Run the world - top 5 marathons
Not everyone dreams of a drop-and-flop holiday. If the thought of a gym-free vacay or no time to train sends your heart palpitating in a bad way, why not set your sights on ticking off the world’s top five marathons? You’ll get to run in some of the world’s most prestigious races in major cities with thousands of participants from around the globe, just for starters. If you’re serious about setting some goals and going for it (all 26.2 miles or 42.195 kilometres), start working on your training regime and working on your fitness, times and plan of attack now for 2016 as registrations run out early. Here’s some fitspo to get your heart racing...
Marathon de Paris
Last year, 50,000 registered runners competed in the Paris Marathon with a third of participants from overseas, going through 35,600 litres of Powerade and 436, 497 bottles of Vittel water at the refreshment stands. The Marathon de Paris crosses five Parisian neighbourhoods, taking in plenty of iconic sights such as the Champs-Elysées, Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Need some motivation? The oldest runner in 2014 was 85!
Race day: April 12, 2015
The route: The looping route starts at the Arc de Triomphe and along the Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde and on to Place de la Bastille before finishing again near the Arc de Triomphe.
The US’s most prestigious and oldest road race, Boston Marathon rallied last year with 36,000 registered runners and a rumoured million people (double the usual number of spectators) lining the route after the 2013 bombings and its own hashtag #BostonStrong. Now in its 119th year, the Boston Marathon is held on Patriot’s Day and the official post-race party (Boston Marathon Mile 27) will be at historic Fenway Park.
Race day: April 20, 2015
The route: The Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton (a rural New England town outside the city) and makes its way through several Massachusetts towns with the finish line at Boylston Street in the city centre.
Why do a double-decker tour of London when you can run past all the iconic landmarks during the London Marathon? Granted you won’t really be looking at Big Ben, the London Eye, the Thames, Tower of London or Tower Bridge while you’re pounding the course, but you will be appreciate being in the midst of this popular road race that attracts around 40,000 runners annually. Run into a pub for a well-earned pint after the race.
Race day: April 26, 2015
The route: The course has three different starts in Blackheath in the borough border of Lewisham and Greenwich, following the blue line to Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, along the Thames and past the Houses of Parliament and finishing in The Mall, where Buckingham Palace resides.
New York City Marathon
One of the biggies, who can forget Elaine’s friend yelling out the window to the NYC Marathon runners: “You’re all winners!” in Seinfeld? The world’s most popular and biggest marathon had over 50,000 finishers last year and puts on a pre-race Marathon Eve Pasta Dinner (also with gluten-free options) to help you fuel up for the big race. This year, the millionth finisher in the 45-year marathon will cross the line.
Race day: November 1, 2015
The route: The course covers all five boroughs in NYC, starting in Staten Island, moving through Brooklyn into Queens, crossing the Queensboro Bridge and up First Avenue to the Bronx before doubling back along Fifth Avenue and finishing in Central Park South.
Athens Classic Marathon
As the story goes, the Ancient Greek messenger Phidippides ran 24 miles from Marathon to Athens to relay the news of victory against the Persian army, and so the modern marathon was born. The Athens Classic Marathon is recognised as the original marathon course and the same route used in the 2004 Olympics. It’s regarded as a challenging road race with different elevations on your way from the sea to the city.
Race day: November 8, 2015
The route: The start of the Athens Classic Marathon is in the ancient battlefield of Marathon near the Aegean Sea, ending at the Olympic Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and passing the Tomb of Marathon Runners along the way.