#RuntheCity: Iconic marathons like the Comrades to check off your bucket list

2019-06-07 09:30 - Selene Brophy
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Whether you agree or not, marathon runners are a special breed and it takes a certain amount of guts and determination to stick to the rigorous training and lifestyle required to compete in the best of these races across the world.

Needless to say when running gets in your veins, it adds a special adventure element to your travels. Take South Africa's Mother City - home to Africa's first IAAF Gold Label status marathon - the Cape Town Marathon

READ: What trail running really looks like in the Western Cape

And when you travel to the tip of Africa to participate in this sort of event - you have some pretty spectacular trails and vantage points to enjoy during your training. 

This weekend one of the biggest marathons in the world - the Comrades - will be running its usual route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg with the best runners from around the globe.

So whether you base yourself in Cape Town or KwaZulu-Natal's Midlands - here's a look at the best of the best marathons to check off your list, set across some truly magnificent global destinations where you can #RuntheCity

TRAVEL PLANNING: What winter? How to have a sun-kissed mini-break in Durban

Comrades Marathon – 9 June 2019

You cannot call it an iconic marathon bucket list if one of the oldest marathons - first started in 1921 - in the world is not on there. While entries for the run is already closed, you can still join in on the spirit of the big race by being a spectator. It will start at 05:30 and you can set up anywhere along the route, cheer them on at the start in Durban or wait to see who wins in Pietermaritzburg.

The Garden Route’s Knysna is home to a number of amazing marathons and trail runs. You can kick off the list with this Forest run, which starts at the top of the forest and said to be such a beautiful race to run.

SEE: Into the Woods: Eco-adventures from the heart of Jnysna at Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

 BMW Berlin Marathon - 29 September 2019

Take in the fascinating history of the city of Berlin with this race which starts and ends near the Brandenburg Gate—one of its most famous landmarks.    

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon - 15 September 2019

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is Africa’s only IAAF Gold label status marathon. It is managed by a partnership between WPA, the City of Cape Town, with a route through the extraordinary Mother City.

TCS New York City Marathon - 3 November 2019

Its history is stacked way back in the 1970, when a group of less than 130 runners did 22 loops around central park. Now it is easily one of the most revered races in the world seeing close to 47 000 participants from more than 140 countries.

READ: New direct flight between US and Cape Town confirmed

Paris Marathon - 5 April 2020 

The 2019 Paris Marathon starts at the most famous street in Paris, Les Champs Elysées attracting over 40 000 runners each year. This is one spectacular way to see the City of Lights.  

Boston Marathon- 20 April 2020

With a near mythical reputation thanks to its qualification specifications, even further cemented by the terror bombings, a marathon list is not a list at all without this inclusion. Expect a small-town atmosphere as the point-to-point course begins in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends in Copley Square near the John Hancock Tower.   

Two Oceans Marathon - 10 April 2019

Taking place in Cape Town, this is one of the most notable events of the Easter Weekend in South Africa. Catering for a number of  endurance levels with both a full and half marathon the 46th Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon showcases scenic spots such as Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay and Constantia Nek.

READ: Fancy a farm stay? These three just outside Cape Town should be on your radar

Virgin London Marathon – 26 April 2020

With its distinct urban feel and a course studded with major landmarks as it starts in Greenwich Park, crosses the River Thames at Tower Bridge, runs through the east end of London passing landmarks like the Houses of Parliament before ending near Buckingham Palace.  

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