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Istanbul Marathon

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Quick facts

Location Istanbul, Turkey

Distance Marathon

About Istanbul Marathon

There is something very special about the Istanbul Marathon. It is the course of this race.
Running a marathon across two continents may sound like an item from a runner’s bucket list. If you have it on yours, then running a marathon in Istanbul may be the best way to get this sorted. Actually, this is the only marathon in the world that includes two continents in its course.

The idea of running from Asia to Europe was born in 1973, or perhaps even earlier, but no one made it public until then. In 1979 a group of German tourists made this idea a reality by running the very first Istanbul Marathon on April 1st, and it was not a Fool’s Day joke! 

Initially the marathon in Istanbul was called Asia-Europe Race to then become the Eurasia Marathon. Finally in 2013, to promote the city and it’s developing tourism, the race received the name Istanbul Marathon.

The Vodafone Istanbul Marathon is mostly flat and completely closed to traffic. Most of the course is on the European side but it starts in Asia near the iconic First Bosphorus Bridge. Runners then continue on to the bridge which offers everyone an amazing and privileged view of the city.
Runners pass many points of interest like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) and finish at the İnönü Stadium.

When planning your trip to Istanbul Marathon do not forget that this city has a lot to offer apart of a great race. Make sure you visit the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) in Beyazit which is mind blowing covered streets market with over 4,000 vendors.
You will not want to miss one of the Whirling Dervishes Show which attracts a lot of tourists. 
The course of the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon passes near Hagia Sophia church (formerly a mosque) but this should not be enough for you. After the race it is worth going back to explore this gem, dating back to the year 325 A.D and named the 8th wonder of the world. 

There is definitely a lot to do in the city after or before you run the Istanbul Marathon. Get your tickets now and start planning the trip today!


Age Limit

The age limit for 42K race is 18 years.

Aid Stations

Drinking/sponging and refreshment stations are provided every 2.5km after 5kms.

Award Medals

All marathon finishers will receive a commemorative medal at the finish line.

Maximum Time

6 hours.


A recycling chip which is going to take the running time will be given to all runners at Marathon and Sport EXPO. All runners must tie this timing chips to their shoelace.


Free transportation to the start area will be provided for the participants on the race day from Taksim, the city centre and from Sultanahmet.

Istanbul Marathon Route Map

Istanbul Marathon Route Map


Asian side of Istanbul

Beylerbeyi, İstanbul Çevre Yolu, 34676 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey


Ottoman Empire

Cankurtaran Mh., Soğuk Çeşme Sk. No:30, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey




Art & Architecture
The conquering armies of ancient times tended to ransack the city rather than endow it with artistic treasures, but all that changed with the Byzantines, who adorned their churches and palaces with mosaics and frescoes. Miraculously, many of these remain. Their successors, the Ottomans, were quick to launch an ambitious building program and the magnificently decorated imperial mosques that resulted are architectural triumphs that together form one of the world's great skylines. In recent years, local banks and business dynasties have reprised the Ottomans' grand ambitions and endowed an impressive array of galleries, museums and festivals for all to enjoy.

Local Life
Some ancient cities are the sum of their monuments, but İstanbul factors a lot more into the equation. Chief among its manifold attractions are the locals, who have an infectious love of life and generosity of spirit. This vibrant, inclusive and expanding community is full of people who work and party hard, treasure family and friendships, and have no problem melding tradition and modernity in their everyday lives. Joining them in their favourite haunts – çay bahçesis (tea gardens), kahvehans (coffeehouses), meyhanes (Turkish taverns) and kebapçıs (kebap restaurants) – will be a highlight of your visit.


The marathon starts on the Asian side of the city, shortly before the First Bosphorus Bridge, crosses the bridge giving an outstanding view of the Bosphorus and Istanbul, passes many historic sites including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and ends in the İnönü Stadium in the European part. In all, the race crosses three bridges, one over the Bosporus and two over the Golden Horn

Istanbul Marathon Trivia

  • The course is asphalt, mostly flat and is free of traffic. It is the only course in the world where the marathon includes two continents, Asia and Europe, in one race.
  • The course changed three times over the years.
  • A special category for disabled persons exists also. In 2003, 571 athletes (523 men and 48 women) from all over the world took part in the marathon category only. Participation in the public run was with 150.000 people a record set in 1998.
  • In 2013, around 20,000 local and foreigner athletes participated at the road race in different categories, among them wheelchair runners. The total amount of the money prizes was US$1 million.

Istanbul Marathon Ticket prices: €60.00

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.