Boston Marathon

Revealed: The world’s most picturesque marathon routes

New and exclusive research from HOKA has looked into more than 85 marathons across the globe, analysing various data points such as the number of Instagram hashtags and the number of landmarks along the course, as well as the cost of entry and the number of participants, to reveal The World’s Most Popular Marathons.

Staying active is key for those looking not only to stay physically healthy but mentally healthy too. With the term “running” recording 1,220,000 monthly Google searches globally, it’s clear that millions of people are hitting the streets in order to get both their physique and mind into a better place. 

For many, running is more of an endurance activity as searches for the terms ‘marathon’ (673,000 per month globally) and ‘running a marathon’ (18,100 per month globally) surge in popularity according to Google. In order to help future marathon runners find their perfect starting line, performance footwear brand HOKA has crunched the numbers and can now reveal the world’s most picturesque marathons.

The world’s most popular marathons

Hoka picturesque marathons
  1. Boston Marathon, United States – With 720,653 Instagram hashtags, Boston Marathon has been crowned as the most popular and picturesque marathon in the world. The fact that the Boston Marathon is also the oldest marathon might be one of the reasons why it welcomes 30,000 participants every year. The entry fee to participate is around  £148, and in return, runners will run past picturesque and iconic landmarks such as Ashland Clock Tower, the Johnny Kelley Statue and Boston College. 
  2. London Marathon, United Kingdom – In second position is the London Marathon with 661,115 Instagram hashtags.  The course of this marathon will take the 40,000 participants past eight of the city’s most iconic landmarks running through Canary Wharf, past St Paul’s Cathedral along the Thames, with a magnificent view of the London Eye and The Shard. The entry fee for this marathon is £47.
  3. Chicago Marathon, United States – Making into the top three is the Chicago Marathon. This marathon is one of ‘The Big Five’ and is considered to be one of the most popular in the world, with 40,000 participants and 484,289 Instagram hashtags. Those willing to test their endurance with this marathon will pass five iconic landscapes including Lincoln Park, Chinatown and Grant Park – Definitely worth the £169 entry fee.
  4. Berlin Marathon, Germany – In fourth place is Berlin, another marathon considered to be one of ‘The Big Five’. With 290,148 Instagram hashtags and room for 50,000 participants, this marathon will test its runners’ concentration. The route goes across the city and includes some of the most iconic landmarks that Berlin has to offer,   including Berlin Cathedral, Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gate. This marathon will take runners’ breath away for an entry fee of £125.
  5. Paris Marathon, France – Rounding out the top five most popular marathons, is the beautiful Paris. This marathon has 132,789 Instagram hashtags and welcomes 60,000 participants every year, the largest group of runners on the list. The route takes runners past ten iconic landmarks, including  Notre-Dame Cathedral, D’Orsay Museum and the Eiffel Tower for an entry fee of £111.
  6. Honolulu Marathon, Hawaii – Honolulu marathon finishes in position six with 67,931 Instagram hashtags, and three well known landmarks along the route. This is one of the smaller marathons, as only 14,000 participants are allowed to join it. This naturally  beautiful marathon will have participants running by the coast while enjoying a stunning view of the beaches and some breeze coming from the sea. Happening in December runners will have to pay a fee of £152, although it sits on the expensive side the run will make it worth it.
  7. New York Marathon, United States – With 64,908 Instagram mentions and a whopping 50 landmarks along the route, the highest in HOKA’s research, is the New York Marathon. This marathon is very popular, and has space for 50,000 runners to participate at a cost of £210 per entry. Those that manage to secure a ballot ticket will run across the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, ending in Central Park West Historic District. The route will take runners by very emblematic buildings such as Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Gracie Mansion, and the runners will also get a stunning view of the Empire State Building. 
  8. Frankfurt Marathon, Germany – In eighth place is the second German city in HOKA’s research, Frankfurt. With 54,097 Instagram hashtags and 17 key landmarks, runners are set for a beautiful run. The route will take them across the city’s most iconic areas such as Höchst, Kaiserplatz and Platz der Republik for a £51 entry fee, one of the lowest on the list.
  9. Edinburgh Marathon, United Kingdom – Edinburgh takes ninth place, and is the second UK city to make it into HOKA’s research. The Edinburgh marathon happens in May and attracts a maximum of 16,000 participants. According to the 38,352 Instagram hashtags, runners will enjoy a route across Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park to end by the seaside of the city, all for the nominal entry fee of £64 – one of the lowest in the list.
  10. Amsterdam Marathon, Netherlands – Just making its way into the top 10 and with 33,888 Instagram hashtags is the Amsterdam marathon. This marathon welcomes  17,000 participants every October ready to run past key landmarks such as The Olympic Stadium, Vondelpark, Amstel River and Zuidas Business District. The entry cost is relatively low at £79 and allows participants to experience one of the most picturesque runs of their lives. 

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