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Marathon Races Around the World

Marathon Monday feature this week is about  marathon races around the world.

Every year more than 500 Marathons are organized worldwide.  According to Marathonguide.com the USA had 397 marathons take place, which is up from an estimated 372 in 2008.  The 2009 marathon report also recorded a record number of marathon finishers in 2009.   In total, nearly 468,000 marathon finishing times were recorded in the USA in 2009 – almost 43,000 more than the number of finishers from 2008.  The number of male finishers increased by 9.8%, while the number of female finishers grew by nearly 10.0%.  As has been the trend in most recent years.

The five largest and most prestigious races are Boston, New York City, Chicago, London and Berlin.  These marathons make up the biennial World Marathon Majors Series, awarding $500,000 to the best overall male and female performers in the series.

In 2006 Runners World selected a “World’s Top 10 Marathons”.  They had Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin in the top positions.  They also had Amsterdam, Honolulu, Paris, Rotterdam and Stockholm Marathons.  Three other marathons were also mentioned as being top marathons including Marine Corps, Los Angeles and Rome.  The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon.  Boston was inspired by the 1896 Olympic marathon has been held since 1897.  The oldest annual marathon in Europe is the Kosice Peace Marathon held since 1924 in Slovakia.

Using unofficial and temporary courses that are measured by GPS races of marathon distances are held at the North Pole, Antarctic and over desert terrain.  Among other unusual marathons are The Great Wall Marathon held on The  Great Wall of China, The Big Five Marathon held among the safari wildlife of South Africa, and the Great Tibetan Marathon held at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. The Polar Circle Marathon is held on the ice cap of Greenland in temperatures of  5 degrees farenheit or -15 degrees celsius.  Norway has the Midnight Sun Marathon is 70 degrees north.

The most scenic marathons routes include Steamboat Springs in Colorado, Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage Alaska, Kona Marathon held in Keauhou/Kona Hawaii, and San Francisco Marathon held in California.

The International Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is the only marathon where runners run over two continents, Europe and Asia.

Next Marathon Monday feature will be about marathon statistics and the world top ten time lists for men and women.



4 Responses

  1. t’s such a important site. cool, quite stimulating!!!




  2. I. love. this. post. I’m in training for my first half-marathon, and I think this blog will be a great source of inspiration for me! Among these top marathons, do you have a favorite, either from one you’ve seen or one you’ve been in?

    • I have run Philadelphia twice and Boston once. Philadelphia is a nice flat race with several areas for the family to cheer you on. Boston is Boston- you may not run as fast but it is great. The crowds are out all over once you enter Boston they really help if you are having problems (the wall).

  3. Excellent stuff…I will subscribe and follow your blog. I have posted your latest post to a new facebook page “running hub”…like 🙂 as something fellow runners may wish to look at.

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