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The World`s Best Marathons

The definitive list of the worlds top 10 marathons is presented by RUNNERS

WORLD UK, the world leading running magazine, which made a poll within its

international editors:

"When we decided to name the worlds 10 best marathons, we went straight

to the top. We collected the opinions and experiences of the staff of the seven

international editions of RUNNERS WORLD: We all cast our votes, and even though

we all run and report on international marathons for a living, we each added

the votes of an expert from our country from inside the sport (in our case RW

Contributing Editor Hugh Jones, the secretary of the Association of

International Mararthons and a former London Marathon winner). We weren so

interested in the elite fields; mainly the experience of the ordinary runner

(of course, the two can be related: elite fields draw the TV coverage, which

draws crowds, competitors and money to the race). Among other things, we scored

the races for beauty, atmosphere and speed.

The top 10 is the result of votes cast by the international editors of

RUNNERS WORLD and selected experts in each of the countries where the magazine

is published. Each edition and expert voted for 10 marathons from a shirtlist

of 25, and assessed each on the following two sets of criteria: speed of

course; organisation; crowd support and atmosphere; suitability for

first-timers; race infrastructure (marked out of 10); destination appeal; value

for money; elite field; related activities and events; uniqueness (marked out

of five)."

The ranking:

#1 Flora London Marathon

#2 real,- BERLIN-MARATHON

#3 New York City Marathon

#3 LaSalle Banks Chicago Marathon

#5 BAA Boston Marathon

#6 Stockholm Marathon

#7 Fortis Rotterdam Marathon

#8 Paris Marathon

#9 Honolulu Marathon

#10 Amsterdam Marathon

Other races receiving votes were: Venice, Beijing, Prague, Marine Corps,

Vienna, Hamburg, Grandmas, Disney, Cape Town, Rock Roll, Rome, Sydney, Budapest

and Moscow.

Special Events: Medoc Marathon, France, Athen Marathon, Greece, Great Wall

of China Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, USA, Jungfrau, Switzerland"

Horst Milde, Race Director of the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON:

"The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON is very proud to be chosen as the second

best marathon, behind the London Marathon, out of the top ten marathons in the

world. Thats the result of hard work for many years in the past in convincing

the public, the government, the police - and the runners - to take part in a

running-festival in the city, together with the inhabitants."

Here are the arguments for the second place by RUNNERS

WORLD:

"Berlin has established its world-class marathon credentials with a

record-breaking course and a slick and efficient race organisation. But it does

offer far more. The crowds are large, loud and enthusiastic (if sporadic), and

running here is like running through a modern history class. The course takes

you past grand historical architecture, the drab and austere buildings of the

East and the modern, hi-tech shops and commercial property of the West.

Although its recent world records have captured headlines, Berlin is proud of

its reputation as a genuine runners race.

The course: Apart from two gentle inclines near 17 and 21

miles, the course is almost perfectly flat. Its also extremely wide and

straight, especially in the first two miles along Charlottenburger Tor and the

final stretch on Kurfürstendamm. Their is plenty to catch your eye on the

way, but not if youe running quickly - which is the main attraction of the

course.

Highs: Passage through the Brandenburg Gate, marking the entry

into formerly Socialist East Berlin.

Lows: Sparse crowds in the eastern section of the city. Watch

out for: The in-line skaters who share the marathon with runners!"

Courtesy of RUNNERS WORLD UK, January 2002, page 66 - 71 ( By Steve Smythe

and Steven Seaton).

 

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