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Born to run ? – Try one of the 22 Most Popular Marathons in the World


New research from finds the world’s most-run marathons, how much it costs to run them, and what they offer, both on the course and off it.

When you run a marathon, knowing that you’ll get a medal is a must for many, but how likely is it you’ll even get a place? Do you have to join a ballot to get a ticket? Do you need to have run a marathon previously? And most importantly, do you get a free T-shirt for participating? In the new graphic from, you can find answers to all these questions – and more, including the distance climbed, local hotel costs, and how you can enter the race. It’s the best way to find out about what’s on offer around the year, as well as to find a different sort of challenge, whether you’re running for fun or have your eyes on the prize.

Mega Marathons

No matter what kind of runner you are, there’s a marathon for you. If you’re struggling to choose one – or looking for an alternative – see which ones are popular with other runners by having a look at some of the runs with the highest number of participants below: 1. New York City Marathon – The New York City Marathon had a massive 51,388 runners in 2016, despite the majority being entered into a ballot upon applying. 2. Ottawa Race Weekend – A big event also including smaller runs for those not looking for a full marathon, this is Canada’s best foot-race offering. And if you want to help your chosen charity, you can fund-raise through the event (and skip the entry fee at the same time!) 3. Athens Classic Marathon – In many senses, the longest-running marathon in the world (since the original Marathon was during the Athenian-Persian Battle of Marathon), the Athens Classic is still one of the world’s most popular. It also has one of the lowest entry costs, at only about £56. 4. Paris Marathon – The Paris Marathon has conditional entry based on your health, so make sure you’re in top condition before applying to run this one. 5. Chicago Marathon – Taking place in October, the Chicago Marathon had 40,608 runners in 2016. It also has a free T-shirt on offer for all participants (there’s also a 42% chance of rain on the day, which could be refreshing on the run, or a nightmare – your call). “A marathon can be a challenge to yourself, or a great way to raise money for charity, or even just for fun,” said Joe Gardiner,’s Head of Brand and Communications, “We wanted to show what options were available, and provide a way to make it easier to get down to the important part – the running.” So whether you’re a dedicated marathon runner or are just taking your first steps into this popular endurance race, check out the rest of the world’s biggest marathons on


We found the most popular marathons by those which had broken records for highest number of participants. We then found the number of runners in the most recent year available. We excluded marathons where this data was not available. Where price ranges were available, an average was taken. We also found the chance of rain by finding the number of days it rains on average and treating that as a percentage of the number of days in the month where the marathon takes place. We found hotel costs for one night for each location by the most popular hotel cost on Trivago for that location during the month of the marathon. Flight costs were found from Google Flights’ cheapest round trip during the month of the marathon. Price conversions are as at 30/03/17.

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