After hours of debate, here is the definitive list: these are The Running Bug’s top 10 races to do before you die.
1. City to Surf, Australia
With more than 85,000 participants, Sydney’s City to Surf race is the world’s largest run, as big as New York and London combined! The 14K course stretches from the city centre to beautiful Bondi Beach.
2. Marathon Des Sables, Morocco
The famous Marathon Des Sables is probably the toughest footrace on the planet (at least, the Discovery Channel certainly thinks so), and looking at the 153-mile course, 100 degree heat and requirement to be basically self-sufficient for the time it takes you to (hopefully) complete the race – so do we!
3. New York City Marathon, United States
Well, we couldn’t leave the New York City Marathon off the list now, could we? With around 47,000 runners taking part this year, it’s one of the world’s largest and most iconic races. The course meanders through New York’s five famous boroughs through stunning and inspiring scenery straight off a movie set.
4. Athens Marathon, Greece
Athens Marathon makes our top 10 because of its deep-rooted place in running history. The marathon course is based on the myth from which the race gained its name: Pheidippides, a messenger in Ancient Greece, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks' victory over the Persians.
5. The London Marathon, UK
It’s London Marathon, baby! It’s on our list because it’s one of the world’s biggest and best marathons, with more than 37,000 runners completing the course last year; it also holds the Guinness World Record as the largest annual fundraising event in the world.
6. Great North Run, UK
Probably the world’s most famous half marathon, with more than 56,000 entrants this year, The Great North Run is another source of national pride and had to be included in our top 10 list.
7. The Great Wall Marathon, China
In May each year, hundreds of runners gather for the Great Wall Marathon, one of the world’s most races, in truly unique surroundings. There are 5,164 steps to complete in order to finish the race, so it’s also one of the toughest – unless you opt for the newly introduced 7.5k fun run, which offers the scenery and setting without as much sweating!
8. Paris Marathon, France
Famous for its beautiful route through the heart of the city, and for the sumptuous food and drinks stations serving wine, beer, cider and oysters, the Paris Marathon is definitely one for the running bucket list.
9. Niagara Falls Marathon, United States and Canada
The Niagara Falls Marathon takes in two incredible countries in just the one race, starting in Buffalo, New York, in America, and ending at Niagara Falls, Ontario, in Canada. For us – it’s a must run.
10. Berlin Marathon, Germany
Completing our top 10 is the Berlin Marathon, known as the fastest marathon course in the world. The most marathon world records have been set here, including the last four men’s world records, and the course is famed for its flat, even surface, cheering crowds and the mild temperatures. If you’re going to go all-out to get the time of your life, Berlin’s probably the place to do it.