The Fastest marathon courses in the world
Are you looking to set a new PB time in the marathon class?
There’s no harm in doing a bit of research into traditionally fast marathons. You’ll be looking for relatively flat courses, a less crowded start line and some solid crowd support to spur you on. The other critical factor is temperature, research has shown that the best temperature for running a fast marathon is 9.7 C (49.4 F) for men and 11 C (51.8 F) for women. We’ve gathered up a few of our favourite quick tracks so you can find the one that will give you that extra boost on race day.
Berlin Marathon - Germany
There have been more world records set at the Berlin marathon than anywhere else. Typically temperate with average temperature in September, when it is held, is 15 C with a low of 10 C. Typically temperate and a very flat course make it probably the best course in the world to set a PB.
Edinburgh marathon – Scotland
The Edinburgh marathon has been described as the fastest one in the UK. Hosted as the focus of a larger festival, there’s plenty of crowd participation as competitors make their way through majestic settings. The race starts downhill and rolls out with some gentle elevations. Overall a fantastic chance to set a PB for yourself.
Asics Greater Manchester marathon – England
Technically speaking, this is the flattest marathon in the UK, with an elevation gain of only 150m across the course. It’s a very popular course for two reasons: it’s a fast marathon and it has a spectacular finish line at the Old Trafford.
Boston marathon – United States of America
Probably one of the most famous marathons in the world, the Boston is a highly sought-after race. Runners must qualify to enter, which limits the field to around 30 000. The combination of fewer runners and the high entry bar means it’s a very quick field.
Bank of America Chicago marathon – United States of America
This course is known for setting world records, so there’s no doubt it’s a fast marathon. It’s another example of the fastest elements coming together: a limited field, a strict cut off (6.5 hours), relatively flat surfaces and cheering crowds.
Mainova Frankfurt marathon – Germany
Frankfurt has hosted marathons since 1981. The course is flat with less than 30 metres of elevation across the distance. With over 90 parties set along the route and a course record of 2:03:42, the atmosphere and great conditions should create a prime chance to set your PB.
Standard Chartered Dubai marathon – United Arab Emirates
If you can brave the heat, even though it is held in January, the Dubai marathon offers up some of the largest prizes for competitors. The out and back course is totally flat and takes in the engineering highlights of the island including the famous Burj al Arab tower.
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