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6 Major Marathons You’ll Want to Run To

February 14, 2022

Are the Abbott World Marathon Majors Calling Your Name?

The goal of almost every long distance runner is to compete in the world’s most elite marathons – six races making up the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM). These renowned races take place in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. AbbottWMM definitely sets the pace in the marathon industry, providing the largest platform for the best athletes in running, offering the only global program for the world’s amateur athletes.

Each of the six races (which are each 42.195 kilometers in length) under the Abbott flag deliver unique benefits to runners:

  • Operational excellence at each race ensuring a premium race-day trek for entrants and an experience like no other
  • Offering a professional series with the best professional athletes in the world competing for points with the winner taking a share of the million dollar prize purse every year
  • Organizers aggressively promote marathon running and champion anti-doping protocols. They make many efforts to move the sport forward

Before you pack your state-of-the-art Hoka One, Newton or On running shoes, it might be a good idea to know a bit about these marathons. Read on to get an inkling of each of these platinum events in the running realm:

Willkommen zu Berlin

One of the biggest yearly events in Berlin is the marathon. Tens of thousands of people flock to the German city both to compete and to support the athletes who will run more than 42 kilometers through the beautiful German capital and past its major sights like the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. This marathon prides itself on being internationally diverse with athletes from more than 100 countries having registered for the marathon in 2021. This event is a reflection of running history in Germany. An amazing 11 world records have been broken in this race. No other marathon in the world can match that number.

Rabea Schöneborn (GER), fastest german female runner of the2021 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON [Source: ©SCC EVENTS / Sebastian Wells]


  • Save the date: Sunday, September 25
  • In 2014 Dennis Kimetto was the first to run the course in less than 2.03 hours. His world record of 2:02:57 hours would last four years
  • Kimetto’s record was shattered by Eliud Kipchoge in 2018 with a time of 2:01:39
Eluid Kipchoge of Kenya, wins the 44th Berlin Marathon in 2017 with a time of 2:03:32.

Boston, Beantown Beauty

And here you have the world’s oldest marathon. Inspired by the 1896 Olympics, a few members of the then Boston Athletic Association created the marathon with the first race the next year. This race has been held every year since with the exception of 2020 due to COVID 19. Start and finish lines have changed over the years, but the rest of the course remains the same. The race starts in the town of Hopkinton through Ashland, Framingham, Natick and Wellesley. In Newton, the course climbs to the famous Heartbreak Hill. Once runners cross into Brookline, they run into Boston where the race finishes on historic Boylston Street. You must have certain qualifying times depending on your gender and age, to run in this race.


  • Save the date: Monday, April 19
  • Largest field: 35,868 runners at the finish, 1996
  • Course records: 2:03:02 to Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, 2011; 2:19:59 to Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia, 2014
Elite female runners competing in the Boston Marathon

Chicago, the Windy City

It all started in 1976 when a scant group of runners got together to make plans for a Chicago marathon. The mayor at the time, Michael Bilandic, was a sports’ enthusiast who backed the idea. So, on September 25, 1977, the first Chicago Marathon was born with 4,200 runners participating. The marathon has now grown to more than 45,000 runners with about 1.7 million spectators along the route which begins and ends at Grant Park. Runners pass through 29 culturally diverse neighborhoods including Lakeview, Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen, Chinatown and Bronzeville.


  • Save the date: Sunday, October 9
  • Men’s world records: 2:08:55 to Steve Jones, 1984 and 2:05:42 to Khalid Khannouchi, 1999
  • Women’s world records: 2:18:47 to Catherine Ndereba, 2001; 2:17:18 to Paula Radcliffe, 2002 and 2:14:04 to Brigid Kosgei, 2019
Amateur athletes competing in Chicago Marathon

Foggy London Town

It was on March 29, 1981 when more than 20,000 runners wanted to take part in the first London Marathon, but only 7,747 were admitted with 6,255 finishing. Today, this marathon has grown to more than 40,000 starters. World records for both men and women have been set at the race. The London Marathon is clearly one of the most popular marathons on the planet. The BBC broadcasts the race to 196 countries around the world with between four and five million viewers watching in the UK alone. London marathoners have also raised more than £1 billion for charity.


  • Save the date: Sunday, October 2
  • Largest field: 42,549 runners at the finish in 2019
  • Course records: 2:02:37 to Eliud Kipchoge, 2019 and 2:15:25 to Paula Radcliffe, 2003

Since this marathon is a favorite for runners, you might be thinking about entering the 2022 London Marathon yourself in which case you will want lavish, yet comfortable accommodations. Penthouse William, in the prestigious St. James area has some of the best views of the city’s iconic landmarks – Buckingham Palace, The Shard, The London Eye, Green Park, The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. You will be basking in 8,000 square feet of aristocratic refinement on two floors. A spiral staircase leads to a rooftop terrace where you can marvel at the city’s glittering skyline. You will also enjoy a private elevator, breathtaking atrium, cinema room, bar, gym, library, and massage room. There are separate staff quarters.

Runners cross the Tower Bridge during the London Marathon

New York – Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple

The New York City Marathon is the premier event of the New York Road Runners and the largest marathon in the world. Elite athletes and recreational runners alike enter seeking one of the challenges of a lifetime. The first marathon in 1970 only had 127 runners who ran four laps around Central Park. Now, more than 50,000 runners from around the world descend on NYC in early November to race through the city’s five boroughs. Participants are cheered on by more than one million spectators lining the course. About 650 million people watched the last race on television.


  • Save the date: Sunday, November 6
  • Largest field: 53,640 runners at the finish, 2019
  • Course records: 2:05:06 to Geoffrey Mutai, Kenya, 2011 and 2:22:31 to Margaret Okayo, Kenya, 2003

If you are thinking about entering the 2022 New York City Marathon, why not secure a stunning place at which to stay now, so you can concentrate on training for the big race. Townhouse Neri in the city’s Soho area puts you right in the midst of high-end retail shops and fine dining restaurants in which to celebrate after the race. But this spectacular townhouse might entice you to stay in and have a chef-cooked meal in the lovely dining room. This exquisite home features a private elevator and stately elliptical staircase servicing 9,000 square feet of prime living space. This home is the epitome of comfort and class with its seven sumptuous bedrooms and three fireplaces across five floors. The second floor is reserved for the master suite, complete with a media area, enormous custom closet, and spa-like bathroom with a rain shower and soaking tub. The garden level features staff living quarters for round-the-clock service. Additional amenities include a wet bar, music room and Zen space. A lovely yard is an oasis of serenity in the heart of the urban jungle. The two-level garden space features a fire pit, built-in grill, and grassed area facing south, beyond iconic early-century buildings.

Runners cross Verrazano Bridge at the start of New York City Marathon

The Temptations of Tokyo

The Tokyo Marathon, organized by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, was launched on February 18, 2007 with 95,044 applying for an entry. Of the applicants, 30,870 were given the green light to run. Now, about 300,000 runners apply to take part but less than 36,000 are admitted. In 2011, the marathon established its charity, Running with Heart. A new route was established in 2017.


  • Save the dates: Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6
  • Largest field: 35,460 runners at the finish, 2019
  • Course records: 2:03:58 to Wilson Kipsang, 2017 and 2:17:45 to Lonah Salpeter, 2020
Runners at the Tokyo Marathon [Source: womensrunning.com]

Whether it’s running in an elite marathon, surfing The Pipeline in Oahu, going on a photo shoot in South Africa or searching for your new favorite vintage at the wineries of France, LVH will turn your vacation dreams into reality. We would like you to give us an indication of where your imagination is taking you and the kinds of things you’d like to do and see when you get there. We know your time is precious and we want to fill your holiday moments with adventure and inviting interludes while relishing your downtime. Please reach out to one of our client relations team members who will start the planning process for you right away.

#Elite Marathons #Abbott World Marathon Majors #New York #London #Berlin #Abbottwmm #Tokyo #Chicago
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