There is hardly a country on the planet that doesn’t have their own marathon. Europe offers ambitious runners a great choice of long distance runs with different route profiles and weather conditions. Here, we present the five most stunning marathon races in Europe:
Photo: Jungfrau Marathon Schweiz
Since 1993, the Jungfrau Marathon has taken place each year at the beginning of September in the Bernese Oberland. It is one of the most popular mountain marathons in the world and offers incredible panoramic views, thanks to its unique course that runs by the most popular mountains in Switzerland including the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
The race starts in Interlaken at 565m above sea level and ends on top of the Kleine Scheidegg at 2095m in front of the famous mountain triumvirate. Participants have to conquer 1829m climb and 305m of descent, with the highest point at kilometer 41 at a height of 2205m above sea level. In the last kilometer the route heads downhill to the finish at Kleine Scheidegg.
NEXT DATE: September 10, 2016
Once in a lifetime every marathon runner should participate at this classic race. The Athens marathon is said to be the origin of all 42km races and long distance runners can expect a journey through ancient times. From the historic village of Marathon, east of Athens, the participants run the original route to the Greece capital. Finishing the race in the monumental Panathinaiko stadium with its grand marble scenery is certain to raise some goose bumps. This was where runner Spyridon Louis won the very first marathon of the first Olympic Games in the modern era.
NEXT DATE : November 13, 2016
After London and Berlin the marathon in Paris is the third biggest race in Europe. It will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016. Since 1976 the Paris Marathon has taken place in April (with exception of 1991) and ranks eighth in the list of the world’s fastest marathons.
Contrary to London and New York, everyone – no matter which nationality – can sign up for the Marathon de Paris, and has the same chances of winning a spot. Runners start at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and cross the Place de la Concorde before heading east. The first half of the course is pretty flat, while the second part runs across the hilly Bois de Boulogne, before heading to the Avenue Foch at kilometer 42. Runners cross the finish line with the Arc de Triomphe in full view.
NEXT DATE: April 09, 2017
The Hamburg Marathon is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and the first race over a distance of 42.195 kilometers with its route marked out with a permanent blue line. For the last three years the race has kicked off at the Hamburg Messe and then traversed the Hanseatic city.
The Hamburg Marathon is known for its scenic route, which runs past the city’s most iconic spots and is always attended by an enthusiastic audience, creating a very special atmosphere along the route.
NEXT DATE: April 23, 2017
Embedded in majestic mountains, Graubünden offers runners unique surroundings. The different routes of the Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos lead through a stunning landscape from Bergün to Davos, with organizers offering different distances and additional variations for ultra-runners. The K42 (marathon distance) of 1890m of altitude starts in Bergün and is almost identical with the second part of the K78 variation for ultra-runners, which covers 80km and 2200m of altitude. Ultra-runners also have an exclusive opportunity to cross the panoramic trail behind the Kesch lodge while the regular marathon runners take the Alp Funtauna at 2192m above sea level to get to the Scaletta pass. Since 2003 participants also have the chance to choose the C42 variation, which is a second marathon distance that doesn’t run through the mountains.
NEXT DATE: July 28 - 30, 2017