Running always has been underrated. Moreover, the sprinters and short-distance runners come along and take all the praise. During this, the long-distance runners and marathoners are often ignored.
The perception toward marathons is certainly changing in India, especially after three such runners booked places at the 2023 Asian Games. As people are getting more and more aware of the importance of physcial fitness activities, the various kinds of marathons are getting recognized within the country, and attracting more eyeballs.
Here are the top 10 unique marathons in India:
1. Pinkathon Marathon
Pinkathon is a United Sisters project that is organized by Maximus Mice and Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd. It's a gathering that's all for ladies. Pinkathon's main goals are to promote women's health and fitness while also increasing awareness around breast cancer.
Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Panipat are the nine Indian cities where it is hosted. The competition is divided into four categories: a half marathon, a 10 km run, a 5 km run, and a 3 km pink ribbon walk/run to raise breast cancer awareness. Reema Sanghavi and Milind Soman established Pinkathon.
2. Ladakh Marathon
The Ladakh Marathon was first held in 2012 in the town of Leh and it is one of the toughest marathons in India. It is held at a height of 3500 metres above sea level. Hence, it requires you to reach Leh at least one week before the race in order to get acclimatised to the weather. Some of the categories include the full marathon, half marathon/ the Khardungla challenge [72 km].
3. Go Heritage Run Marathon
The Go Heritage Run was held for the first time as an offshoot of UNESCO in 2014. It was started to promote awareness surrounding heritage locations. Its format is simple and these runs are conducted at heritage sites. which are not time-bound.
They are organized on a Sunday and include different formats such as 5k, 10k, and up to the distance of half marathons [21.0975 km]. The exact run distance varies from location to location. The first edition was held in Hampi district where about 50 people came in from different cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai.
4. Lahaul Snow Marathons
Up until now, regions with chilly and snowy areas such as Antarctica, Russia, and northern European countries have organized marathons in the snow. With the help of the Lahul Marathon, India is also joining the list. The snow marathon in Lahul is the highest in the World, heldin Lahul and Spiti districts in Himachal Pradesh.
The district administration witness the participation of over 100 enthusiastic runners. The organizers also introduced a 1km race running among the local residents that saw huge participation. Categories are 10 km, 5km, and 21km.
5. Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon
The Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon [VMM] was first time held in 2011 and is primarily sponsored by Indian bulls. It is organized by various municipal corporations in the country. The marathons are held in three categories: full marathon, half Marathon and 1km.
6. Hampi Marathon
Hampi is a temple town in North Karnataka, India renowned for being a world heritage site listed by UNESCO. It was once one of the largest, and most prosperous cities in the world and is located within the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Taking part in this fun run at a world heritage site like Hampi will take you on a journey making you experience everything between the first century and the 14th. Categories include 5 km and 12 km.
7. Airtel Hyderabad Marathon
It was held for the first time in 2011 in the city of Hyderabad and is an annual event. It is the second-largest Marathon in the country after Tata Mumbai Marathon. It is one of the toughest events in India as it moves through the rolling hills of Hyderabad. There are four categories [Full Marathon, Half Marathon,10 km, and 5km]
8. Goa River Marathon.
The Goa Marathon is considered as amongst the 10 best marathons of the world by National Geographic. There are four categories [Marathon, half Marathon,10 km run the 5km, fun walk or run event].
9. Run the Rann Marathon
It is India's hardest desert race and this event is organised in the regions which is used to be the Indus Valley Civilization. This runs gives the experience of the ancient ruins of Dholavira, and over a hundred people participate.
10. Kaveri Trail Marathon
It is the oldest trial Marathon in India which was started in the year 2007 and organized by 'Runners for Life'. It is located next to the Ranganath bird sanctuary and is mainly famous for its charming scenic beauty. The categories include the full marathon, half marathon, and the 10km trail run.