I am proud to say that I’ve run and finished 2 of the 6 World Major Marathons so far in my life! Y’all, there’s a huge difference between running a World Major Marathon and any other marathon. Of course, the distance is the same. But, the experience is very different. All of these races require you to enter a lottery to get in. Imagine that…a lottery where the winners run 26.2 miles. To a lot of people that sounds like torture. Not to long distance runners. That’s why they have to employ a lottery system. So, what are the World Major Marathons???
Up first in most calendar years is the Tokyo Marathon. Keep in mind that COVID-19 changed the schedules for 2020 – 2021. If this video doesn’t want to get you thinking about running Tokyo in your future, I don’t know what will. I love the enthusiasm of the main commentator!
Next up is the London Marathon. Usually, this race is run about a week before the Boston Marathon. So, logistically, it might be hard to run both. I’ve had a few friends run this race and it seems like a great first or second international marathon to run. I know that this video has me extremely interested!
Like I said, a week and a day after the London Marathon is the first of three that are run in the United States….the Boston Marathon. Y’all, this is the Super Bowl of Marathons. There is a ridiculously hard qualifying time you must run in a previous qualifying marathon in order to even get into the lottery. Then, because so many people train hard to achieve the minimum, you usually have to run even faster than the qualifying time to get in. It’s a crazy lottery. But, that’s why Boston has such prestige.
The Chicago Marathon is the fist of the Fall World Major Marathons. I’ve run Chicago and loved it! The Expo is like Christmas Day for runners. It’s huge and has everything a runner could ever desire. The course itself is known for being super flat and fast, and it is. Although, there is a slight rise at the mile 26 marker to get you over a freeway and set you up to finish. Also, there is a fantastic movie called “Spirit of the Marathon” that was filmed about the 2007 Chicago Marathon (I think). That movie will make you want to run a marathon.
Next on the Fall Marathons is the Berlin Marathon. Like Chicago, this course is known for being flat and fast. As a matter of fact, the men’s world record was set on this course! After watching this video, do you want to head over to Berlin to run this race? I do!
The last World Major Marathon of the year is the New York City Marathon. This race boasts of the largest field of runners for any marathon in he world. They regularly have a field of around 50,000 runners. If that sounds impressive, the lottery to get in is usually over 100,000 entries each year. That’s how popular this race is…and for good reason. I ran this race in 2017 and it is my favorite marathon that I’ve ever run. Sorry, Walt Disney World…you got replaced. This was the only marathon I’ve run without needing to listen to my own music. There was so much going on that I just kept going. It is a hard race is many ways…those bridged can really suck at times. For me, the Queensborough Bridge had me contemplating quitting the race. I’m glad I didn’t. As a back of the pack runner, I was blown away at how many people were still out to celebrate the runners in those last miles. It was amazing.
So, are you ready to take on a World Major Race? If so, which one(s)? Have you run in any of these races?