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The World`s Best Marathons

The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON is at the top


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
#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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