The most famous are those in New York, with more than 50 thousand participants, that of Berlin and that of Athens. But there are many other suggestive marathons that can give unique emotions. Among them, we have the Outdoor Marathon in Australia, the Kilimanjaro Marathon, the Midnight Sun Marathon in Norvegia, the Inca Trail Marathon and the Grand to Grand Ultra.
The most famous are those in New York, with more than 50 thousand participants, that of Berlin and that of Athens. But there are many other suggestive marathons that can give unique emotions. Let’s discover together some of the best marathons in the world.
The Best Marathons in the World: Australia
Instead of in the city, you run inland, grinding miles of red sand under your feet. All around you is the silence and the extraordinary views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The route is relatively flat, with only a couple of slopes and dunes.
But you go along unpaved roads and wooded paths. Also, only a few people can participate. No more than 600, according to the rules of the national park.
The Kilimanjaro Marathon
Born quietly in 2002, this marathon in Tanzania has become very popular among athletes from all over the world. Located south of the equator – in Tanzania – at an altitude of 19,400 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. In addition, it is the highest free mountain in the world because it is not part of a mountain range. Huge permanent glaciers descend from the summit and dominate the entire area.
The marathon takes place every year, towards the end of February, in the city of Moshi. It starts at the stadium and heads towards the city, then along the main road to Dar es Salaam for about 8-9 km. Then you turn around and go back, before turning towards the mountain in a long, steady ascent to Mweka. The climb is gradual and the route passes through farms, villages, banana and coffee plantations and forest patches. You may even meet a lot of locals cheering on the athletes!
The Midnight Sun Marathon
In June, athletes from all over the world arrive in Tromsø, Norway to run in the Arctic and the land of the Midnight Sun. Around 6,000 riders ride the streets of Tromsø every year. The Midnight Sun Marathon is the northernmost AIMS certified marathon on the planet. For the more daring there is also the winter version (half marathon) in January.
Other Best Marathons in the World: Inca Trail
Someone called it the most difficult marathon in the world, even if it exists only “unofficially”. The organizers started to propose it in 1996, with a limited group of runners, and still today they maintain a low profile and a small number of participants. The Inca Trail Marathon runs on the ancient Inca trail leading to the lost city of Machu Picchu. Along the way you pass through the ruins of the Inca fortresses and cross a stretch of rainforest. In between, steep ascents and descents and countless Inca passes.
Grand to Grand Ultra
The marathon takes place in the Grand Canyon in September. It is an ultra route (therefore longer than the canonical marathon) that covers 170 miles and takes place across the desert of Utah and Arizona, for 7 days. This is the most remote part of continental America, land of conquest of the first settlers where a legend says Montezuma’s gold is buried. It is the only race that starts from one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the imposing north side of the Grand Canyon, and ends at the top of the iconic Grand Staircase. It’s also a way to get a closer look at an environment rich in wildlife.