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(Updated on November 15, 2017)
Want to take part in what is perhaps the world's most challenging marathon? Find out about the Great Wall of China Marathon and other exotic marathons here.
Full calendar of international marathon races.
The 20 kms de Paris (Les 20 kms de Paris)
In fact this popular run, which is always held in October in Paris each year, is open to anyone in the world (there is also no upper age limit though you need to be at least 18 years to take part). To make it more exciting for foreigners the run starts and ends near the Eiffel Tower. Just go to their site for online registration for the next run. To make sure you'll be able to participate it's recommended that you register before the end of July as each year many late-comers had to be turned away once the maximum number allowed is reached. It's also cheaper when you register early.
There is also the shorter Paris-Versailles run, usually held in September (the next race will be on Sunday, September 30, 2018). The distance is slightly over 16 kms, much of which is along wooded valleys in the forest of Meudon and meandering, almost-deserted roads, a good change from running in the city.
But this is one race like no other as you will be running uphill much of the way (a wonderful experience), the highest elevation being something like 170m above sea level. So if you intend to take part, know what you're in for. Don't be taken in by the first five kms as you will still be running on flat ground. But from Km 6 right up to Km 8.5 you'll be just running on the upslope all the time. Yes, just up, and up, and up! You can have an idea of the various stages of the race here. Foreigners will want to linger on upon arrival at the famous Chateau de Versailles and the surrounding huge park for a look-around before taking the train back to Paris (except for a few hardy ones, marathonians no doubt, who think nothing of running all the way back to Paris!)
International marathon races
Other marathon races in France are the Marathon de La Rochelle and the International Marathon of Toulouse.
International marathon races:
Finally I cannot end this page without providing the links to two of the world's biggest marathon runs:
(i) in New York on Sunday November 4, 2018: the TCS New York City Marathon website. and
(ii) in London on Sunday April 22, 2018: the Virgin London Marathon.
(iii) And if you would like to combine a holiday in the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia with a marathon run you will be able to do so in the Penang Bridge International Marathon. In 2013 there were 47,000 participants. Because of the daytime heat the race started off at 2 in the morning. The next marathon in Penang will be held on Sunday November 26, 2017. Go here for full details.
By the way there are six marathons that are considered "world marathon majors". These are the marathons of Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York City and Tokyo. You can go to the Abbott World Marathon Majors website here for full details.
1. La Parisienne (for women only) is an annual race over a distance of 6.5 kms and draws up to 15,000 female participants each year. It is usually held in September.
2. Le Cross du Figaro was a legendary cross-country race held in Paris yearly from 1961 to 2000 at the famous Bois de Boulogne. It was resuscitated in September 2013, this time at the Parc de Saint Cloud. It's more of a family affair with a number of races for almost everybody (5kms, 10kms, 15kms and 20kms). The next races, now called "Le Nouveau Cross du Figaro" will be held over two days (weekend of 25-26 November 2017). Details (and registration) from their official website here.
Part of the participants in the yearly 20 kms de Paris run just raring to go.