As summer arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, there are still some cooler spots to earn your age group world ranking
WORDS Dave Macnamara
June 3, Stockholm, Sweden
There can be no better feeling after 26.2 grueling miles than crossing the finish line in an Olympic stadium. The conclusion of the Stockholm Marathon takes place in one of Northern Europe’s most historic sporting sites, home to the 1912 Olympics and the place where 83 world records were set. The race itself takes you through the streets of this beautiful Scandanavian capital, built on 14 islands and offering you spectacular views of the famous medieval city. With over 12,000 athletes taking part and enthusiastic crowds cheering you along the way, you won’t find a better race to continue your marathon journey.
June 4, Cork, Rep. of Ireland
Going under the banner #TheWorldComesToCork, the Cork City Marathon welcomes athletes from around the
world to a festival of running on the first weekend of June. Expect music and entertainment around the course as the city comes out in force to cheer on the 12,000 participants on this fast, flat route around Ireland’s second city. With a city center start and finish, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to celebrate your medal in one of the many bars and pubs that can be found within a stone’s throw of the finish line.
June 17, Tromso, Norway
The Norwegian city of Tromso is situated 350km from the Arctic Circle. During the summer months, the sun never sets below the horizon, making the Midnight Sun Marathon a true bucket list event. Setting off at 20:30, 6,000 runners will aim to cross the finish line before the clock strikes midnight. The route takes runners through some of the most picturesque areas of the region, going from island to island, all the while in the shadow of majestic mountains and fjords. It truly is one of the most unique running experiences.
June 18, Winnipeg, Canada
For North America-based athletes, there is no shortage of races taking place this summer where you can enjoy cooler weather and brighter evenings. One of our favorites is the Manitoba Marathon, which takes place along the banks of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. The race starts and ends at the University of Manitoba and laps around the city of Winnipeg, giving visitors a grand tour of this welcoming Canadian city. With just 700 participants, it’s a smaller field compared to others but what they lack in numbers they make up for in enthusiasm and hospitality.
June 25, Waterford, Rep. of Ireland
When the Vikings landed in Waterford in the ninth century, we are pretty sure they didn’t expect to be the inspiration for one of Ireland’s most beloved marathons. Having celebrated its 10th birthday last year, this race continues to go from strength to strength, boasting a field of over 2,000, with many more taking part in other running-related events around the city over the weekend.
This is an out-and-back course, turning at the ominously-titled Ballymountain, and it will test the stamina of anyone taking part, with 267m of elevation at the highest point meaning the trek home is a lot easier than the trot out!
Marathon August 19, Reykjavik, Iceland
If there is a more fascinating country than Iceland, we’d love to hear about it. From the volcanic plains to the geothermal pools, the whole island is a natural wonder. So it should come as no surprise to learn that its biggest running event, the Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon is one of our favorites on the calendar.
The race coincides with Menningarnótt, or “Culture Night” a national event that brings up to a third of the entire population of Iceland onto the streets of the capital to celebrate Reykjavik’s birthday.
The race offers an atmosphere that is both relaxed and welcoming, with around 1,000 runners taking part. If you’re looking for a running experience like no other, then this is the marathon for you.