Get a running start on the world's most popular marathons in 2020

Ready to fill out the 2020 race calendar? Entries to many of the world’s most popular marathons open soon. Some races are so popular, in fact, runners have to enter a lottery to earn a spot in them. Here’s everything to know about entry dates, accommodations and costs for the biggest marathons in the world. 

Thousands of runners begin the Chicago Marathon. There is a large red and white 'Bank of America Chicago Marathon' banner overhead.
A flat course means record-smashing performances at the Chicago Marathon © Courtesy of Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon has a fast, flat course that has hosted four world-record-smashing performances. It starts and ends at Chicago’s Grant Park and runs past Wrigley Field

Accommodations: The Palmer House Hilton is less than half a mile from the start line, while JW Marriott Chicago sits at mile 2 of the race, ideal for any spectators who travel to the race.
2020 race date: October 11, 2020
Cost: $205 USD
Entry period: Although entries for lottery places closed on December 3, 2019, there are still options if you want to run for a charity.

Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris

The Paris Marathon features one of the world’s most scenic routes passing Paris landmarks including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees and Seine river bank. 

Accommodations: Indulge after the race – get free organic soft drinks at the Hôtel du Ministère in the 8th District or shop near the Madeleine District’s Hotel Massena.
2020 race date: April 5, 2020
Cost: 110 euros through November 25, 2019; 125 euros after November 25
Entry period: General entry closed when the number of entrants hit 15,000, however, there are still some charity and tour-related entries still available.

A trio of runners, one dressed as Wonder Woman, another dressed as Thor and the other dressed as the Flash run during the Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Even superheroes enjoy the Toronto Waterfront Marathon © NurPhoto / Getty Images

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Canada’s biggest marathon, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon winds along Lake Ontario and the Toronto Inner Harbor. Neighborhoods along the route sponsor fun celebrations on race day. 

Accommodations: Stay at the Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre and check out the amazing view from the pool on the 18th floor. Book a room at the InterContinental Toronto Centre and take advantage of the on-site spa after the race. 
2020 race date: October 18, 2020
Cost: $110 USD until June 1, 2020, then $120 up to July 20, $130 to September 21, $150 to October 11 and $160 in the week prior the race. 
Entry period: Registration is open until the day before the race (unless sold out prior).

Marine Corps Marathon

Held in Washington, D.C., the Marine Corps Marathon starts at the Pentagon and winds through Rosslyn, Georgetown and past the National Mall to finish at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Accommodations: Penn Quarter, with hotels such as Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC Downtown and Henley Park Hotel, is in downtown D.C. and just a 15-minute Metro ride to the starting line. Closer to the Pentagon, try Sheraton Pentagon City.  
2020 race date: October 25, 2020
Cost: $171.90 USD
Lottery entry period: March 18, 2020-March 31, 2020; runners notified April 1

Valary Jemeli Aiyabei is covered in confetti as she wins the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon
The Frankfurt Marathon is a fantastic alternative to the Berlin Marathon © Courtesy of the Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

The entry deadline for the 2020 Berlin Marathon has passed, so sign up for Germany’s other major race, the Frankfurt Marathon. Well-organized with a flat course lined with musicians, the Frankfurt race finishes indoors, which is unusual. 

Accommodations: Mövenpick Hotel Frankfurt City is the official race hotel, or stay right across from the start and finish line at the Hotel Hessischer Hof
2020 race date: October 25, 2020
Cost: 90 euros until June 30, 2020, then 100 euros till October 4 and 110 euros until October 18
Entry period: Open until October 18, 2020

A trio of men in wheelchairs hold up flags of their respective countries after finishing the New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon takes you on a tour of New York City © Courtesy of the New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

With more than 50,000 racers finishing every year, the New York City Marathon winds through all five boroughs of New York City and ends in Central Park. Lots of celebrities run, too.

Accommodations: The race starts in Staten Island, so being close to the ferry at Anda Wall St cuts down on the race-day commute. Others like to stay by the finish at hotels like the Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan or budget-friendly Hotel Belleclaire.
2020 race date: November 1, 2020
Cost: $295USD; $255USD for New York Road Runners members
Lottery entry period: January 30, 2020-February 13, 2020; runners notified February 26, 2020

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