For those that are so inclined, there are some great, challenging and unusual running events around the world, held over the marathon distance or similar. For the masochists, I have created a separate list for Ultra Marathons, held over a much longer distance or duration.
List of Interesting Marathons
- Major world marathons: Boston, London, New York etc.
- Safaricom, Kenya — a half-marathon event held in Kenya's Lewa wild-life reserve.
- Athens Marathon — this marathon commemorates the historic first ever marathon.
- Easter Island — a marathon that winds around the islands famous large statues.
- Everest Marathon, Nepal — the highest marathon in the world
- North Pole Marathon — the world's coolest marathon takes place across the top of the world.
- antarctic Ice Marathon — takes place on snow and ice just a few hundred miles from the South Pole.
- Round the Vines, NZ — half marathon though the wine region of Martinborough
- Le Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc, France — through vineyards with wine tasting included.
- Dingle Marathon — a scenic half and full marathon in Ireland run in conjunction with the Ultra Marathon.
- Patagonian International Marathon — a marathon run through the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.
- Australian Outback — a running event in hot centre of Australia.
- Volcano Marathon — starts near Lascar Volcano, an active volcano in Northern Chile. It is the highest desert marathon in the world.
Why 26 miles & 385 yds?
The marathon was originally conceived as a race for the 1896 Olympics in Athens, commemorating the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. Legend has it that Pheidippides delivered the momentous message "Niki!" ("victory"), then collapsed and died.
The unusual distance of 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles & 385 yards is a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London, where the marathon distance was changed to 26 miles to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium, with 385 yards added on so the race could finish in front of royal family's viewing box.
- List of Major world marathon races, including the Olympic Marathon
- Olympic Marathon Winners
- Poll: which record time will be broken next—100m or marathon?
- Marathon world records