Top 10 Biggest Marathons

Top 10 MarathonsMarathons take their roots from a very celebrated journey made by a Greek solider from the city of Marathon to Athens during the Persian Greek Clashes. It is said that he ran all the way and brought the news of victory to his people in Athens. Although no historian would vouch for this tale, people view it as sheer determination and passion and it has become the base of all modern marathons. Initially held between the two cities only, they were later included in the Olympics of 1896. They have now been set to be 42.195 Km in length. It is estimated that atleast 1.5 million people take part in more than 550 marathons held around the world every year. These people belong to different walks of life ranging from enthusiastic participants to professional runners. Top 10 Marathons 2011 documented here are based on the ratio of total participants to the ones actually finishing it.


10. Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Flat as a pancake, the Haspa Marathon is held in Hamburg, Germany each year in April-May. The entry fee is a bit high, but once you count all the things they give you and counting all the Gatorade available for drinking, we think it is worth it. The crowd is the main element in this race as they cheer you and entertain you like relatives and in the end, winner or not, everyone has a ball of a time! 11,185 people managed to over the obstacles bringing the Haspa Marathon to the 10th place in the list of Top 10 Marathons 2011. The course is quite picturesque and sight seers as well as tourists will enjoy it a lot.

9. Barcelona Marathon

Barcelona Marathon

Available as both the full form and half race, Barcelona Marathon started off in 1978 and it wasn’t till 1998 that a man from Morocco managed to clock less than 2 hours and 10 minutes. In 2011, 12,564 finishes were recorded which is the highest ever for the event with all top 5 positions going to racers from Kenya! The track is mostly flat with occasional slopes and a few hilly areas. The start and finish points are common and the runner has to complete a long loop around the city. The crowd is absolutely crazy and cheers you along all the way to the finish point. Live music and plentiful drinks make sure you get all the way through the Barcelona Marathon without even knowing it!

8. Rome Marathon

Rome Marathon

Held on 20th March this year, the Rome Marathon (also called Roma Marathon) is more of a joy ride of sights and sounds of Rome and its surroundings than a grueling marathon! 12,611 participants proved their mettle this time around and thus placing the Rome Marathon at 8th position in the Top 10 Marathons 2011 list. The highlight of Rome Marathon is the finish stretch in which you run, truly fatigued and worn out like a fighter coming back from a battle, into the Coliseum and the grand roar you get from the crowd as you finish off the race!

7. Walt Disney World Marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon

Costing just $135(excluding lodging), the Walt Disney World Marathon is more of a fun and entertaining adventure than a regular back busting marathon race. As you may very well have an idea, it is held in the Disney World Resort area and hosts a maximum of 26,000 participants. Out of these, 13,512 finished the course this year and received the legendary Mickey Mouse medals! Runners get to see all the theme parks on their way to glory as well as other on-the-track entertainment. With lots of refreshments in the course for both the body and mind, the Walt Disney World Marathon is one long ride no one will forget!

6. Stockholm Marathon

Stockholm Marathon

The rights of the Stockholm Marathon are currently held by a Japanese company and the event itself is called ASICS Stockholm Marathon. 15,171 participants managed to finish the race this year which has ranked this event at 6th position in the Top 10 Marathons 2011 list. The course basically consists of two large loops around the city and then into the stadium. It is a rather simple track which offers no challenges to the seasoned pros. Organizers are holding a special event in 2012 called Jubilee Marathon Stockholm 1912-2012 next year and registrations are already closed!

5. Los Angeles Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon

Renamed as Honda La Marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon comes in at 5th place in the Top 10 Marathons 2011 list. Held in March this year, 19,614 finishes were recorded this time around. It was started along the Boston Marathon in the same year being inspired by the Olympics. The unique thing about the track is that instead of being flat of hilly, it is tapered and actually descends more than 100 meters in altitude! With famous landmarks (including the famed Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Hills) spotting all the way to the Sea, finishing the Los Angeles marathon is a lot more than a breeze!

4. Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Held every year on Patriots Day in Boston for more than the last 100 years, The Boston Marathon is the oldest event in the list and also one of the World Marathon Majors. It was inspired by the marathon held in Olympics 1896 held in Athens, Greece and has been held every year since. Initially it was free but as it attracted runners, it went from a local event to one of the biggest road events held around the world! The track is not as flat as runners would want it to be and is quite hilly. The Boston Marathon also holds the record of having the most entrants at a time. 23,833 people finished the event this year bringing this event to number 4.

3. Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon

The Paris Marathon, as known as the Marathon de Paris, takes it participants through the heart of the city in the month of April every year. People start off from Champs Elysees and go through the city to end at Foch Avenue. This year, 31,133 people managed to finish off the track within the time making this event the 3rd in the Top 10 Marathons 2011 list. Most of the track is dead flat and a dream come true for runners. Registrations for the Paris Marathon closes as early as 9 months before the race as only 40,000 participants are allowed.

2. Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

Held on 27th February 2011, the Tokyo Marathon had an enormous turnout and the result was even more surprising as 33,328 people managed to cross the finish line within the allotted time. The unique feature about the one held this year is that the sky was clear for the first time and no signs of downpour were seen anywhere. Being in Japan, people dressed up in costumes ranging from unique to downright crazy were seen in the Tokyo Marathon this year. One guy even dressed up like Jesus and had a real wooden cross on his back (he didn’t finish btw)!

1. Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The Virgin London Marathon is the largest one in the world and makes up 1/5th of the World Marathon Majors. It is well celebrated and has continued on since the 80s. The winner of these competitions as a whole is awarded a whooping 1 million US Dollars! The last one was held on 17 April 2011 and had a mind blowing 34,656 people finishing the race successfully. This alone speaks volumes about the popularity and participation in this event. The Virgin London Marathon is easily ranked first in the list of Top 10 Marathons 2011.



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