palace in the last few metres. What a sight!
There’s plenty of places to stay around London, and The Tube is a cheap and easy away to get around during your time there.
5. Great Wall Marathon - China
Saturday 16th May 2020
Another scenic beauty and an extreme challenge, The Great Wall Marathon runs along the Great Wall of China, to the east of Beijing. It is a gruelling race, due to the amount of climbing, including giant staircases that have more than 5000 steps. I’m hurting just thinking about it!
You’ll be able to find Great Wall Marathon travel packages online, which includes accommodation, and transportation.
6. Great Ocean Road Marathon - Australia
Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th May 2020
Australia’s most stunning running event, this race winds along the Southern Ocean coastline in Victoria, with spectacular views all the way along, from Lorne to Apollo Bay in this 44km race. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the beauty that the Great Ocean Road has to offer.
A flight to Melbourne will vary depending on where in the world you are, but there are also travel packages, as well as heaps of holiday homes available along the different travel points.
7. Napa Valley Marathon – United States
Sunday 1st March 2020
I’d only say yes to this marathon because it weaves through Wine Country in the Napa Valley. So you can sneak into a winery at the end, right? Following the Silverado Trail from Calistoga to Napa, this 3000-person race is definitely one to witness.
Fly into San Francisco airport, and hire a car to drive to Napa, about a 95km journey. There are hotels which offer spa treatments (bliss!) so check them out when booking accommodation.
8. Antarctic Ice Marathon - Antarctica
Sunday 13th December 2020
For a once in a lifetime experience, the Antarctic Ice Marathon is the way to go. With snow and ice throughout, the average temperature is -20C, beginning 955km from the South Pole, with participants wearing balaclavas and ski goggles and running at an altitude of 700 metres. While there are no spectators, this marathon is worthy of a mention because it’s the ultimate challenge for die-hard runners out there.