Article from runner’s world, worth sharing! Enjoy!
“If you’re keen to improve your long distance speed then perhaps it’s time to enter one of the world’s fastest marathons.
Feeling the need for speed? Aside from good old-fashioned training, if you want to up your pace then optimum weather conditions, good organisation and a little touch of magic can all contribute to a speedy marathon time. Check out our rundown of the world’s top ten fastest marathons and get ready to race your heart out. While we can’t guarantee you a PB (that one’s down to you), signing up to one of the fastest iconic races in history might just give you a head start.
The Berlin Marathon
Location: Berlin, Germany
Course record: Dennis Kipruto Kimetto 2:02:57 (men’s), Mizuki Noguch 2:19:12 (women’s)
Best known for its flat profile, even surface and temperate climate, the most marathon world records for both men and women have been set at the Berlin Marathon. One of the World Marathon Majors, many of the greats including Dennis Kimetto, Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich, Patrick Makau, Haile Gebrselassie and Paul Tergat have achieved sub 2:05 marathon times at the iconic event. While it’s a bit late to sign up to the 2015 marathon held this Sunday, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your 2016 race calendar.
The Boston Marathon
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Course record: Geoffrey Mutai 2:03:02 (men’s), Rita Jeptoo 2:18:57 (women’s)
The world’s oldest annual marathon and sixth in the World Marathon Majors, Boston ranks as one of the best-known road racing events and attracts 30,000 runners and 500,000 spectators each year. While it’s a bit tricky to enter as you have to qualify before you can even get close to the starting line, these exacting standards certainly lend themselves to a speedier running field.
The BMW Frankfurt Marathon
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Course record: Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich 2:03:42 (men’s), Meselech Melkamu 2:21:01 (women’s)
The longest-established city marathon in Germany, Frankfurt Marathon has been going since 1981. Its fast flat course and temperate weather could well contribute to PB success.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Location: Chicago, USA
Course record: Dennis Kimetto 2:03:45 (men’s), Paula Radcliffe 2:17:18 (women’s)
One of the six World Marathon Majors and an IAAF Gold Label race, Chicago is among the fastest growing marathon road races in the world. Due in part to its fast and flat course the race has produced several world record performances. Limited to 45,000 runners and with a 6.5 hour cut off time, it’s an ideal race for a world record performance, or failing that a PB.
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
Course record: Ayele Abshero 2:04:23 (men’s), Aselefech Mergia 2:19:31 (women’s)
The world’s richest long distance running event, in 2008 one million dollars was famously offered for a world record and $250,000 for first place for both the men and women. If that sort of money isn’t enough to incentivise you to train your heart out, then nothing will. It also helps if you come from Ethiopia, as the top four men and top six women in the race’s history all hailed from there.
NN Rotterdam Marathon
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Course record: James Kwambai and Duncan Kibet 2:04:27 (men’s), Tiki Gelana 2:18:58 (women’s)
With a fast flat course, typically favourable weather conditions and enthusiastic crowd support, Rotterdam is perfect for speed chasers.
Virgin Money London Marathon
Course record: Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich 2:04:29 (men’s), Paula Radcliffe 2:15:25 (women’s)
A largely flat course around the River Thames, London is one of the top five international marathons attracting elite runners from all over the world and world records have been set on the course four times. Since its inception in 1981, the event has raised over £450 million for charity. While the busy course doesn’t always lend itself to a speedy PB, if you’re up at the front you’re in for a wild ride and crowd support in abundance.
Schneider Electric Paris Marathon
Location: Paris, France
Course record: Kenenisa Bekele 2:05:03 (men’s), Boru Tadese 2:21:06 (women’s)
Held in April, the Paris Marathon dates back to 1976. Limited to 37,000 runners, the streets of the city are perfect for getting your speed on, but like most races in France you will requires a doctor’s note to get onto the start line.
TCS New York City Marathon
Location: New York, USA
Course record: Geoffrey Mutai 2:05:05 (men’s), Margaret Okayo 2:22:31 (women’s)
The largest marathon in the world with a course that winds its way through the five boroughs of New York City, participation is chosen largely by a lottery system so you’ll be lucky to get in. With a few bridges to contend with along the way it’s not the flattest course in history but it’s certainly the most popular.
The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Course record: Tsegaye Kebede 2:05:18 (men’s), women’s record not available
The tenth longest running annual marathon race in recorded history and the third-longest running competition of its type in Japan, running is the number one sport in the country. First instigated in the late 40s long before New York and London, marathon runners also regularly compete in relay races called ekidens, which continue to capture the nation’s attention in the same way us Brits favour football. With a serious attitude to the sport and a lot of money invested in success it’s the ideal location for marathon runners looking to up their speed.