Marathon walking is a challenging and rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you're an experienced walker or just starting out, there are many marathons around the world that are designed specifically for walkers. Here are the top 10 marathons for walkers, along with one related to cancer awareness:
MARATHON WALK LONDON - FULL & HALF
If you want to watch the iconic London Marathon but running isn't your thing, why not walk it! The route will take you past the capital’s iconic sights and less-visited corners including locations used in 26 films.
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NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
The New York City Marathon is an annual marathon (42.195 km or 26.219 miles) that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest marathon in the world, with over 50,000 finishers annually. The event is organized by the New York Road Runners and has been held every year since 1970. The marathon is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional and amateur runners from all over the world. The race starts on Staten Island and finishes in Central Park. The current course record for men is held by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya with a time of 2:05:05 (2011) and for women is held by Margaret Okayo of Kenya with a time of 2:22:31 (2003).
The Portland Marathon is a popular event held every fall in Oregon that welcomes both walkers and runners. It is a supportive and enthusiastic event for first-time marathoners, however, the event has recently undergone changes in management and new city-mandated requirements. The marathon now has a new route, a reduced time limit of 15 minutes per mile or 6 hours and 33 minutes and may not include official finish times. It's important for potential participants to consider their fitness level and ability to meet the new time requirements before signing up for the marathon.
The half marathon remains very walker-friendly, with a 30 minutes per mile time limit. If you have any doubts about maintaining your pace, register for the half marathon and have a great time.
THE HONOLULU MARATHON
The Honolulu Marathon is an annual event held in Hawaii in December that attracts over 30,000 participants. The marathon route takes participants through the beautiful Hawaiian coastline, starting in downtown Honolulu and finishing in Kapiolani Park. The start time is 5:00 am, and the official finish line services are open until 2:00 pm, but attendants stay until 4:00 pm to allow everyone to finish the race.
DISNEY WORLD MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON
The Disney World Marathon & Half Marathon is an annual event that takes place at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA. The marathon and half marathon are both held on the same day, and the event typically takes place in January. The marathon course starts at the Magic Kingdom and takes runners through all four of the Disney World theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The half marathon course is a modified version of the full marathon course, starting and finishing at EPCOT. The event also includes a 5K and a 10K race, and a Kids’ Races for children ages 3-9. Participants in the marathon and half marathon must be at least 14 years of age on race day. The event is known for its festive atmosphere and entertainment along the course, with Disney characters, music, and other entertainment. Proceeds from the Disney World Marathon & Half Marathon benefit the Walt Disney World Resort's ongoing effort to make Central Florida a healthier place to live, work and play.
CANCER AWARENESS: RELAY FOR LIFE - The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is a series of events around the world, where teams come together to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The relay is a walk-a-thon style event, with teams taking turns walking around a track or designated path.
These are just a few of the many marathons that are open to walkers. Whether you're looking for a challenging physical experience or a way to raise money and awareness for a good cause, there is a marathon out there that is perfect for you.