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The best marathons you probably haven't heard of

(Image credit: Unknown)

1. The Vodafone Malta Marathon – Malta – 23rd February

Enjoy a gradual 200m descent from start to finish taking in some of Malta’s picturesque countryside and historic towns (pictured above) while running in temperatures that should peak at the mid-teens. (opens in new tab)

2. Geneva Marathon for Unicef – Switzerland – 4th May

Starting in the Swiss countryside near imposing Alpine summits, you’ll race through ten of the city’s districts as well as a stretch along the scenic Lake Geneva before completing the course on the stunning Pont du Mont-Blanc bridge. (opens in new tab)

3. Great Wall Marathon – China – 17th May

Completing a marathon on one of the planet’s most iconic settings must be one of the most memorable things you could ever do. Expect a number of steep climbs and uneven terrain to truly test your awareness and endurance. (opens in new tab)

4. ASICS Stockholm Marathon – Sweden – 31st May

Finishing in the legendary 1912 Olympic Stadium, the two-lap course takes in many of the city’s landmarks including its numerous waterways and the stunning island of Djurgården. (opens in new tab)

5. Rio Marathon – Brazil – 27th July

Hot on the heels of the World Cup, you could sample the sights, sounds and scenery of Brazil’s colourful capital while dashing through the city, all under the watchful gaze of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. (opens in new tab)

6. Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon – Canada – 28th September

If you’re after a new PB then this course around Canada’s second city could be the one for you thanks to a pancake flat route and pumping live music every mile to keep your spirits up. This marathon's landmarks include Notre-Dame Island and the F1 track before finishing at the Olympic Stadium for a massive rock concert. (opens in new tab)

7. BMW Frankfurt Marathon – Germany – 26th October

Forget Berlin, Frankfurt’s fast, flat and circular course takes you on a whistle-stop tour of its finest historical and modern buildings, culminating in a red carpet finish at the Festhalle. (opens in new tab)

8. Beirut International Marathon – Lebanon – 9th November

Race around the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ with 30,000 other competitors from more than 70 countries in this increasingly popular event that has a postive theme of unity at its core. (opens in new tab)

9. Antarctic Ice Marathon – Antarctica – 18th November

Conquer one of the most remote places on Earth and defeat extreme weather conditions over a course on the seventh continent that will test your resolve and push you to the limit. (opens in new tab)