If you’ve ever considered running in a marathon, the thought of where to start has probably crossed your mind. Whether you’re captivated by the idea of running through a scenic route or just want to experience the thrill of reaching the finish line. Perhaps these top 5 marathons will inspire you to put on your running shoes and start training. The five largest marathon races globally, also known as “the big 5” include: Boston, London, Berlin, New York, and Chicago.
Participating in a marathon can be an exhilarating adventure, but there are some things to consider before signing up. Marathon races are for those who can endure long distance running, you need to be persistent in order to make it to the finish line. It is not just about your love for sports or running in itself; it’s about how far your enthusiasm and determination can take you.
Running is not just tough physically, but one of toughest mental sports. So if you plan on enrolling for any marathon, you should have it in mind that it is a running race that requires mental fortitude. Still keen? Then buckle up and get ready for an intense journey!
The Boston Marathon
The Boston marathon is world renowned and first commenced in 1897, making it the oldest annual marathon in the world. As a result of its history, along with its reputation as one of the most challenging, it is on many runner’s bucket lists, making it the most sought after race in the world.
Getting a spot isn’t easy though, to be considered, all requirements have to be met a year in advance and the prerequisite running standards are relatively high.
The race starts at Hopkins, leading the marathon racers through four hills and eight towns before arriving at the Black Bay in Boston.
The London Marathon
The London marathon, started in 1981 is arguably the most popular in the world for spectators, due to the involvement of the top-rated runners in the world. However there are categories for everyone and there is a huge participation level of disabled athletes.
Participants enjoy a wide range of support and encouragement from spectators who engage in drumming, singing, and much more for the whole duration, whatever the weather.
The London Marathon is also well known as one of the biggest single fundraising events in the world. The runners partake in different activities such as wearing fancy dresses or costumes to raise money for charity adding to the jovial atmosphere. One moment you could be running alongside someone in a Spiderman costume, and the next you’re approaching a completely different character.
The Chicago Marathon
The Chicago marathon was formed in 1977, known by runners as being a quick and consistent course. Yearly, the marathon takes place in the beautiful Grant park, considered as the “front yard” of the city. The course goes through the districts, neighbourhoods and famous landmarks in Chicago.
Despite being a smaller group compared to the to the crowds in Berlin and London, every year the Americans living in Chicago come out to show their support.
Another exciting part of this marathon is when presidents, company owners, and executives challenge each other, making the marathon really competitive. To get in as a runner, the registration is rigorous and restricted.
Despite the limited registration, it is the only one of the Big Five female participants outnumber the men. At the end of the race, surrounded by friends and family, the runners celebrate their victories with food and entertainment at Grant Park’s Butler.
Fundraising events are essential parts of the marathon race, whereby runners raise funds for charity. The Chicago marathon fundraising was established in 2002 for research purposes and raising the public’s awareness towards different social issues.
The Berlin Marathon
This internationally recognized event in Berlin, was established in 1974. A slightly similar marathon to that of Chicago as it is characterized by speed, rigidity, and consistency. The race is usually followed by the support of an enthusiastic crowd. It is the single biggest marathon in the world by participation, with 40,000 racers lining up every year. The best part of the Berlin marathon is that it’s a two-day event, and even has a category for in-line skaters.
Before 1990, the race was limited only to the west of Berlin. However, it has since become the norm to partake after the fall of the Berlin wall. The hand cycle race, first held in 2004 has become an important event that forms part of the marathon.
The participants come from more than a hundred countries worldwide, which makes it one of the largest and famous marathons in the world. During the events, a festival is usually held, inviting people from neighbouring countries to view the events as well.
The New York City Marathon
The first New York marathon was organized in 1970, this was when the first race was held. Known for attracting the most people all over the world, it is one of the largest and most loved marathon races globally. Due to the popularity of the race, a lottery system chooses most of the participants.
There are over 100 live bands performing at various point to support and entertain the runners as they run through different neighbourhoods, passing Staten Island to Brooklyn and many more before eventually arriving at Tavern. The marathon encourages both learners and experts from around the world to participate in the race.