Top epic marathons in Asia you must try

17 May, 2019 • by Admin

A selection of the best marathons in Asia based on race quality and destination popularity.

It doesn't hurt to let yourself get distracted by stunning scenery when the finish line feels far away. Here are top destination marathons to start gearing up for:

Tata Mumbai Marathon, India


As the largest marathon in Asia, Tata Mumbai Marathon should be at the top any serious runner’s list. For the 2019 edition, a total of 46,000 running places will be available across six different categories: “Champions with Disability” (2.4km), “Senior Citizens Race” (4.3km), “Dream Run” (6km), “Open 10K Run”, half marathon and full marathon.

The route takes runner through the most iconic locations of Mumbai, including Flora Fountain, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, Haji Ali Dargah, St. Michael's Church, and the Bandra-Worli Sea link.

Ladakh Marathon, India


The eighth edition of Ladakh Marathon will be held from September 6 to 8. There will be a Khardung La Challenge, marathon, half marathon and fun run held over the course of three days. The Khardung La Challenge is the highest ultra marathon in the World. Unlike most marathons, the Ladakh Marathon requires participants to arrive at the venue a week prior to the race to get acclimatised to the high altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level.

The inaugural running of the Ladakh Marathon in 2012 included 1,500 participants. Since then number of participants has been increased. The 2013 edition had 2,200 participants while in 2014 about 3,000 people participated. The recent 2018 marathon included close to 6,000 participants from 23 countries

The Ladakh Marathon is held at a height of 11,500 to 17,600 ft. Acclimatization is the foremost issue at this height. Altitude sickness can occur at this height due to lack of oxygen. The Ladakh Marathon has a long pre-marathon work-out schedule to train the participants, helping them acclimatizing to the high altitude and hilly conditions. As per the official website of the Ladakh Marathon, athletes participating in 72 km "Khardungla Challenge" should arrive at Leh at least two weeks before marathon day

Kyoto Marathon, Japan


The Kyoto Marathon (京都マラソン Kyōto Marason) is an annual marathon sporting event for men and women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held in mid February in Kyoto, Japan. The course starts at Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium and pass through Kyoto Botanical Gardens and the right bank of Kamo river and finishes near Heian Jingu. It was one of the top ten most expensive of the world's biggest marathons by entry cost in 2015.

Your only option is a full marathon course that starts at Nishikyogoku Athletic Park and finishes near Heian-jingu Shrine. But with seven UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites and spectacular views of the five surrounding mountains to take in as you wheeze and sweat, you’re past the finish line before you know it.

Bangkok Marathon, Thailand


The Bangkok Marathon is an annual event held in November each year. The inaugural race was organised to commemorate the King's 60th birthday in 1987, and was known back then as the Royal Bangkok Marathon. This is one of the main running events in Thailand. The race course is officially sanctioned by The Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) and the Amateur Athletic Association of Thailand (IAAF Rules).

Runners will enjoy the race course, which is littered with cultural, religious and historically significant landmarks. The race begins at the Royal Grand Palace on Sanamchai Rd. As it weaves its way around Bangkok, it takes runners past many official sites and beautiful architecture, including the religious sites of the City Pillar Shrine and the Emerald Buddha Temple, the royal landmarks of Vimanmek Mansion, the Ananta Samakhorn Throne Hall, the Chiltralada Palace, and modern buildings like the United Nations Building, the Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium and the National Theatre before returning to the Royal Grand Palace.

It is a rare opportunity to run on the streets of Bangkok, which is otherwise less-than-ideal for running, with its notorious traffic.

DaNang International Marathon, Vietnam


The city of Da Nang is ready to invite you once again to the most beautiful and exotic beach town of Viet Nam. Your quest of endurance will be fulfilled by one of the most magnificent marathon courses in South East Asia! The runners and visitors will be embraced by this third largest city in Viet Nam. This city is also surrounded with several UNESCO world heritage sites including the Imperial City Hue and Hoi An Ancient Town. The Da Nang International Marathon will include a Marathon (26.2 miles / 42.195 Km), a half Marathon (13.1 miles / 21.0975 Km), and a 5K fun run for all to enjoy. The course will be IAAF-AIMS certified to international standard with official timing record.


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