The Best Marathons in the World

The best marathons in the world are the oldest, the most prestigious and the most complicated. Every runner wants to be a part of them!
The Best Marathons in the World

Last update: 08 May, 2020

Would you like to run one of the most important events on the calendar? In addition to physical preparation, it’s essential to know their main characteristics. In this article, we’ll tell you about the best marathons in the world.

What are the best marathons in the world?

The prestige of running at least one of the best marathons in the world is on the mind of almost every runner. If you still don’t know which one to participate in, we’ll tell you about them to help you choose:

1. Berlin marathon

It’s a race in the German capital that has been held since 1974 and is 26.2 miles. It’s been a part of the World Marathon Majors since 2013. In its first edition, 286 runners participated, and in the most recent, more than 25,000.

The first winner was the German runner, Gunter Hallas, with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes and 53 seconds. Several records have been broken in this race. The last one was the Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, in 2018 with a time of 2:01:39. In the female category, the record holder is the Japanese runner, Naoko Takahashi, at 2:21:49 in 2001.

2. Best marathons: Athens

This marathon has been held between the cities of Marathon and Athens in Greece, every November since 1972. The goal is to reach the Panathinaikó Stadium, the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The 26.2-mile route is based on a legend: the Athenian soldier Philippi ran from the Battle of Marathon to the Greek capital to communicate the news of the Hellenic victory against the Persians in 490 B.C.

The word records of the Athens marathon have been held by the Kenyan Felix Kipchirchir Kandie since 2014, with a time of 2:10:37. Since 2010, the Lithuanian, Rasa Drazdauskaité, has a time of 2:31:06. The race was won most by Greeks and Kenyans (twenty-two and eleven, respectively).

3. Boston marathon

The Boston Marathon.

This is another of the great marathons and the oldest since the first ones date back to 1897. It takes place in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, on the third Monday in April. In fact, this day is also Patriot’s Day.

The first winner was American, John J. McDermott at 2:55:10. Only in 1966 did women join the competition; the first winner was Roberta Gibb, who also won the following two races. In addition, in 1975 the men’s wheelchair race was added and two years later, the women’s.

In order to participate in the Boston Marathon- on the cover- the requirement is to have a record that’s less than the established time limits. For example, men from 18 to 34 years are less than three hours, while women need to be less than three and a half hours.

4. Barcelona: one of the best marathons

This is another of the best marathons in the world, which is held in the Catalan capital. It has taken place since 1980, on the main streets of the city on the first Sunday of March. The number of participants has been increasing: it went from less than 5,000 in 2006 to almost 20,000 in 2012.

The records of the Barcelona marathon have been held by Kenyan, Jackson Kipkoech Kotut, since 2010 (2:07:30) and the Ethiopian, Helen Bekele, since 2017 (2:25:04).

5. Chicago: another of the best marathons

This is also one of the World Marathon Majors, and it’s held in the great city of Chicago, Illinois. In fact, it’s one of the fastest in the world because of the runners’ records. The male record is held by a Moroccan-American, Khalid Khannouchi, with 2:05:42, and the female record is held by the British runner, Paula Radcliffe with 2:17:18.

The Chicago Marathon.

The Chicago marathon happens on the Sunday before Columbus Day Weekend in October. The first edition was in 1905 with only 15 runners. However, since 1977, it’s become one of the best marathons in the world, both for men and women.

More of the best marathons in the world

In addition to the ones we mentioned, some of the other best marathons in the world are the London Marathon, the New York Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon, the Havana Marathon, the Madrid Marathon, the Miami Marathon, the Mexico City Marathon, the Paris Marathon, the Rome Marathon, the North Pole Marathon and the San Sebastian Marathon.

As you can see, there are options for all different tastes and in lots of different countries. Because of this and since they’re all very competitive, you can choose the one you like the most and take a trip to participate. Surely you won’t regret it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.