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7 Marathons to run before you die

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 7:49pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Looking for marathons where competition and camaraderie is in perfect sync. Harshada Rege highlights some footraces every athlete must check off from their bucket list in time.

Call it the spirit of the cities or the enthusiasm among the athletes, there’s just something very special about some marathons. Participating in one of these is not just about clocking a decent time, but an experience to cherish. Here are some marathons which you have to experience before you decide to hang up your running shoes.

London Marathon
Held in: April

The first London Marathon was held on March 29, 1981. Since then, this annual event has seen a number of people participating in it. In 2012, it was the world’s largest marathon with 36,748 finishing the race.

The event holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world, with the 2009 participants raising over £47.2 million for charity. The London marathon is on April 13 this year.

Berlin Marathon
Held in: September

First initiated in 1974, this marathon traditionally takes place on the last weekend in September. About 8,000 additional inline skaters compete on this marathon course a Saturday before the running event. Power walkers, handbikers, wheelchair riders, and a children’s marathon (4.2195 km) are also part of this weekend. The Berlin marathon is one of the largest road races in the world.

New York City Marathon
Held in: November

Around 50,304 people finished the 2013 New York City Marathon that was first held in 1970. The event has been held every year barring 2012, when it was cancelled after some areas were badly affected due to the Hurricane Sandy. It is one among the pre-eminent, long-distance, annual running events in the United States.

Chicago Marathon
Held in: October

This major marathon is held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, US. The first race was held on September 25, 1977 and had about 4,200 people participating in it. There are no qualifications required to participate in the Chicago Marathon, but only runners who finish within six-and-a-half hours are officially timed.

Stockholm Marathon
Held in: June

Usually held in the beginning of June or at the end of May, this marathon was first held in 1970. Unlike most marathons that take place on Sundays, this one is kicks off on a Saturday afternoon. The 2009 marathon had among the highest number of participants recorded at more than 18,500. Depending on the weather condition, this can be a tough marathon to complete.

Rotterdam Marathon
Held in: April

This is an annual marathon that has been held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, since 1981. It was listed among the marathons by Runner’s World magazine. It has been held in April of every year since the third edition in 1984 had to be halted in 2007 due to extreme weather conditions after about three and a half hours.

Boston Marathon
Held in: April

This was first run in April 1897, inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. It is the oldest, continuously-running marathon. During the marathon last year, two explosions occurred at the event. The race was halted, preventing many from finishing it. Three spectators were killed and more than 200 people were injured. This year, it will be held on April 21.

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