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12 Cool Marathons From Around the World

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As athletes are gearing up for the annual Mumbai marathon, we take a look at some of the coolest marathons from around the world. Apart from some of the most scenic views on earth, these marathons give you a taste of wine, history and safari as well.

norway

Marathon of the Midnight Sun, Norway

 

Located in the city of Tromso, in Norway, this marathon happens to be the most northerly marathon in the world. As you have probably already figured from the name, the marathon takes place in the middle of the night, with the midnight sun illuminating the way.

 

china

Great Wall Marathon, China

 

This marathon starts in a village that is a couple hours northeast of Beijing and heads straight for the Great Wall of China. As runners go up and down the 5,164 steps that make up the wall, they are treated to stunning 360˚ views of the countryside. The course then heads back through the villages and rice fields to Beijing.  The ascents and descents mean that runners take 50 percent longer to run this marathon than any other race, but the course has an 8 hour time limit.

africa

The Big Five Marathon, South Africa

 

The Big Five Marathon is a wild experience, since it is held on the Entabeni Game Reserve in the South African savannah, where there is nothing separating the animals from the runners. The route goes up steep climbs, down ridges and across valleys, passing through the habitats of animals like elephants, zebras, antelopes, gazelles, rhinos, gazelles, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards.

 

france

Marathon du Medoc, France

 

This is the perfect marathon for party goers, since it’s basically a food and wine festival being passed off as a marathon. Held in the southwest of France, it has a scenic route that has several food and wine stalls along the way, serving everything from oysters and meats to cheese and fruits, with plenty of wine, of course. People say that this is the most fun you can have while running a marathon, since participants also have to dress up in costumes to match the theme that is decided for every year.

 

greece

Athens Classic Marathon, Greece

 

This is where marathon running began, when the ancient Greek hero Pheidippides’ ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver the good news of Greece’s victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. The course starts in an ancient battlefield in the town of Marathon, near the Aegean Sea, and climbs upward towards the city of Athens, ending in the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.

boston

Boston Marathon, USA

 

The world’s oldest annual city marathon, the Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious runningevents in the world. Participants must qualify based on their timing from another race within the last one a half years in order to be eligible to run this marathon. Starting in a rural town outside Boston, the course is a downhill one that passes several New England towns and ultimately ends in the city of Boston. Tragedy struck this event in 2013, when two terrorists detonated bombs at the finish line.

chile

Boston Marathon, USA

 

The world’s oldest annual city marathon, the Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious runningevents in the world. Participants must qualify based on their timing from another race within the last one a half years in order to be eligible to run this marathon. Starting in a rural town outside Boston, the course is a downhill one that passes several New England towns and ultimately ends in the city of Boston. Tragedy struck this event in 2013, when two terrorists detonated bombs at the finish line.

london

Virgin Money London Marathon, UK

 

This is one of the largest marathons in the world, with over 40,000 runners taking part in it every year. The route begins at Greenwich Park and ends at Buckingham Palace, passing some of England’s most iconic landmarks along the way, including the Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye, the River Thames and the Tower Bridge. Apart from the monuments, participants get entertained along the course by the crazy costumes worn by the runners and other amusements along the way.

 

berlin

BMW Berlin Marathon, Germany

 

This is one of the fastest courses in the world, where several world marathon records have been set. Starting at the iconic Bradenburg Gate and looping around the city of Berlin, the race takes its participants past some significant historical venues. Some of these include the Reichstag, where the Third Reich once met, to the Tiergarten, a famous city park, to Potsdamer Platz, a public square where the Berlin Wall once sat, and the Berlin Cathedral.

burma

Bagan Temple Marathon, Myanmar

 

Bagan is a town tucked away in central Myanmar that is home to over 2,000 temples. The course of the marathon takes runners past the sacred pagodas and scenic temples that dot the countryside of Burma, or Myanmar as it is now known. In fact, this marathon is the latest one to be set up by the same company that organises the Big Five Marathon in South Africa and the Great Wall Marathon in China.

niagara

Niagara Falls International Marathon, USA and Canada

 

This marathon crosses international borders, since it starts in the USA and ends in Canada. The course begins with a short stretch through the town of Buffalo on the American side, before crossing the International Peace Bridge to the Canadian side. It has an 18 mile stretch on the Niagara Parkway, Ontario, before finishing at the breathtaking Niagara Falls. Participants have to do their customs formalities when they pick up their running packets, so there’s quite a bit of paperwork to get in order before the run.

antarctica

Antarctic Ice Marathon, Antarctica 

 

This marathon is extremely challenging, since participants have to battle snow and ice, as well as a windchill factor of -20˚C while running. It is also expensive, since each runner has to pay a fee of over €10,000 in order to participate in the run. As mind boggling as that is, the marathon gets sold out every year nevertheless.

Source-healthmeup.com