Marathon races

Annually, more than 500 marathons are organized worldwide.[3] Some of these belong to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) which has grown since its foundation in 1982 to embrace over 300 member events in 83 countries and territories.[36] Five of the largest and most prestigious races, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London and New York City, form the biennial World Marathon Majors series, awarding $500,000 annually to the best overall male and female performers in the series. In 2006, the editors of Runner's World selected a "World's Top 10 Marathons",[37] in which the Amsterdam, Honolulu, Paris, Rotterdam, and Stockholm marathons were featured along with the five mentioned above. Other notable large marathons include United States Marine Corps Marathon, Los Angeles, and Rome. The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, inspired by the success of the 1896 Olympic marathon and held since 1897. The oldest annual marathon in Europe is the Kosice Peace Marathon, held since 1924 in Kosice, Slovakia. The historic Polytechnic Marathon was discontinued in 1996. One of the more unusual marathons is the Midnight Sun Marathon held in Tromso, Norway at 70 degrees north. Using unofficial and tempo ary courses, measured by GPS, races of marathon distance are now held at the North Pole, in Antarctica and over desert terrain. Among other unusual marathons to mention are: The Great Wall Marathon on The Great Wall of China, The Big Five Marathon among the safari wildlife of South Africa, The Great Tibetan Marathon a marathon in an atmosphere of Tibetan Buddhism at an altitude of 3,500 metres (11,500 ft), and The Polar circle marathon on the permanent ice cap of Greenland in ?15 degrees Celsius/+5 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. Some of the most scenic United States marathon routes are: Steamboat Marathon, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Mount Desert Island Marathon, Bar Harbor, Maine; Mayor's Marathon, Anchorage, Alaska; Kona Marathon, Keauhou/Kona, Hawaii; San Francisco Marathon, San Francisco, California.[38] The Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is the only marathon where participants run over two continents, Europe and Asia, during the course of a single event. In the Detroit Free Press Marathon, participants cross the US/Canadian border twice.[39] The Niagara Falls International Marathon includes one international border crossing, via the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York, USA to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.