Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and keen runner Heber Meraz explores the world’s biggest marathon events.
From New York City and Chicago to London and Berlin, huge marathon events are hosted yearly across the globe, routinely attracting tens of thousands of participants and similar numbers of spectators. A keen runner and retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, Heber Meraz takes a closer look at some of the world’s biggest annual marathons.
“Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Boston Marathon comes top of the list,” reveals Meraz. “Established in 1897, it’s the world’s oldest annual marathon, held every Patriot’s Day on the third Monday of April,” he adds. Among those in the know, so-called ‘Boston qualifying times’ are considered a measure of excellence in amateur marathon running, according to Meraz.
“In second place is London Marathon, famed internationally for attracting many of the world’s best marathon runners,” suggests Meraz. “First established in 1981, the race is run each year in the spring,” adds the retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant.
Taking the third spot among the world’s biggest marathons is New York City’s event. “Attracting record numbers of runners, in 2013, almost 52,000 people took part in the race which runs through all five of the city’s famous boroughs,” Meraz reveals. The New York Marathon takes place on the first Sunday of November each year.
“Widely considered the fourth, fifth, and sixth biggest marathon events in the world are those staged in Berlin, Chicago, and Tokyo,” adds Meraz. The Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon are held in September, October, and February respectively. The three events were established, again, respectively, in 1974, 1977, and much more recently, in 2007, Meraz also points out.
Ranked based on size, speed, the host city, and attractiveness to top talent, seventh through ninth are Paris, Dubai, and Amsterdam’s annual marathons.
“In tenth place, meanwhile,” adds Meraz, wrapping up, “is the October Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the biggest and fastest marathon event in Canada, and distinct from the smaller Toronto Marathon which takes place earlier in the year, in May.”
Heber Meraz is set to run this year’s Hartford Marathon, which takes place in and around the Connecticut capital city’s Bushnell Park, this October.
Raised in El Paso, Texas, and Dodge City, Kansas, retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Heber Alonzo Meraz is a keen marathon runner, former Toys for Tots project coordinator, neighborhood safety events organizer, and the recipient of both an American Red Cross Lifesaving Award and a State of Connecticut General Assembly official citation for lifesaving. Today, Meraz happily resides in the Fairfield County town of Trumbull, Connecticut, close to the cities of Bridgeport and Shelton, and the towns of Fairfield, Stratford, Monroe, and Easton.