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Jog on – doing a runner all over the world

Date posted: 23.04.2023

Participating in a marathon can be a life-changing experience – not only do you get to test your physical limits by training for a 26.2 mile run, but you also get to experience different cultures and explore new places.

The London Marathon is this weekend, which will attract an estimated 50,000 runners with many more thousands of spectators lining the streets, but did you know that there are thousands of other marathons held around the world?

In this blog, we wanted to highlight some suggestions for anyone who is looking to travel to run a marathon outside the UK.

If you are planning a package holiday to run a marathon overseas, make sure you look for the ATOL logo when booking your trip and we also recommend taking out travel insurance and paying by credit card which may offer extra levels of protection.

Athens Marathon, Greece

According to legend, the original marathon occurred in 490 BC when a messenger named Pheidippides ran from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians.

Today, the Athens Marathon follows this historic route and is considered one of the most important marathons in the world. It is a challenging race that starts in the town of Marathon and ends in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, the same stadium that was used in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, when the distance of the race was ‘just’ 24.85 miles.

Ruins of the temple in Athens, Greece
Athens Greece

Boston and New York City Marathons, USA

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world, dating back to 1897. The course is known for its challenging hills including the famous “Heartbreak Hill.”

It is held annually on Patriots’ Day in April, attracting elite runners from around the globe. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is a goal for many runners, as it is one of the world’s most prestigious marathons.

Staying in the States, the New York City Marathon is held annually in early November and attracts over 50,000 runners. The course takes in all five boroughs of NYC, starting in Staten Island and finishing in Central Park.

The marathon is known for its large crowds and festive atmosphere, as well as the incredible views of the city that runners get to experience along the way.

New York Times Square
Times Square, New York

Tokyo Marathon, Japan

The Tokyo Marathon is known for its fast and flat course, making it a popular destination for runners looking to set a personal best time.

The marathon takes place in late February or early March and offers runners stunning views of Tokyo’s cityscape, including the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower. The event attracts over 30,000 runners each year, with many coming from outside of Japan to participate and is known for its well-organized logistics and friendly volunteers.

Busy street in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Berlin Marathon, Germany

The Berlin Marathon is one of the largest and fastest marathons in the world, with a course that is known for producing many world records.

The event takes place in September and features a course that winds through the streets of Berlin, passing many of the city’s famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall.  It attracts over 40,000 runners each year, making it one of the most popular marathons in the running calendar.

Berlin Brandenburg gate on sunny day
Berlin, Germany

Marathon des Sables, Morocco

Not for the faint-hearted, the Marathon des Sables, also known as the “toughest footrace on Earth,” is a six-day, 156-mile race through the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

Runners must carry all of their own food, water, clothing, and equipment for the duration of the race, and must also navigate through sand dunes, rocky terrain, and extreme temperatures. The event attracts runners from all over the world and is a true test of endurance and mental toughness.

In the 1904 Olympic marathon race in St Louis, the winner, Thomas Hicks, was given a mixture of brandy and strychnine by his trainers to help him finish the race.

Sand dune in the Sahara Desert
Sahara Desert

We’d recommend sticking to water or energy drinks, but whatever you do, participating in any of these marathons is sure to be a memorable and rewarding experience.

Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or just starting out, there is a marathon out there for everyone. So, lace up your running shoes and get ready to run!

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