The Best Marathon Running Races Around The World

You are looking to run an overseas marathon but not too sure which one you should take part in? Here are a few of the best marathon running races around the world that you can consider.

You have decided to run a marathon. But which marathon should you choose?

You have decided to run a marathon. But which marathon should you choose?

Paris Marathon

If you want to combine a sightseeing holiday with your marathon race, then the Paris Marathon is a great choice. The race route will take you through some of the top attractions of France’s capital city, including the Champs-Elysees, the Louvre and the Notre Dame cathedral.

If you don’t like hills and elevations, then the Paris Marathon course will suit you very well, because the race is run on relatively flat ground.

For more information on the Paris Marathon, click here:

Athens Marathon

This is one race that you simply have to do, because this is run on the original marathon course. The Athens Marathon takes you through the exact same route that Pheidippides ran in 490BC from the city of Marathon to Athens in Greece – to announce the battle victory against the Persians. So to all marathon runners, this historic route should have plenty of meaning as it takes you to the very origins of the marathon itself.

There are also plenty of meaningful historical landmarks along this route for casual marathoners to take pictures of. These include the Marathon Tomb, which is a site of honor built to commemorate the 192 people who lost their lives during the Battle of Marathon.

You can find out more about the Athens Marathon here:

Berlin Marathon

If you are having trouble beating your latest personal best timing, then this is definitely the right marathon course for you. The Berlin Marathon is well known around the world for having one of the flattest marathon courses.

In fact, a large number of world records have even been set at the Berlin Marathon. A recent example is Kenyan marathoner Wilson Kispang, who set the latest world record (2hours 3minutes and 23seconds) on this course late last year.

To read more about the Berlin Marathon, click here:

London Marathon

You can see sights such as the London Eye and Big Ben along the London Marathon route.

You can see sights such as the London Eye and Big Ben along the London Marathon route.

If you have always wanted to explore England’s capital city, then the London Marathon is a good way to do so. But you must be able to snag a slot in this highly popular marathon first though, through their annual race slot lottery.

The race route takes you through London’s premiere attractions, such as the London Eye, the River Thames and the Tower Bridge. You will be able to go on a scenic 42km sightseeing tour of England’s capital city – and finish your run right inside the grounds of the iconic Buckingham Palace.

Discover more about the London Marathon by clicking here:

The Great Wall of China Marathon

If you simply love punishment and extreme slopes, then this is a marathon that you may want to consider.

As the name suggests, this race route will take you all the way up the Great Wall of China, where you must climb exactly 5,164 steps to reach the top, but you will be rewarded with a stunning 360 degrees view of the scenic Chinese countryside once you are at the summit. The rest of the route comprises of picturesque Chinese villages and rice fields.

For more details on the Great Wall Marathon, click here:

New York City Marathon

This scenic and well-organised marathon is practically the best way to explore the beautiful New York City, if you are a runner. The race route takes you through all the five boroughs of New York City – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Fourth Avenue, before finishing at the iconic Central Park. This gives you a good view of the lovely New York City skyline too. However, do note that the course is quite challenging and has a substantial number of hills.

To find out more about the New York City marathon, click here:

Boston Marathon

This is the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world, and millions of applicants apply every year for a few thousand places – in this race. So if you are able to meet the qualifying times (3hours 5minutes for males and 3hours 35minutes for females), then you should certainly take part in this run – at least once in your lifetime.

But if you can’t make the qualifying times though and would still like to participate, you can always put your name down and vie for a charity bib. You can take part as a charity runner as long as you are able to raise the amount of money that is required of the charity organisation of your choice.

You can find out more about the Boston Marathon here:

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  • nws says:

    A few noteworthy marathons have been missed out but these are just my opinion (not exhaustive):

    1) Tokyo Marathon
    2) Walt Disney World Marathon
    3) Seoul International Marathon
    4) Paris Marathon
    5) Gold Coast Airport Marathon (increasing popular with runners)
    6) Adidas Auckland marathon (saw your review for

    AIMS (the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) has a good collection of all the well known international running marathons.
    Maybe you can compile a list of world’s toughest marathons too =)

    • Priscilla says:

      Thanks for your comment on races.

      Mine is just a list of the marathons that can be considered – I didn’t want a long list. Haha, if I include everything, my list would be 20+ pages! So I just selected a few.

      Your Paris Marathon is already on my list.

      I don’t think that I would include the Adidas Auckland Marathon into the list, as I think it doesn’t quite have the name and recognition of other famous marathons, like London or Boston.

      And for the Walt Disney marathon, this is already on my next list of interesting races for another day.

      But anyway, thanks for your suggestions.

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