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The Marathon Tourist

Great Wall of China Marathon Tourist

         I’ve discovered that there’s a type of person who travels around the world to voluntarily take part in 26 miles of extreme sightseeing – to run marathons. They call them marathon tourists, and I heard about this recently from a good friend who accompanies her ‘marathon tourist’ boyfriend to wherever he chooses to run. I’m not a big fan of running, and I far prefer sports that involve some element of competition, like tennis.

         So while I am in no danger of becoming a marathon tourist myself (not a chance, it just won’t happen), I do like the idea of what my clever friend has done. She waves off her boyfriend at the start of the marathon, then spends a few hours sightseeing and exploring whichever city she happens to find herself in, at a casual walking pace you understand, and then she heads to the finish line to welcome her exhausted boyfriend with open arms. Now that is my kind of marathon tourist. No pain, and all the fun of the atmosphere and that holiday feeling.

         So I thought I’d look into where one can go as a marathon tourist and make a list of my top five. So if any of my friends are reading this and wondering who’ll accompany you abroad while you run your marathon, then I’m here for you! As a supportive friend of course, not as an opportunistic traveller, you understand… You can look up these places on this pretty useful website.

  1. New York Marathon, USA (2nd November 2014)
  2. Istanbul Marathon, Turkey (17th November 2013)
  3. Stockholm Marathon,  Sweden (31st May 2014)
  4. Safaricom Marathon, Kenya (28th June 2014)
  5. Honalulu Marathon, Hawaii (8th December 2013)

Safaricom Marathon, Kenya

Have you run any marathons or become a marathon tourist yet?


  1. At the last count my dad has run 756 marathons around the globe. Does that make him the ultimate marathon tourist? 🙂 At one stage he’d run a marathon in 111 consecutive weeks!


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