Whether you’re a seasoned runner or simply considering conquering something new, taking on a marathon is a mighty challenge. But mixing it up with a city break is something that’s sure to aid your motivation!
Luckily, the locations for five of the best European marathons are in fantastic destinations too. Here’s your bucket list for breaking through the finish line in an incredible city setting:
1. Barcelona Marathon
This annual running event in the heart of Barcelona is popular for quite a few reasons. It takes place in March, so the weather averages around a mild 12°C - perfect for running! Plus, it’s known to be a fast and flat route so plenty of PB potential. And lastly, the 26.2 miles take in some of the most stunning landmarks you’ll see on a race. You’ll pass by the intricate spires of La Sagrada Família, as well as curving forms of Casa Batlló and the iconic Nou Camp football stadium.
2. Paris Marathon
Outside of the World Marathon Majors, Paris is home to one of the best-supported European marathons. If you’re focused on getting a fast time, you’ll have to steel yourself against getting too caught up in the spectacle of the Seine, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower along the way. But then, you’re bound to get a boost at the start of the Champs- Élysées, with a roaring crowd cheering you on. No wonder 55,000 runners take part in this unforgettable event every year in April.
3. Rome Marathon
Fancy a historic setting worthy of accompanying your legendary feat of completing 26.2 miles? Rome is the run for you. This route takes in some of the most famed landmarks of all the European marathons we’ve listed here. You’ll start at the Colosseum, move on to the Circus Maximus and pass by St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. However, the mainly cobbled roads make this an even more considerable challenge that may put a dent in your PB attempt. As it takes place in April, the average temperature to expect is a runner’s ideal 14°C.
4. Amsterdam Marathon
The flat landscape the Netherlands is known for makes this race one of the fastest marathons in the world. As well as offering a great chance to improve your minutes-per-mile average, the Amsterdam Marathon takes in the capital’s best sights too. You’ll start and finish in the Olympic Stadium, while the circular route also encompasses the grand Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark and Amstel River.
5. Prague Marathon
Along with Paris, Prague is another event on our list of European marathons to have the prestigious IAAF Road Race Gold Label. And in fact, the Czech Republic also has the most Gold Label events in the world. Basically, it means you can rely on the Prague Marathon to be well organised and to boast elite runners too. Often described as one of the most beautiful marathons in the world, the route winds through the historic Old Town – a highlight is crossing the stunningly scenic Charles Bridge.
Feel inspired to take on one of the European marathons we’ve mentioned? We offer Jet2CityBreaks to every destination on this list, so you can enjoy discovering the culture and atmosphere of each capital, as well as taking on a challenging run during your break.
Posted: 18th Mar 2019.