Challenge: World Marathon Majors

world marathon majors

Have you ever heard of the World Marathon Majors? Neither did I. Until two years ago.


It was just a normal day when my dad asked me something seriously: “I have this crazy idea in my head. You can be part of it if you want to. There is only one condition: you need to train… .”OKAY DAD TELL ME YOUR IDEA RIGHT NOW! That’s my first thought even though I didn’t know what his idea was. My dad continued: “Well, I want to run the six World Marathon Majors in one year time. Are you in?” Omg this is awesome. Did my dad just ask me if I want to combine my two most favorite hobbies in life, running and traveling? Yes, he did!

The World Marathon Majors consist of the six largest marathons in the world: Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. Together with my dad and my sister (she is in the challenge as well), we will try to run those six marathons in one year. Soon we realized that the time frame is too short. The marathon of London and Boston are both in April, with only one week in between. Even if you’re a trained runner, this is overdrive. The chance to get an injury is too big. So we change the time frame to 1,5 years.

The first one will be Berlin in September 2014, followed by New York in November 2014, Tokyo in February 2015, London in April 2015 and Chicago in October 2015. I hear you say: “you forgot Boston.”. Indeed. The marathon in Boston is the hardest marathon in the world to get in. First, you need to qualify. This means you need prove you have ran a marathon in a specific time. For me (21 years old/woman), the qualifying standard is 3hrs 35mins.  And I haven’t ran any marathon so far. Second, once you have qualified yourself, you have to be lucky enough to get picked in the lottery because there are too many inscriptions than race numbers. Only time will tell when I will run the Boston Marathon.


How does the story end? Well, for me, not so well. I had a great start. I finished Berlin in 4hrs 22mins, which I am very happy about because it’s my personal record (before this challenge I ran the marathon in Dublin in 4hrs 30 mins). 5 weeks later, we would fly to New York for our second marathon. But something went wrong in between those two marathons. Not fully recovered from Berlin, I started to train too soon. This led to knee pain. Even walking hurt.

After three months of physiotherapy, they finally found what caused the pain: Hoffitis. This is an inflammation of the fat pad. But this means I could not run the four upcoming marathons (New York, Tokyo, London and Chicago). I couldn’t run for a whole year plus I lost my strength and endurance. So, it took me another year to get back my fitness level. This makes me very sad because I will never ever get this opportunity again. But then again, I am a very lucky girl that I could still join the marathon trips and see so many places!

So here we are now. I am currently running 5km-10km and Boston is still on our list. Maybe in April 2017? Who knows. But I’ve got the chance to visit London, Berlin, USA and Japan. All great places, but Japan was my favorite! In the meanwhile, my dad, sister, my sister’s boyfriend and I are training for the Amsterdam marathon in October. Yes, another wolf has joined the pack. Wish us luck!

Have you ever run a marathon? Do you know one I really should run?

Xoxo Zoë


collage marathon berlijn



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2 Comments on “Challenge: World Marathon Majors”

  1. I know the feeling, did the same myself a few years back and actually damaged myself for good – road to recovery now. Less is more 🙂

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