Most scenic marathons in India for your bucket list!

Put on your running shoes and get ready to explore the great outdoors with these scenic marathons in India.

Staying indoors due to the pandemic has got us all looking for escapes, and thank goodness for marathons that allow us to run off (quite literally) to places far and unseen. Whether you run for a cause or for yourself, picturesque set-ups sure do help. We bring you the marathons in India with the most striking trails that will take your breath away, for good reason.

SKF Goa River Marathon

Marathons in india
Experience a different Goa this December. Image: Courtesy Instagram/Morrison D’mello.

Go beyond beach-hopping and clubbing the next time you are in Goa. Wake up at the crack of dawn to reach the little village of Chicalim, and run along the pristine Zuari river, as the picturesque St. Jacinto Island plays the perfect background. Now in its 11th edition, the popular SKF Goa River Marathon has an AIMS-certified route that stretches through scenic riversides and shaded trails. You can pick from 42km, 21km, 10km, or 5km races.

When:

December 12, 2021

Maha Marathon

Marathons in india
Ready for a marathon mania in Maharashtra? Image: Courtesy Maha Marathon.

With all sorts of runs taking place in five different cities of Maharashtra, Maha Marathon is a big hit in the state among locals and tourists alike. An initiative by Lokmat Media to ‘inspire people to get their lives #BackOnTrack‘, the circuit this year will be flagged off with a half marathon in Aurangabad and concluded with a half marathon in Nashik, travelling through Pune, Kolhapur, and Nagpur. Choose to run a distance ranging from 3km to 21km in a particular city, or challenge yourself for a multi-city run of 21km and 10km in three to five cities.

When:

  • December 12 (Aurangabad)
  • January 9 (Pune)
  • January 23 (Kolhapur)
  • February 13 (Nagpur)
  • February 27 (Nashik)

Aravali Trail Run

Marathons in india
Exploring Aravalis on foot has it own perks. Image: Courtesy Aravali Trail Run.

The 350 million-years-old Aravali ranges extend across four states and promise adventures and sights aplenty. You might have taken long drives along its beautiful patch of forest in the capital, but it’s now time for you to explore the breathtaking trail on foot! Arrive at the Backyard Sports Club in Gurugram’s Sector 59 for a run along a trail that is a combination of rough, craggy, and flat terrains. Whether you pick to run as little as 8km or become an ultra runner by taking up a 12-hour run, you are sure to enjoy every bit of the Aravali Trail Run.

When:

December 26, 2021

Munnar Marathon

Marathons in india
Kerala’s Munnar is truly a surreal set-up for a run. Image: Courtesy Munnar Marathon.

Think running through rolling grasslands, tea plantations, and thick forests. Hosted by Kestrel Adventures and Holidays, Munnar Marathon offers you just that and then some more. Conducted on the principles of sustainable practices and protecting the environment, the 2022 version will be completely carbon neutral! So, here’s your chance to be a responsible runner, while breathing in crisp mountain air, and taking in scenic vistas that Munnar is famous for. The trail has four options: 71km Ultra Run, 42km Full Marathon, 21km Half Marathon, and 7km Run for Fun.

When:

February 12-13, 2022

Garhwal Temple Run 3.0

Marathons in india
Brace yourself for an adventure amid Garhwal Himalayas. Image: Courtesy Instagram/ RunForHills Foundation.

Promoting long-distance running in remote Garhwal Himalayas, RunForHills Foundation takes it up a notch or two with its extensive Garhwal Temple Run. Now in its third edition, this one is not for the fainthearted, as the trail traverses through mud patches, little villages, mountain streams, and dense jungles with overgrown side vegetation. You can make your pick from Lite (single day), Heavy (two days), and Run the Sun (12-hour run from sunrise to sunset) trails, while covering a distance of anywhere between 25km to 102km, depending on the category you choose. Mind you, for Run the Sun, you’ll be expected to run up to an elevation of 8,000 feet spread over two days with a two-night stay in a jungle homestay near Chirbatiya village.

When:

April 2, 2022

The Buddha Trails, West Bengal

Marathons in india
A springtime run in Sandakphu! Image: Courtesy The Hell Race.

Sandakphu near Darjeeling is known for its enchanting winter treks. But how about exploring the region on a springtime race, when rows of colourful rhododendrons and magnolia blooms make your journey unforgettable? The Hell Race takes you through the forests of Sandakphu by organising The Buddha Trails that offers you exquisite views of four magnificent peaks: Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga (aka The Sleeping Buddha, which is the inspiration behind the marathon’s name), Lhotse, and Makalu. Expect a mix of bumpy outcrops and easy-accent slopes, and you can pick to run 12km, 30km, or 65km.

When:

April 16, 2022

Read more: These 5 offbeat winter treks prove that India is a true hiker’s paradise