LONDON, Jan 14 — Looking for a challenge in 2018? Look no further than these eight marathons, all coming up before the summer season.
Tokyo Marathon (Japan), February 25
The first major race of the year is the Tokyo Marathon in Japan. As part of the World Marathon Majors series, it’s one of six of the world’s largest and most renowned marathons, along with New York, Berlin, Boston, Chicago and London. It’s also one of Asia’s most popular marathons.
Rome Marathon (Italy), April 8
From the Vatican to the Coliseum, the Rome Marathon — held since 1982 — is a great opportunity to catch some of the city’s sights, soaking up the Italian city’s stunning architecture as you run.
Boston Marathon (USA), April 16
The USA’s legendary Boston Marathon is one of the world’s largest and most famous. It’s also the world’s oldest annual marathon. The race, which draws around 500,000 spectators each year, celebrates its 122nd edition in 2018.
Lake Annecy Marathon (France), April 22
With breathtaking lake and mountain scenery, the Lake Annecy marathon is a truly magical event. After Albi and Paris, this race is one of France’s oldest. It’s in the top 10 of French marathons with 8,500 runners from 21 countries around the world.
London Marathon (UK), April 24
The British capital’s prestigious marathon — the Virgin Money London Marathon — is expecting some 45,000 runners this year. Starting just south of the Thames, the route runs from Greenwich and Blackheath to Buckingham Palace. Along the way, runners will see some of the British capital’s most famous sights, including the London Eye.
Great Wall Marathon (China), May 19
A particularly challenging marathon with its many climbs, descents and steps (5164), China’s Great Wall Marathon runs along and on the Tianjin section of the monument, east of Beijing. Although difficult, the route promises breathtaking scenery, making it one of the most unusual races of its kind.
Rio de Janeiro Marathon (Brazil), June 3
Held in a dream destination, the Rio marathon is considered one of the world’s most scenic, with a route that takes runners alongside its famous beaches, including Recreio, Barra, Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. The race starts at Praça do Pontal do Tim Maia with the finish line in Flamengo.
Tromsø Marathon (Norway), June 16
The marathon in the Norwegian city of Tromsø, located north of the Arctic Circle, starts at 8.30pm at the water’s edge — in daylight. This unusual “midnight sun” marathon — one of Scandinavia’s biggest — attracts 5,000 runners.
This year, three new marathons join the international race calendar: The Baobab Marathon in Togo, February 13, the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon in Nigeria, February 4, and the Namur Marathon in Belgium, April 22. — AFP-Relaxnews