New York City, Chicago and Boston marathons are among the top marathon cities in the world. Without a doubt these cities would make it to your bucket list if you were a runner looking to take your 26.2-mile run to the next level. And running with the world’s best runners.
These days with the popularity of marathons around the world you have many more options than ever. You can run on iconic bridges, world heritage sites, stunning views and events that cater to runners of any age group.
Here are Travelmath’s 5 marathon cities in the world. Each of these cities offers different attractions and experiences for the runners and companions-
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is served by almost 100 airlines and is listed in Europe’s top five busiest airports in the last few decades. It also serves as Europe’s international airline hub connecting the east with the west.
Flying to Amsterdam from the US is easy because of the whole range of non-stop flights from major cities. There are four direct flights from Chicago to Amsterdam and it only takes about eight hours 44 minutes.
The event is held in October each year. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon has five events happening on the same day- the marathon, the Mizuno Half Marathon, the TCS 8 K run, the Skylanders Kids Run and the Mini Marathon. Each of these events starts at different locations throughout the city. Remember to check out the Pasta Party on the night before the run.
More information: TCS Amsterdam Marathon
Amsterdam is a city built for bicycles. The city has a network of public transportation like the metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains. For savings, check out the I Amsterdam City Card.
Some of Amsterdam’s must-see places are the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and canal cruise.
Great Wall Marathon
Need a different type of marathon in an iconic site? Combine a tour of Beijing, China’s historical and capital city and the world’s most challenging marathon – The Great Wall Marathon.
Fly into Beijing Capital International Airport and check out Beijing historical sites like Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and spend some time with the pandas at the city zoo.
The Great Wall Marathon is usually held in the month of May. According to the official website, you are required to purchase a Great Wall Marathon tour package in order to register for the race.
Information: Great Wall Marathon
Hong Kong Marathon
According to Hong Tourism Board Hong Kong Marathon has grown from just 1,000 participants to 72,000 in 18 years. It gets bigger and bigger each year with participants from around the world participating in the full marathon, half marathon or the 10km run.
Participants will run on scenic routes in the Tsim Tsa Tsui area of Kowloon to the New Territories and to Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. In 2014, the organizers added the 3km and 10 km wheelchair races for disabled runners.
Hong Kong Marathon is held in the month of January. And a few things to check out while in Hong Kong are the dim sum restaurants, Hong Kong Jockey Club’s mid-week Happy Wednesday race, The Symphony of Lights in Victoria Harbour and Stanley Market.
Hong Kong is 13 hours ahead of New York (US Eastern Time zone).
Information: Discover Hong Kong
The Honolulu Marathon is held every year on the second Sunday of December. It is the third largest marathon race in the US and attracts over 30,000 participants from all over the world. The run starts at Ala Moana Boulevard and ends at the Kapiolani Park.
The All-you-can-eat Hawaiian Luau party, Hawaiian entertainment and concert is a popular event for marathon participants. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Honolulu are the USS Arizona Memorial including Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach and Waikiki Aquarium.
Information: Honolulu Marathon
The Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the largest in the world. The race starts at Greenwich Park and ends at Buckingham Palace. London Marathon attracts thousands of participants running for charities each year. The Cancer Research UK raised almost £1 million and is expected to raise more than double in 2015.
Information: How to enter London Marathon
Before traveling to London or any of these marathon cities, check out:
1. The currency exchange rate. For example $1 is about 0.64 pounds.
2. Accommodation in the area. For example Beijing China.
3. Time difference between the cities. For example Amsterdam is 6 hours ahead of New York City.