Running a marathon abroad

Niagra Falls

I seem to have a bit of wanderlust at the moment. I keep seeing photos from exotic locations on Facebook where my friends have been on holiday, or I gorge myself on one too many travel blogs and start to get itchy feet.


Dreaming of a marathon abroad...
Dreaming of travelling abroad…


So now I’m starting to toy with the idea of going to run a marathon abroad. It would satisfy my wanderlust and I think it would be fun to run an event abroad. Plus having spent the money to go and travel would surely motivate me to work extra hard, right? I’ve got a list of events that I would like to do, including the New York Marathon, the Berlin Marathon and the Amsterdam Marathon.


New York Statue of Liberty


Berlin and New York both operate on ballot systems, so if I didn’t make it through, it could be really expensive with a tour operator. I’m a believer on booking things individually to get the trip that you really want, as opposed to what an operator thinks I want. I also know that everyone wants to do these two events, but having visited both cities a couple of times, they are both places I really love and would like to take part in the big city run experience.

Amsterdam is on my list because it’s a country I’d really like to go to and never have. Plus it’s affordable which is a plus point.

Another event that really appeals to me is the Reykjavik Marathon. Iceland is somewhere I’ve never been and it looks beautiful. I’d love to see the glaciers and waterfalls in person, although ice-climbing is firmly off the to-do list!

Or maybe the Niagara Falls Marathon? I’ve never seen them – how awesome would it be to finish by them? And you start in the US and finishing in Canada, so you get to run quite literally cross-country, which appeals to the geek in me. I’ve never been to Canada and would like to. Plus flying all that way is the perfect excuse to combine it with a short trip to NYC and stock up on all the peanut butter chocolate in the world, right? RIGHT? It’s great for fuelling and recovery, at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s also sponsored by a craft brewery, could any marathon be any more perfect sounding?!


Niagra Falls


I’m not sure why my feet are quite this itchy at the moment but I want to travel. Time to do some thinking and researching.

Have you ever run an event abroad? How was it to organise? Did you use a tour operator? Which event did you do? Tell me all!

8 thoughts on “Running a marathon abroad

  1. I have just got back from running the St Petersburg marathon, a bit off the beaten track and not one of your usual overseas marathons, here’s how I got on:

    It would be awesome to find a foreign equivalent of Saxons, Vikings and Normans to get a really amazing experience from a race abroad.

  2. I’ve never run any races abroad, but it’s on my bucket list to do so. I’d love to run some of the Disney races. Their medals look amazing!

  3. I’ve run the Paris marathon 4 times now ( and am planning a 5th!). It’s easy to enter as it’s first come first served, then we book our own flights and accommodation. We worked out pretty quickly that staying near the start/finish works best and we know what flights work for us so it’s become a bit of a routine now.

    I’d love to run New York one day, and although I’ve run in Florida, I haven’t been able to do any Run Disney races. One day…

    1. Paris seems to be really popular! Lots of people keep going back for more. It’s one I looked at because it’s easy to get to. Run Disney looks great fun, I’ve got some friends taking on the Goofy Challenge next year – hardcore!

  4. Yes, Paris is a good one to start with – I’ve run it 6 times so there must be something in it worth repeating.

    Amsterdam is a great city, but the marathon is rather naff once you leave the city and run 5 miles down a boring canal and then cross over a bridge and return the same 5 miles on the other side.

    Barcelona is the one that I will return and do again! Easyjet go there, and the architecture en route is to die for.

    My favourite marathon, (technically an ultra as it is 56k) is Cape Town’s ‘Two Oceans’, but running up and down Table Mountain within the cut off of 7 hours is quite challenging, so leave that one out.

    Whichever you choose, you’ll have a great experience I’m sure.

    1. I quite like canal running though…it’s flat and I find the water relaxing – I used to run quite well along the Thames on my old 8 mile route as I’d do 4 miles one side, cross over and then try to beat it coming back :D

      I’m off to google Table Mountain now, I bet the views were spectacular!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.