Every 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.