With most of the world enjoying a spate of good running weather this time of the year, July comes with a massive list of marathons in almost every country you can imagine. Here’s our pick of some of the most exciting races around the globe and in India this month.

The San Francisco Marathon – July 18, 19
As a very runner-friendly city, San Francisco draws huge crowds of in its annual marathon – now in its 38th year. The USATF-certified race is a Boston qualifier making it hugely popular among serious runners, though its scenic course—virtually a running tour of the city’s highlights—is in itself a reason to sign up. The race kicks off from the iconic Ferry Building and runs along the Embarcadero, over the Golden Gate and through the adjoining national park, before ending at Cupid’s Arrow. Apart from the marathon, the event also hosts two half marathons and a 5K. Looking for something more challenging? The 52.4K Ultra is back this year by popular demand.

Fort William Marathon – July 26: A spectacular, multi-terrain race, the Fort William Marathon is the newest addition in Scotland’s running calendar. Located along the shadow of Ben Navis, the marathon route follows the Great Glen Way past Thomas Telford’s Caledonian Canal, with memorable landmarks along the course including the Commando Memorial and the ruins of an old rail viaduct. Event organizers have also arranged a pre-race pasta party (carb-loading, yay!) after a mountain gondola ride to the top of Aonach Mor.

Maratona Caixa da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro – July 26
With a loyal turnout of more than 20,000 runners annually, the Rio de Janeiro marathon weaves through the city streets, past its spectacular coastline and through beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema before winding down through Flamego Park. The event includes a marathon, a half marathon and a 6K Family Run, with plenty of opportunities to soak up the unique local culture of Rio before and after races.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon – July 4, 5

In its 37th years now, Australia’s Gold Coast Marathon is IAAF certified and sees runners from all over the world in what is known as the continent’s ‘premier road race’. Considered one of the flattest courses in the world, the marathon route snakes past gorgeous Gold Coast beaches and bays with ample sights to keep you refreshed through the run. While elites can use this extremely fast marathon to better their personal best times, there are plenty of runs for beginners too. More than 27,000 runners sign up for the ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15K, Southern Cross University 10K, and Suncorp Bank 5.7K, while young runners have the 4K and 2K Junior Dash to look forward to.

Swiss Alpine Marathon – July 25
If there was ever a celebration of mountain running at its best, this is probably it. Comprising over 10 spectacular events through the week, the Swiss Alpine marathon celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Races range from a 78K mountain ultra, two 42K races, a 30K mountain run, a 21K road race and sever small fun runs and junior events. There are also guided tours and other activities, as well as several parties before and after each event. Even if you’re not climbing mountains, just being a part of this diverse mountain carnival with international runners from all communities will be an experience by itself.

Closer home, even in the midst of the rains, there are several races organized for all kinds of runners.

Sohra Marathon – July 17
In its second year now, the Sohra Marathon crosses the historic Shillong – Cherrapunji route across the mist-covered valleys, tiny hamlets and rolling hills of Meghalaya. As one of the rainiest places in the world, the marathon this year invites 1042 runners to match the rainfall it had last year—a whopping 1042 inches of rain. Event organizers are also using the race to highlight sensitive environmental issues and promote running as a sustainable sport in the country. Races include the marathon, a half marathon, a 10K race and a 2K Kids Fun Run.

ZENdurance Ladakh – July 18, 19
Come July and almost everyone in the country is considering a trip to Leh; well, why not combine a high-altitude marathon with it? If you want to go all out, there’s a 100K ultra run up for grabs with a time limit of under 17 hours. This course scales the formidable Khardung La, with elevation reaching a whopping 18,300ft. For the less daring, there are the 42K, 21K and 10K races—though the thin mountain air and harsh windchill factor will make your run anything but regular.

Great Delhi Run
Organised by the Vikaspuri Runners, online registrations for the Great Delhi Run are now open, but will close on June 28. The fee is Rs 450 for both the 6km and 12km runs. On-The-Spot registration counter will be open on the race day, July 5, 2015 with a fee of Rs 500 for both categories. The Great Delhi Run will start at Lodhi Garden Gate Number 6 and all participants stand to get a finisher medal, a certificate, with timings being sent via e-mail. In addition, awards will be given to the Top 3 runners in both races in the men and women categories.

The Run Of Raramuri Tribe
Having completed 6 seasons, The Run Of Raramuri Tribe is back with TRORT-007, to be held on July 18. Registrations for the event are open till June 30. The Run Of Raramuri Tribe is directed by well-known runner and coach Dr Gladson Johnson. The objective is to raise funds for the medical and educational expenses of HIV infected children. There are three categories in TRORT-007; a 10K run, a half marathon and the marathon with the registration fee being Rs 750 across all categories. All participants will get a race day T-Shirt, post race breakfast, a timing chip, a running bib and a Tribal Medal. For registrations, head here.

Last year's BNP Endurathon was held in October (Image: Anand Mayekar)
Last year’s BNP Endurathon was held in October (Image: Anand Mayekar)

BNP Endurathon 2015
Organised by the Green Runners, this year’s BNP Endurathon 2015 has moved to the middle of July (July 18) from October, so expect some showers of spells of rain on race day! It will also be much cooler at this time of the year. The venue is the stunning National Park where you might have to run over rivulets and mini lakes. It’s a trail run in the middle of Mumbai, so you can imagine the change of pace and scenery on offer. BNP Endurathon 2015 will offer two race formats. Firstly, there’s the BNP Endurathon 25.0 which is two loops of 12.5 km each, with two hill climbs in each loop. Registration fee for this event is Rs 1500. The second format is the BNP Endurathon 12.5, a single loop featuring two hill climbs. Registration fee for the event is Rs 1250. For registrations, visit this page.

Bhor Duathlon
Just on the outskirts of Pune, the Bhor Duathlon offers a chance for runners to run in the great outdoors with a trail half marathon, full and half distance duathlons as well as a duathlon relay. Natambi, a small village in Bhor Taluka, about 63 kms away from Pune city, is the location of the race, scheduled to be held on July 12.

The four categories in the duathlon are:

  • Full Distance Solo (Fee: Rs 950) which includes a 5K run, 42K cycling followed by a 10K run.
  • Half Distance Solo (Fee: Rs 850) which requires you to finish a 2.5K run, 21K of cycling and a 5K run.
  • Full Distance relay (Fee: Rs 1800) which will feature a team of two splitting up duties on a 5K run, 42K cycling and a 10K run.
  • Trail Run (Fee: Rs 850) which is a 21.1 km half marathon.
  • The registration fee above is applicable till 11:55 PM on June 30, after which a Rs 100 surplus is levied for late entries. All runners get a finisher’s medal, brunch after the race, and water and energy drinks during the race.

    Main image: Rio de Janeiro Marathon

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