Looking to step up your running game? A marathon is the perfect way to amp up your training and challenge yourself to new goals. Even better if it involves travelling to cool places where you can test your mettle on different terrain and see some pretty spectacular sights along the route. For all the running fanatics looking to join the international racing circuit, these are some of the most epic marathons and international running races happening around the world in 2020.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and a pretty sweet spot to get your run on. This will be the 18th year for the Kilimanjaro Marathon, and the organisers expect over 12,000 people from 45 nationalities to make their way to ‘Kili’ to participate in the varying runs. The full marathon is 42.2 kilometres and the half marathon is 21.1 kilometres. There’s also a 5km fun run for families and beginner runners. All races take place in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, so not to worry—no mountain climbing skills required.
Where: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
When: March 1, 2020
(restricted to Elite runners due to coronavirus fears)
On March 1, select streets in Tokyo that are usually bustling with cars and pedestrians will be transformed into a massive race track where nearly 38,000 people will test their strength and endurance during the Tokyo Marathon. The marathon will make its way through neighbourhoods like Asakusa, Ginza and Hibiya and last for seven hours. The wheelchair marathon will run simultaneously on a different course and run for two hours and 10 minutes.
Where: Tokyo, Japan
When: March 1, 2020
See some of the most iconic landmarks in Paris as you sweat it out with over 55,000 runners from around the world. This is one of the biggies on the world marathon calendar, and as far as urban races go, one of the most scenic. The course starts at the Champs Elysées and takes you past historic buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Bastille before ending one the Avenue Foch. It measures in at 32km, but is relatively flat for most of the run.
Where: Paris, France
When: April 5, 2020
View this post on Instagram
Throwback to our inaugural swimrun. 3km of swimming and 20km of running, with no equipment changes between transitions. Bringing this great sport to Southeast Asia was no small feat. The race proved to be an exciting one. 20 people from 6 countries, with all levels of swimrun experience, came together and raised $40,000 to help @friendsoflembongan. Supporting their fight against plastic pollution in Lembongan. The experience was unforgettable and we’re already taking pre-registrations for December!⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #makechangehappen #swimrun #goteam #balihope #makehistory #balichildrenfoundation #friendsoflembongan #historymakers #endurance #multisport #giveback #protectocean #oceanpollution #actionshot #plasticocean #saveocean #oceanplastic #savetheseas #endsingleuse #plasticwaste #4ocean #cleanupocean #plasticfreeoceans #cleanocean #plasticpollutes #plasticsucks #cleansea #savetheoceans #endplasticpollution
Run for a good cause in a beautiful setting at Bali Hope Ultra. This unique 7-day event brings together experienced athletes and newcomers for an overnight double marathon across Bali’s varied terrain including volcanoes, rice paddies and beaches. Participation fees include five-star accommodation, transportation on the island, race entry and logistics. Racers also must raise $5,000, which goes entirely to the Bali Children Foundation.
Where: Bali, Indonesia
When: May 27 – June 2, 2020
Not sure you can handle a whole marathon but still want to hit the pavement in an exotic destination? The Rio Half Marathon is just 21km and spectacularly scenic. The route starts at Leblon Beach and makes its way along the coastline with mountains and city skyline in the background. Runners will be divided into squads including wheelchair with a guide, elite wheelchair, elite men’s and elite women’s. Beginners can opt for the 5km race.
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: June 14, 2020
View this post on Instagram
It's been almost a week since #midnightsunmarathon2018 . That should be enough time for the legs to heal and the mind to set new running goals, right? – What is your new goal?🙄🏃 //Repost @larszachariassen Photo @zoltantot #marathon #halfmarathon #10k #mila #midnightsunmarathon #tromso #tromsolove #syktlangtnord #nordnorge #northernnorway
The sun never sets during the month of June in Tromsø, Norway, which makes it a unique setting for an evening marathon. The full marathon starts at 8:30pm and you have five and a half hours to finish the course, which offers breathtaking views of mountains and rivers. You must be 18 years or older to enter the full marathon, but there are alternative races available for runners of all ages and skill levels, including a kid’s run that starts earlier in the evening.
Where: Tromsø, Norway
When: June 20, 2020
The striking silhouette of Uluru (Ayers Rock) sets the backdrop for the Australian Outback Marathon. Kick up the red earth as you race along flat roads, bush tracks, and sandy trails with just a few dunes. There are races for all levels including the full marathon, half marathon, 11km run, and 6km run. You must be 18 years or older to do the full marathon and 15 years or older to do the half marathon. Both the 11km and 6km runs are open to all ages.
Where: Yulara, Australia
When: July 25, 2020
View this post on Instagram
The final competitors have arrived at camp including Rika Yahara (Japan), Gudrun Siegle (Luxembourg), Nathan Carter (United Kingdom) and Michelle Carter (United Kingdom). The overall winners today were Jovica Spajic (Serbia) in 4:13:20, followed by Hiroyuki Matsuda (Japan) in 4:56:05 and Munir Nanji (Kenya) in 5:04:04. In the women's division Petronela Dzurova (Slovakia) took first in a time of 5:41:24. In second for the women was Deborah Barber (Australia) in 5:47:03 and Tanja Schonenborn (Germany) in 5:59:25. There was only one withdrawal today: Mads Ole Mogensen (Denmark) who is now resting at camp. A very special Happy Wedding Anniversary to Michelle and Nathan Carter celebrating nine years!! Here's to many more happy years! #morethanarace #atacamacrossing #chile #slotcanyons #stagerace #trailrunning #ultramarathons
If you really want to push yourself to the limits, put the Atacama Crossing on your world marathon calendar 2020. This seven-day footrace takes place in the foothills of the Andes in the Atacama Desert of Chile and it requires participants to cross sand dunes, salt flats, canyons, and rivers. The course runs for 250km and passes through intriguing spots like Moon Valley and Valle de la Muerte before ending in the quaint village of San Pedro de Atacama. Be warned though, this race is not for beginners!
Where: Atacama Desert, Chile
When: September 27 – October 3, 2020
The New York City Marathon is a must-do on the world marathon circuit. Held every year on the first Sunday of November, this world-famous race attracts over 50,000 runners from 125 countries, many of whom run for charity. The course winds its way through all five of New York’s boroughs (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan), finally ending in Central Park. Definitely one to put on your bucket list.
Where: New York City, New York, USA
When: November 1, 2020
How cool would it be to run a marathon through a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site? The Halong Bay Heritage Marathon starts along Southeast Asia’s longest single span bridge, the Bai Chay Bridge, which offers bird’s eye views over the dramatic limestone karsts of Halong Bay. As you descend from the bridge, the course takes you along coastlines and through fishing villages backed by lush green mountains.
Where: Halong Bay, Vietnam
When: November 22, 2020