Marathons in Asia with views worth travelling for in 2018


unique marathons in asia 2018

Image adapted from: RunSociety

You’ve conquered the Sundown marathon and Stan Chart’s 42KM, yet you’re yearning for more of that adrenaline-filled thrill that comes with crossing the finish line. If you’ve seen it all on our 719.9 KM² island, here are some overseas marathons with stunning views you might like to add to your travel itinerary this year.


1. North Korea – Pyongyang Marathon (18 April)


marathon in north korea 2018

Image credit: Pyongyang Marathon

Catch a glimpse of what goes on inside North Korea with their annual Pyongyang Marathon. Tours are available from Shanghai, Beijing and Dandong, with the marathon included in the itinerary. You can even book a 10-night Pyongyang Marathon and Kim Il Sung birthday tour, soaking up the atmosphere and joining in the birthday celebrations with the locals. 

Date: 18 April 2018 
Categories: 5KM, 10KM, half and full marathons 


2. Indonesia – Toraja Marathon (28 April) 


toraja marathon indonesia running through rural areas

Image credit: Phinemo

Discover parts of Indonesia you’ve never heard about during the Toraja Marathon. Besides the stunning scenery, be entertained by music and cultural performances from each region along the path. There’s no way that 42KM is going to be the least bit boring!

Date: 28 April 2018
Categories: 5KM, 10KM, half and full marathons


3. China – Great Wall of China Marathon (19 May)


great wall of china marathon 2018

Image credit: Great Wall Marathon 

Push yourself to the limit at China’s Great Wall Marathon. It is revered as one of the world’s most challenging marathons – seeing the route itself is enough to make most people peng san. If the idea of walking across the Great Wall’s thousands of steps doesn’t faze you, take up the challenge of running up and down all 3100 stairs at the Great Wall of China. 

marathon runners at the great wall of china marathon

Image credit: Great Wall Marathon 

great wall of china marathon runners against scenery

Image credit: Great Wall Marathon 

Date: 19 May 2018 
Categories: 8.5KM, half and full marathons


4. South Korea – Jeju International Tourism Marathon (27 May)


jeju international marathon in south korea along the beach

Image credit: RunSociety

There’s more to Korea than just chasing your idols and stuffing your face with korean BBQ. Explore the pristine white beaches on Korea’s largest island by taking part in the Jeju International Tourism Marathon. You’ll then be one step closer to having a fit body like Taeyang or HyunA’s.

south korea jeju marathon route

Image credit: Jeju Marathon

Race Date: 27 May 2018
Categories available: 10KM, half and full marathons


5. Thailand – Laguna Phuket International Marathon (9 June)


laguna thailand phuket marathon

Image credit: Phuket Marathon 

No need for a tour bus to take you around Phuket when you’ve got your own two feet! The Laguna Phuket International Marathon will take you through a Thai village market, rubber plantation and even the beach – much better than being cooped up in a bus. 

Race Date: 9 June 2018
Categories available: 5KM, 10KM, half and full marathons 


6. Cambodia – Khmer Empire Marathon (5 August)


khmer empire marathon with kids cheering you on

Image credit: RunSociety 

With the Khmer Empire Marathon, you’ll get to conquer 40 ancient temples in just one race, starting and finishing at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. It’s almost like taking yourself on a History lesson as you race through historical sites of what was once the most powerful Empire in Southeast Asia, and immerse yourself in its rich culture. 

khmer empire marathon route

Image credit: World’s Marathons

Date: 5 Aug 2018
Categories: 3KM, 10.5KM, half and full marathons 


7. Myanmar – Bagan Temple Marathon (24 Nov) 


bagan temple marathon

Image credit: Discovery DMC

We all remember the days where we were all glued to our phones trying to dodge tree logs and man-eating monkeys on Temple Run. The Bagan Temple Marathon is pretty much THE real life version of the smartphone game – just without the monkeys. Instead, friendly locals – and their animals like cows and goats – will be there to cheer you on along the way.

marathons with 7 wonders of the world

 Image credit: Bagan Temple Marathon

Date: 24 Nov 2018
Categories: 10KM, half and full marathons


8. Malaysia – Penang Bridge International Marathon (25 Nov)   


penang international marathon

Image credit: RunSociety

Not too far from home is the Penang Bridge International Marathon – the world’s longest bridge marathon! With panoramic views to take in as you sweat it out, the breathtaking sights will certainly distract you from your sweating and tired muscles. Before you know it, you’re past the finish line.

Date: 25 Nov 2018
Categories: 8KM, 10KM, half and full marathons


9. Japan – Fujisan Marathon (26 Nov)   


fujisan  marathon 2018 japan mt fuji

Image credit: RunSociety

Burn off those calories you’ve gained from wolfing down Kobe beef with Japan’s Fujisan Marathon, which takes you around Lake Kawaguchi and Saiko Lake with Mount Fuji in the background. Feel free to binge on as much ramen and sashimi as you want after that, ‘cause you’d had covered at least 10KM at the end.

Date: 25 Nov 2018
Categories: 10KM and full marathon 


Runs in Asia to sign up for in time for your holiday


Being overseas is no good excuse for you to take a break from your fitness regime. If you’re thinking of visiting one of the above cities for your next holiday, consider timing the trip with the corresponding marathon for an experience you’ll never forget.

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