The 10 best marathons and half-marathons worldwide

The 10 best marathons and half-marathons worldwide by Nordea Riga Marathon

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 27th February 2012 and has been read 27854 times.

It's so important to stay fit and healthy on your year abroad, but it's a lot easier if you have a goal in mind. Everyone secretly wants to run a half or full marathon, so why not take advantage of the fact that you're abroad and can run in the sun?! Now's your chance! Here's a list of the top marathons and half marathons in the world, with some first time marathon stories and training programmes to make the whole process less scary...
Check out our fancy dress fun run article for shorter events nearer home.

Top shorter races in Europe

Runner’s World have compiled a list of their top ten in chronological order (they know best!) so here they are with links so you can find out more:

1. City-Pier-City - half marathon/10km/5km in The Hague, The Netherlands on 11th March 2012.

2. Stramilano - 10km in Milan on 25th March 2012.

3. Meia Maratona de Lisboa - half marathon in Portugal on 25th March 2012.

4. Berlin Halbmarathon - half marathon in Berlin on 22nd April 2012.

5. Göteborgs Varvet - 21km in Gothenburg, Sweden on 10th May 2012.

6. 20km de Bruxelles - 20km in Brussels, Belgium on 27th May 2012.

7. Ballycotton 10 - 10km in Co. Cork, Ireland on 4th March 2012.

8. Route Du Vin - half-marathon in Luxembourg in September 2012.

9. Paris-Versailles - Paris on 30th September 2012.

10. Marseille-Cassis- 20km in Marseille on 28th October 2012.

Marathon Running

Only lunatics run marathons, right? Wrong! They are a great target for getting fit and healthy, and are an opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. Here are some first time marathon stories and world marathon guides to inspire you, and this is a great database of all the Marathons in the world in chronological order, but according to fitsugar the top 10 marathons in the world are:

1. New York City — 43,660 participants, and takes place on 4th November 2012.

2. London — 36,549 participants, and takes place on 22nd April 2012.

3. Berlin — 35,035 participants, and takes place on 30th September 2012.

4. Chicago — 33,703 participants, and takes place on 7th October 2012.

5. Paris — 30,976 participants, and takes place on 15th April 2012.

6. Tokyo — 30,182 participants, and takes place on February 2013.

7. Boston — 22,540 participants, and takes place on April 15th 2013.

8. Marine Corps in Washington DC -  20,882 participants, and takes place on 28th October 2012.

9. Disney World Orlando — 16,933 participants, and takes place on 10th January 2013

10. Hamburg — 15,147 participants, and takes place on 29th April 2012

The marathons will require you to estimate the time you will take in order that they can stagger the start of the race. It’s better for your morale to be at the back of a fast group (and overtake people every so often) than at the front of a slow group (and get overtaken!) The Runners World smart coach will help you work out your timings. Marathon training plans are helpful however proficient you are. Here’s the Runners World schedule and Hal Higdon’s training programme too.

Good luck!

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