During your run you will encounter the most famous Africa game: elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards

Turn a workout into a holiday. Claim your place on one of these picturesque marathons

1.       Angkor Wat Half Marathon

When: December

Go: Raise money for a great cause and tour the famed Angkor Wat at the same time. Running this half marathon is a wonderful way to tour the city of Siem Reap.

StayAmansaraHeritage Suites Hotel

CelebrateViroth RestaurantCafé Indochine


2.       Tokyo Marathon

When: February

Go: Approximately 36,000 runners shut down the streets of Japan’s capital for the yearly Tokyo Marathon. If you want to be a part of the euphoria but can’t handle the 42.125km race, there are other events in which you can partake: The International Friendship Run and the Tokyo Marathon Family Run.

Stay: Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo

Celebrate: Funasei, Ginza Sato Yosuke

3.       Bhutan Marathon

When: February

Go: One of the more challenging, and probably one of the most spectacular marathons on our list is the Bhutan International Marathon. Hard packed dirt, pavements and high altitude make it a difficult run. To compensate, you will come across stunning rural countryside and villages and finish the race at Punakha Dzong (“the palace of great happiness or bliss”, a fitting end to a grueling race!)

Stay: Uma Paro, Amankora

Celebrate: Bhukari, Bhutan Kitchen

4.       Lion Foundation Rotorua Marathon

When: May

Go: ‘Take on the lake’, as the locals say, as you race around the picturesque Lake Rotorua. The course starts off at the Government Gardens and takes you through the city, around the back of the lake, over the Hamurana hills and finishes off in Rotorua. A spectacular way to discover some of New Zealand’s incredible landscapes

Stay: Solitaire Lodge, Peppers on the Point

Celebrate: Huka Lodge, Mokoia

5.       Big 5 Marathon, South Africa

When:  June

Go: Forbes Magazine highlights The Big Five Marathon as a marathon that is absolutely worth travelling for, and we couldn’t agree more. The event takes place in the Entabeni Game Reserve and is a tough race that takes you through some of South Africa’s most magnificent landscapes. During your run you will encounter the most famous Africa game: elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions and leopards, all cheering you on.

StayMakanyaneAnt’s Nest

Celebrate: Lakeside Restaurant, Lakeside Boma

6.       TCS New York City Marathon

When: November

Go: What better way to discover New York City’s concrete jungle than by running this amazing marathon that is one of the six World Marathon Majors (the others include Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, London and Berlin). The journey starts off on Staten Island and takes runners through the city’s five boroughs: Harlem, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Stay: The Pierre, The Standard Hotel

10,000 tireless #TCSNYCMarathon volunteers shared the #GiftofRunning with nearly 50,000 runners…3 weeks ago! Want in? Sign up to help out tcsnycmarathon.org.

Une photo publiée par TCS New York City Marathon (@nycmarathon) le

Celebrate: Estela, Eleven Madison Park

7.       Marathon de Medoc

When: September

Go: The French truly love their wine! It should therefore not come as a surprise that they have a marathon that revolves around this treasured nectar. The Marathon de Medoc crosses through Chateaux where local produce is laid out (wine, oysters, foie gras, cheese, escargot and the likes) for extravagantly dressed runners. Bon appetit!

StayHotel MajesticGrand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa

CelebrateL’Oiseau BleuGravelier

8.       Virgin Money London Marathon

When:  April

Go: In addition to being one of the top six international marathons, the Virgin Money London Marathon is also the largest annual fund raising event in the world (a whopping £47.2 million was raised in 2009). Take in the city’s famous sites as you race across jolly old London town and finish up at Buckingham Palace.

Stay: The Soho Hotel, The Berkeley

Celebrate: Dabbous, Asia de Cuba

9.       Great Wall Marathon

When: May

Go: Since its inaugural in 1999, China’s Great Wall Marathon has made a name for itself as one of the most challenging and historically charged races. As you climb up steep stairs and try to catch your breath, remember that you are running on the only man-made monument that can be seen from outer space! (Ok, that was proven to be a myth but we still like the sound of it!).

Stay: The Opposite House, Aman at the Summer Palace

Celebrate: Duck de Chine, Temple Restaurant Beijing

10.   Athens Classic Marathon

When: November

Go: As it all started over 2500 years ago in the Greek village of Marathon, it is only fitting that the birthplace of this eponymous race be featured on our list. If you are an avid marathonian, what better way to commemorate Pheidippides running the first ever 42.125km to deliver good news of Athens defeat of the Persian Army than by running the very route he took?

Stay: Divano Apollon Palace and Spa, Grand Resort Lagonissi

Celebrate: Funky Gourmet, Psaras Tavernas




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