Shaping up to be an epic fall marathon season in 2020

It looks like the mother of all marathon seasons this fall. All the big marathon events are moving to autumn to join the already great races currently scheduled. Add to the mix a lot of time for long solitary runs, and it could be the most epic distance running season in history. And now there is plenty of choice as races such as the Boston Marathon peg new fall dates. 

Here is our top five to watch:

Boston: This legendary race was postponed for the first time in race history this spring, and that’s a history that extends back to 1897. Still, the oldest marathon in the world will go on, and the new date is Monday, Sept. 14. The state is reportedly going to declare this date a  ‘Marathon Day’ holiday, which should help. The race usually draws a half a million spectators, and hopefully, that will continue with the new date. The course is one of the more challenging of the major marathons because of the sometimes tough conditions as well as the Newton hills, including the dreaded Heartbreak Hill. No word yet on refunds for runners who cannot make the new date. 


London: The London Marathon traditionally held in the spring is now scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 4. This is one of the top six marathons in the world that draws the top competitors — the field this year included Eliud Kipchoge — with a nice flat course around the River Thames, the race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes in The Mall alongside St James's Park. The London Marathon is doing well with its policies around the race with three options for registrants: enter the Oct. 4 race, postpone to the 2021 race, or get a full refund. Well done. 

Here is a look at the London Marathon course:


Paris: one of the first major marathons to cancel its spring date and announce a fall date of Sunday, Oct. 18. One of the most popular distance races in Europe, the Paris Marathon begins along the Champs-Élysées with a course the winds through the gorgeous French capital taking in all the key sites including the Eiffel Tower, Pont Neuf, the Seine River and more. There are no refunds available for this race, so anyone who registered for spring, hopefully, will be able to attend. 


Toronto: Also scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 18 is the Toronto Waterfront Marathon — the Ontario capital’s favourite fall distance race with some 25,000 runners taking to the flat and fast course the runs along the city’s waterfront from east to west and extending into the dramatic downtown core. This is one of the top races in the country and usually garners elite international competitors. It will be interesting to see how the moves of some of the other top races impact this hometown favourite. 


New York City: The New York City Marathon has long been one of the great and most popular fall marathons with more than 50,000 runners attending. It is also one of the most difficult to get into. This year’s race is currently scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 3. The race begins on Staten Island, runners make their way through the city’s five boroughs before the dramatic finish in Central Park. 



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