The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series of the 6 of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. Together, they form the marathon global championships to determine the world’s best male and female marathon runner. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City – making it a great race-cation opportunity. And, unless you are an elite or semi-elite runner, your fate lies in the hands of lady luck – you need to ballot for a slot.

The series qualifying races are as follows:-

#1 Tokyo Marathon – February


Tokyo Marathon is one of Asia’s largest marathons. Tokyo Marathon’s tagline is – the day we unite – bringing together the heart of runners, volunteers, and supporters. The atmosphere at the Tokyo Marathon is an experience of a lifetime in itself. The whole city shuts down and the people of Tokyo come out to show their support for all runners. The support is really like no other – people cheering you right from the very first kilometer right till the final kilometer.

#2 Boston Marathon – April

This is the bucket list marathon for one-too-many runners. To run in the oldest marathon comes with great prestige and honor. The race is filled with so much history. To stand and the start line of the Boston Marathon, you know you’re amongst the best. You have to earn your place to be in this marathon – you have to hit the qualifying mark. Many runners attempt tirelessly to qualify for this prestigious marathon to be part of the experience.

#3 London Marathon – April

Photo Credits: Visit London

The London Marathon is a fast course – many world records have been set and broken in London. It is, in fact, the 2nd fastest course after Berlin Marathon. The courses showcase many landmarks of London – starting at Greenwich Park, bringing you along River Thames, Canary Wharf and the Houses of Parliament. The marathon is a tour of London and there is no better way to experience this British City.

#4 Berlin Marathon – September

The Berlin Marathon is the fastest marathon course there is. If you’re looking to break a personal best, here’s your chance! Elite marathoners flock here to attempt the World record, where the rest come to attempt a personal best. The course is pancake flat with minimal turnings. And of course, the post-race meal of German sausages and beer makes the experience even better!

#5 Chicago Marathon – October

Photo Credits: Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Marathon is a fantastic way to see Chicago. The route showcases both city and suburbs and tours through 29 neighborhoods! It also brings you through several landmarks. You are guaranteed to see the very best Chicago has to offer. Thousands of spectators and volunteers will be there to cheer you on as you weave through the heart of Chicago.

#6 New York City Marathon – November

Photo Credits: NY Times

The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world in arguably the greatest city in the world. The number of applicants is always at a record high. Your chances of getting a slot are much much lower as compared to the other World Marathon Majors. The run brings you through the 5 boroughs of New York City – Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Manhatten. You see the whole of NYC in 42.195 kilometers.

Looking for more races overseas?

Check out JustRunLah!‘s interactive bucket-list.


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