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To be a marathon runner, you’ve got to be more than just physically fit. You’ve got to be mentally prepared for the mega challenge ahead.
However, for those who are insane enough to consider running a marathon, you’re in the right place. This is a guide to the seven ultimate marathons for any (very) keen runner.
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The London Marathon
It has been going since 1981 and more than 30,000 people ever year turn out to tackle the 26.2 mile course in April.
The Virgin Money London Marathon takes three different routes, all of which conclude at The Mall. There is definitely something rewarding in finishing a marathon in front of Buckingham Palace and alongside St. James’s Park.
The course is largely on flat ground by the River Thames, so in terms of any additional challenges, you’re pretty safe.
Since it was established, the London Marathon has raised over £450 million for charity. If you are a talented long-distance runner, this marathon is definitely one you can use to harness your talent for good.
The Tokyo Marathon
Anyone who loves something quirky will love the bragging rights that come with saying you completed the Tokyo Marathon.
It was established in 2007 after two marathons in Tokyo just a month apart was deemed to unattainable. This meant the number of people registering skyrocketed to 308,810.
The course is described as incorporating the “past, present and future” of Tokyo and is on road surface throughout.
What better way is there to spend some time away in the month of February? Tokyo may be calling…
The New York City Marathon
It is always a pleasure to be in New York City. Even more so when the spirit of a marathon is hanging in the air too.
The New York Marathon is one of the most famous in the world. In 2013, it had a record number of 50,304 finishers and has been running (pardon the pun) for 47 years.
As you’d expect of New York, there are high expectations. To guarantee to qualify, you must meet the time requirements. So, don’t go rushing into it if you’re not the best you can be just yet.
Taking place on the first Sunday of November – and part of the route going through Central Park – you are guaranteed for some stunning autumn scenery. If that’s not enough to get you training already, what will?
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The Athens Classic Marathon
There’s something magical about Athens, what with it’s philosophical history and superior architecture.
The Athens Classic Marathon was established in 1972 and takes you on a tour of such an amazing city’s past. Its route is based on the legend of Pheidippides, an Ancient Greek messenger. He ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek’s victory over the Persians.
Make no mistake: this marathon is one of the most difficult in the world. It is up hill from 10km to 31km, making it the hardest of all the Major Marathons.
If you’re entertaining this one, we salute you.
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The Two Oceans Marathon
The Two Oceans Marathon is known internationally as the world’s most beautiful. Set against the backdrop of the scenic Cape Peninsula, you will not be disappointed by the views.
Since it was established in 1970, the marathon has grown in popularity. Some 11,000 runners tackle the Ultra Marathon, which is a 56km course. However, you can opt for a 21km half-marathon instead.
Finishing at the University of Cape Town on the Saturday of Easter weekend, the Two Oceans Marathon is a real challenge for any athlete.
The Boston Marathon
Held on Patriots’ Day – the third Saturday of April – the Boston Marathon is one of the most famous in the world.
Not only is it one of the most famous, it is the world’s oldest annual marathon. Established way back in 1897, the Boston Marathon is a course for those who truly love the sport.
Some 500,000 spectators watch the event while an average of around 30,000 people take part each year.
It’s certainly prestigious and it would be pretty awesome to have your name down as a finisher…
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The Berlin Marathon
The Berlin Marathon course has set the most marathon world records for both men and women. This definitely gives you a chance, then!
In 2016, the race had 46,950 entrants, so it is definitely popular with the people. This is probably because of its famously even and flat profile along the roads.
If you require any more persuasion, this marathon is a particular force for unity and good. Only in 1990 were athletes permitted to run through the Brandenburg Gate because of the division of Berlin following World War Two.
Many reports claim that some of the great runners had tears in their eyes as they made it through the gate for the first time in 1990. Now, what more do you want?
Good luck with your marathon running. We wish you the best of luck.