If running a marathon is on your fitness bucket list, it’s important to gear up and start preparing. You need to eat smart, practice hard and take adequate safety precautions. Picking a marathon that works for you is critical as this may decide your ability to finish it. From big city races to more offbeat rugged routes, we give you our top picks of upcoming marathons in India:

Ladakh Marathon

Race Date: 11 September, 2016

Registration: Closed

Website: http://ladakhmarathon.com/

Location: Leh

Marathons in India - Ladakh Marathon

Image Credit: ladakhmarathon.com

There aren’t many places to rival Ladakh in terms of natural beauty. The Ladakh Marathon gives you a chance to take in the region’s stunning vistas and live out one of the most memorable experiences of your life. The route will take you across valleys, dirt tracks and bridges across the Indus River with snowy peaks forming the backdrop. The race has four categories—Run Ladakh for Fun (7 km), Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and the world’s highest ultra marathon – Khardung-la Challenge (71.12 km). As the rarefied atmosphere in Ladakh puts your body to test, this ultimate endurance race is only for the fittest and most experienced runner. So participate only if you’ve had adequate practice at high altitudes under similar conditions.  

Kaveri Trail Marathon

Race Date: 17-18 September, 2016  

Registration: Till 11 September, 2016

Website: http://kaveritrailmarathon.com/

Location: Near Mysore

Marathons in India - Kaveri Marathon

Image Credit: kaveritrailmarathon.com

Currently in its 10th year, this run is held next to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka’s largest bird sanctuary. The route takes you along a scenic canal meandering through emerald paddy fields and lush green forests. On a lucky day you might even spot otters basking on the banks of the Kaveri. The marathon comes in 10 km, half marathon and full marathon formats! So choose wisely and brace up for one of the most remarkable races of your life.

Satara Hill Half Marathon

Race Date: 18 September, 2016

Registration: Closed

Website: http://www.satarahillmarathon.com/index.php

Location: Satara, Maharashtra

Marathons in India - Satara Marathon

Image Credit: PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon/ Facebook

Experience spectacular natural beauty as you wind your way around the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats. Expect to see fog, forests, waterfalls and encounter cooling showers!

Although it is technically only a half marathon, Satara is known to be among the toughest courses and is referred to as an ultra-half marathon. Veterans agree that the course resembles that of Comrades Marathon, the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race, and recommend it as preparation for running the 90 km-long South African course.

Bengaluru Marathon

Race Date: 16 October, 2016   

Registration: Ongoing; last day to be announced

Website: http://www.bengalurumarathon.in/index.html

Location: Bengaluru

bengaluru marathon

Image Credit: Bengaluru Marathon website

The Bengaluru Marathon is a young event; its first edition was held in 2014. The inaugural run was flagged off by legendary two-time Olympic long distance gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie. The route winds its way through some of the most iconic parts of Bengaluru like Cubbon Park, Ulsoor Lake, Vidhana Soudha, MG Road, Koramangala and Chinnaswamy Stadium. The green spaces, pleasant weather and large running community makes Bengaluru an ideal urban marathon venue.

Goa River Marathon

Race Date: 11 December, 2016

Registration: Till 10 December, 2016  

Website: http://www.goarivermarathon.com

Location: Goa

Goa Marathon

Image Credit: www.mobiefit.com

Who wouldn’t want to run a marathon in Goa? The Goa River Marathon follows the course of the Zuari River and its clear, unspoilt waters. The route starts at Chicalim SAG Cricket Ground, past St. Jacinto Island, with a U-turn near Cortalim Junction where runners double back to the starting point to complete the full marathon. Last year’s edition saw 6,000 participants and the numbers are steadily growing. Pick from the full marathon, the half marathon, the 10 km run or the 4 km Fun Run.

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon

Race Date: 15 January, 2017  

Registration:

Full marathon: Till 17 September, 2016, for physical modes of registration; 25 November, 2016, for online

Half Marathon: Till 26 August, 2016

Dream Run: Till 31 August, 2016

Senior Citizens’ Run and Champions with Disability: Till 17 September, 2016

Website: http://scmm.procamrunning.in/

Location: Mumbai

SCMM Mumbai Marathon

Image Credit: Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon

Asia’s largest long-distance run witnessed record participation – 40,285 people from across the world – at its 13th edition in 2016. The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which is held on the third Sunday of January every year, also boasts the largest prize money (US $350,000) among all Indian races. The event has six race categories, including The Full Marathon, The Half Marathon, the Dream Run (6 km), The Senior Citizens’ Race (4.3 km), The Champions with Disability category (2.4 km) and the DHL Corporate Champions (a 42.195 km, 4-person relay).

Starting at the Azad Maidan outside the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the race will take you through parts of quintessential Mumbai like Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, Haji Ali Dargah and the Sea Link. Beware of the stretch on Pedder Road Hill: it makes up a slight gradient in an otherwise flat course. The problem is that you need to cross it twice—the second time at the end of the race as you retrace your steps towards Azad Maidan—by which time you’re thoroughly exhausted. Expect plenty of excitement at the SCMM—including a huge number of participants, a large celeb quotient and loads of spectators cheering you on!

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Race Date: To be announced  

Registration: From 30 August, 2016; Last day to be announced

Website: http://adhm.procamrunning.in/

Location: Delhi

ADHM Delhi Half Marathon

Image Credit: adhm.procamrunning.in

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) takes runners through some of the most iconic parts of the Capital. It starts at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, continues towards Safdarjung’s Tomb, past India Gate and Parliament House and back. There are four categories—the half marathon, the Great Delhi Run (6 km), the Senior Citizens’ Run (4 km) and the Champions with Disability category (4 km). Currently in its ninth edition, the ADHM is held towards the end of the year. There are music shows, corporate promotions and loads of entertainment—so brace yourself for fun on the run!

Auroville Marathon

Race Date: To be announced

Registration: From 15 November, 2016

Website: http://marathon.auroville.com/

Location: Auroville, Pondicherry

Auroville Marathon

Image Credit: Auroville Marathon/ Facebook

The race was first held in 2008 to commemorate 40 years of the founding of Auroville and has become an integral part of the annual marathon calendar since then. The route takes you through mud trails hemmed closely by forests and farmlands. This is a marathon with a difference: it is a non-competitive race where participants are encouraged to focus on running as a spiritual exercise. Categories include full marathon, half marathon, and a 10 km race.

Now that Milind Soman’s mom has shown the way by running barefoot in a sari, what’s stopping you? Prep for the marathon season with India’s Top Coaches. 

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Written by Saravanan Hariram

Saravanan Hariram

“If you make a career out of your passion, you won’t have to work another day.” That’s a belief Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram has held, and since bodybuilding have always been deep interests, it is no surprise he chose to make fitness his profession.
A champion bodybuilder, Sharu realized early on that he loves teaching and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. That’s what makes him an ideal partner for HealthifyMe. Apart from American College on Exercise (ACE) certification, he has also been endorsed as a nutrition and fitness trainer by Fitness One India and DSW Fitness (USA).
Sharu’s goal is to stay fit at any age, and he believes that everyone else should aim for the same. Make small changes to your diet, and exercise, and give it 21 days to become a habit, he says. To lead a healthy life, he believes your mind must have control over your body and not the other way around. So think healthy, and stay fit.

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