City Marathon: These 5 Races Are the Most Beautiful in the World

LISTICLE | 07/25/2021
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Paris, London or Berlin, New York, Boston or Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Melbourne - it's hard to imagine a big city today without a marathon. The sport of running has long since become a travel and economic factor. These are five of the most beautiful city destinations for the marathon.


Tokyo Marathon, Japan

- Date: annually in February
- First edition: 2007
- Course record men: Dickson Kiptolo Chumba, 2014, 2:05:42
- Women's course record: Helah Kiprop, 2016, 2:21:27
- Entry fee: the equivalent of about 85 euros

The marathon has been run in Tokyo for more than 35 years, but until 2006 the event was reserved for elite male runners. Since its relaunch in 2007, Japan's largest marathon event has been open to all amateur runners. To get one of the approximately 36,000 starting places, however, you need luck and therefore often several attempts.

What makes the Tokyo Marathon special

The Tokyo Marathon is the perfect mixture of city sightseeing and getting to know a foreign but cosmopolitan culture. Thousands of marathon fans line the route as it runs in a star shape through Tokyo, passing all the major landmarks along the way. Many of the spectators are dressed up in colourful costumes and cheer on the athletes: "ganbatte kudasaiiiii!" - "don't give up"! Also perfect for the athletes: the tight network of aid stations along the course.


Paris Marathon, France

- Date: annually in the first half of April
- First edition: 1976
- Course record men: Kenenisa Bekele, 2014, 2:05:03
- Women's course record: Feyse Tadese, 2013, 2:21:06
- Entry fee: 80 to 115 euros depending on registration time.

The Paris Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world with rapidly increasing numbers of participants. In 2016, more than 40,000 runners crossed the finish line.

What makes the Paris Marathon so special

On foot and without traffic chaos through what is probably the most beautiful city in the world - that alone is worth the journey to the marathon. To run along the Champs-Élysées, which every sports fan knows from the Tour-de-France broadcasts, to approach the Eiffel Tower downstream along the Seine or to reach the shady Bois de Boulogne - all this is unforgettable. For many runners, marathon in Paris means pleasure endurance sport at its best.


New York City Marathon, USA

- Date: annually on the first Sunday in November
- First edition: 1970
- Course record men: Geoffrey Kiprono Mutai, 2011, 2:05:06
- Women's course record: Margaret Okayo, 2003, 2:22:31
- Entry fee: at least 358 USD

New York does the honors and also offers the superlative in the marathon: With more than 50,000 finishers, the "TCS New York City Marathon" is the largest marathon in the world.

What makes the New York Marathon so special

The popularity of the New York Marathon is based on the high attractiveness of the city and the route chosen for 40 years through all five boroughs - Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The running enthusiasm of New Yorkers also plays a role, creating a buzz along the route.

During marathon week, the city is in a state of emergency in the best sense of the word. It is therefore also worthwhile for non-runners to travel to the event. With a Race Week Event Ticket, you can soak up the flair of New York's running city during this time.


Chicago Marathon, USA

- Date: annually in the first half of October
- First edition: 1977
- Course record men: Dennis Kimetto, 2013, 2:03:45
- Women's course record: Paula Radcliffe, 2002, 2:17:18
- Entry fee: about 475 Euro

Around 45,000 people take to the starting line at the Chicago Marathon, accompanied by live music and the cheers of the spectators. There is probably no other city marathon where more fans come to the course to "carry" the runners to the finish line.

What makes the Chicago Marathon special

The "Bank of America Chicago Marathon", as it is officially called, runs in mostly pleasantly cool temperatures through the street canyons of the Chicago metropolis, past the huge skyscrapers that dominate the cityscape. At high speed, the course runs along the shore of Lake Michigan, through Grant Park, which is also the start and finish of the race.

The course in Chicago is flat, fast and therefore popular with professional runners. However, there is a risk due to the often strong winds.


Melbourne Marathon, Australia

- Date: annually in October
- First edition: 1978
- Course record men: Dominic Ondoro, 2014, 2:10:47
- Women's course record: Lisa Weightman, 2014, 2:26:05
- Entry fee: about 130 Euro

Participant numbers in the Melbourne Marathon have quadrupled in the past decade. More than 6,000 runners reach the finish line here in the meantime. The marathon is part and highlight of the Melbourne Marathon Festival with various running events.

What makes the Melbourne Marathon special

At the Melbourne Marathon, runners experience the City Down Under with its sights, Yarra Park and Port Phillip Bay. However, the undisputed highlight is the start and finish point of the marathon: the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The gigantic stadium, opened in 1854, holds more than 100,000 spectators. In addition to cricket and Australian football, the stadium has hosted Olympic Games (1956, 2000), a papal mass (1986) and performances by stars such as the Rolling Stones, Madonna and U2.

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