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  • Writer's pictureKatie Brown

Runcation: The 6 World Marathon Majors

Just before I start with this post, I understand that travel and races are being canceled left, right and center, with the future of many events unknown. However, I hope that this post serves as some inspiration to keep on running and aim for the incredible high of running a Marathon Major in the future!


For runners, mixing up trails and environments that you get to run in is the dream, especially if you can go to a bucket list destination and do something that you love. That is the idea of a runcation, where you can go on vacation with the focus of it being a running experience or a race.

A popular goal amongst runners is to run in the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. Executive Director Tim Hadzima at Abbott World Marathon Majors explains, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors started as a way to bring together the most elite athletes in the world, but it was also a way for the most renowned race directors to share best practices and learn from each other.” These marathons are held in beautiful cities all over the world and regardless of completing all 6, any of these spots make for the perfect destination for your runcation.

Here are the 6 World Marathon Majors around the world, where you can extend your time in the city and turn it into a runcation:

1. Tokyo

When: The First Sunday in March

For international runners, if you have fast times you may qualify for “semi-elite entry” through the Run As One program. If you’ve never been to Tokyo, this is a great way to explore somewhere you’ve never been to.

Thanks to the bullet train, Chuo Shinkansen, you can move around Japan conveniently and in little time. Tokyo is a great starting off point and after exploring the city, you can make the most of your time in Japan. Many travel agencies offer marathon tours or packages so that you can run and explore while you’re here! 

2. Boston

When: The Third Monday in April

Boston hosts one of the most popular marathons in the world. The hardest part of the race? Heartbreak hill.

Boston is a city with historic significance, culture, and modern influences. It is fairly easy to get around and you can see many sites along your run, you can be by the water, and the cobbled streets add a special charm. April is also a great month to run and visit Boston because it is when the weather is more temperate.

3. London

When: The Last Sunday in April

This is the hardest race to get into for Americans due to there being so many applicants. International runners don’t quality with fast times, but instead have to rely on the lottery that you apply for between April and May.

4. Berlin

When: The Last Sunday in September

Berlin is known as an artsy and alternative city, with a lot to see and do while being surrounded by its ‘hip culture’. The marathon here is known as being an easier one of the six because of the flatter city landscape. 

5. Chicago

When: The Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend

Chicago is known as an easier marathon because it is flat and fast. The lottery has typically opened up for the Chicago race in October.

6. New York City

When: The First Sunday in November

If you’ve finished 15+ NYC Marathons, you get entry for life! The hardest part of the race? The bridges!

There is so much to see and do in NYC, you can warm up with a run through Central Park, and you can make your most of your time in the city visiting tourist attractions, eating out, and relaxing with city views. There is a lot of energy in the city and that can make it even more fun for a runcation.

Have you ever gone on a runcation? If not, would you like to try it?



Content submitted by Mary Johnson

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