Top Marathons In 2014

top marathonsEvery year there are marathons held all over the world, and 2014 was no different, however, despite there being many exciting new races to choose from, the top marathons of the year still had to be the five World Marathon Majors,  which were held in New York City, London, Chicago, Boston and Berlin. Here, we look at little more at each one. Let’s take a closer look at 2014 marathon calendar.

Boston Marathon

Held on Patriots’ Day, the 21st April, the Boston Marathon ranks among the top marathons in the world. Considered by most people to be the best and the original, the Boston marathon not only holds the accolade of being the first marathon, but also the world’s longest running, and the 2014 race was its 117th. Considered by competitors to be the toughest of the five World Marathon Majors, the race begins in Hopkington, crossing 8 towns before ending at Back Bay. The route covers a strenuous five mile stretch over four hills in Newton, including the imposing 600m “Heartbreak Hill” close to Boston College. Runners must make the 88 vertical foot climb around 20 – 21 miles into the race, and even experienced competitors often have to walk this section of the course. With challenging terrain and variable weather, this may be a difficult course, however the 25,000 runners are cheered on by huge crowds 500,000 strong who are celebrating the national holiday by participating in this social event.

London Marathon

Considered to be one of the best courses for beginners due to its flatness, this marathon passes some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Beginning at Blackheath and Greenwich, it goes over the Meridian Line, past iconic structures like Canary Wharf, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, before it finally comes to the finishing line at the Mall. Crowds of supporters line the entire course and choirs and steel drum bands are frequently present. The London marathon is famous for its great atmosphere and many competitors in fancy dress.

Berlin Marathon

Known as the world’s biggest marathon, the Berlin event sees 40,000 runners take to the city’s streets each September. This very flat course has seen the men’s world record broken 3 times during the last few years and there are many power walking and costumed competitors.

Chicago Marathon

This course is also pretty flat, with the 2014 race being the 37th in this marathon’s history. Having grown dramatically from a humble start, this race used to be known as the Mayor Daley marathon with only 4200 runners taking part. Now, around 50,000 people compete and there are crowds to match.

New York City Marathon

Many people hold New York City marathon up as their favorite of the five World Marathon Majors. This race covers all five of the city’s boroughs and, like the London marathon, takes in many of the most famous landmarks such as Staten Island, Central Park and 5th Avenue. With great entertainment and cheering crowds, over 40,000 runners have high spirits, despite the cold November weather.

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The E-cigarette Craze

E-cigarettes and vaping have recently become popular among people of all legal ages. In fact, it is reported that over 9 million Americans use e-cigarettes. An electronic cigarette has a battery that is attached to a chamber filled with a liquid that may or may not include nicotine. Vaping is a term that describes using e-cigarettes because when one inhales the liquid from an e-cigarette and then exhales, a vapor cloud is exhaled; it also describes the act of inhaling vapor created from a vapor product.

There are many reasons people use e-cigarettes, but one of the most common reasons is to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are used as a prevention tool for smoking cessation, as it eliminates the harmful ingredients found in cigarettes but still provides that inhaling motion while offering flavored vape. Users can choose whether they want to vape liquid that contains nicotine or not, and there are many flavor options that are nicotine-free. The flavors that do contain nicotine can come in different nicotine strengths. For example, you can purchase liquid with nicotine strength anywhere from 0 mg to 12 mg, and usually in 10 ml, 30 ml, or 60 ml bottles, though different brands may carry different sizes.

Vapor shops are popping up in every town it seems and there are hundreds of flavors to choose from. Flavors that exist are menthol, candy cane, chocolate, and tons of fruit varieties like kiwi, apple, strawberry, watermelon, and banana cream pie. The flavors are enticing and that contributes to users coming back for more. Users can also purchase tobacco flavors too which may or may not be helpful in quitting smoking due to the nicotine content.

Now that e-cigarettes have gained so much popularity, they have also faced a lot of criticism. Many public opinions criticize e-cigarettes for still promoting nicotine dependency and luring smokers in with a wide range of flavors that are hard on your lungs. Flavored e-cigarettes can contain a flavoring agent called diacetyl which can cause popcorn lung, a lung disease that causes obstruction of bronchioles in the lungs. The long-term safety of using e-cigarettes is still unknown, and it still remains a popular alternative to smoking.

In addition to the enjoyable flavors, there are other reasons why people vape. Many individuals find using e-cigarettes relaxing especially if they are vaping medical marijuana (where it is legal, mind you). In fact, vaping marijuana provides a better, pungent taste and it can help with chronic pain, relaxation, and migraines. Other people find using e-cigarettes to be a little easier on the wallet which depends how heavy of an e-cigarette user you are. Another reason why vaping is popular is people enjoy the sense of community involved with it. Vaping has grown into a lifestyle that has people joining together for vape parties, creating their own flavors, designing vape t-shirts, and hats to endorse their vaping lifestyles.

Using e-cigarettes has clearly become a new phenomenon that has not been fully answered by science. That being said, there are many smokers who have quit smoking because of they are using an e-cigarette. It is advised that if you do notice any breathing issues or abnormal coughing since vaporizing to contact a physician to have it checked out. Though vaping might not be supported by everyone, it has provided an alternative to smoking expensive cigarettes and releasing cigarette smoke into the air.

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