The 10 Most Beautiful Marathons in the World — My Bucket List

Big Sur, California, a great marathon destination

One of the things I’m really excited about as I train for my next marathon is that is gives me even more of an excuse to travel. There are so many great races with fun themes across the US and the world, and I plan to check out as many as I can. The most beautiful marathons in the world are typically extremely well organized and immaculately planned, too, which is a bonus. I’m already in dream planning mode even though I haven’t run a marathon yet and would need to save up for some of these. These races are often looked at as the

10 most beautiful marathons in the world, and they’re getting added to my bucket list:

Big Sur International Marathon
This is—by far—the world’s most attended marathon outside of a big city. Situated in California, the race tickets sell out quickly as it is a highlight of many marathoners’ bucket lists. I mean, just look at that view.

The Great Wall Marathon
The Great Wall Marathon offers runners a once-in-a-lifetime experience to tackle one of the world’s most celebrated historical landmarks. Not only do runners have to contend with the 5164 steps, but they also have to do so in hot humid weather. It’s a good thing it’s gorgeous.

Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel
The Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel is exceptional because runners can see the distance from the finish line to the start line. After your marathon, you can relax with a fine glass of French wine and treat yourself to mussels and oysters, which is what the region is famous for.

The Big Five Marathon in Limpopo
When you cross the finish line at The Big Five Marathon in Limpopo, South Africa, you will definitely feel accomplished and proud. The marathon is quite spectacular as there are often wild animals such as lions, hippos, and rhinos nearby in their wild habitat.

The Amazing Maasai Marathon
If you want to experience an African safari while running, this Kenya-based marathon is the best way to do it. Kenya is known all over the world for its long-distance runners, and the race is organized for a good cause for local education.

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Australian Outback Marathon
The Outback marathon is characterized by the bush, Australian fire trails, and sand dunes. The terrain is hard to tackle, which makes it one of the most challenging marathons in the world.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Maratona de Lisboa
If you love live music and running, then this marathon was created just for you. More than 30 live bands perform during the marathon in the coastal Europe city of Lisbon.

New York City Marathon
The New York Marathon is the most attended and most popular marathon in the world. More than 50,000 runners show up each year to run amidst the chaos of the Big Apple.

Athens Marathon
The Athens Marathon has a rich and beautiful history that allows 13,000 marathoners to follow in Pheidippides’ steps—the ancient Greek messenger that inspired the modern marathon. We’ll ignore the fact that the famous runner reportedly dropped dead when he reached his destination.

Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon
The Bangkok marathon is perfect for budget marathoners because the city is inexpensive but has great views and wonderful culture to offer. Thailand, here I come!

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