13:00 - November 4, 2024 @ 10:30
Istanbul, Türkiye

Crossing Continents on Foot – Magnificent Istanbul Marathon 2024

Istanbul Marathon - MAHO on Earth

The Istanbul Marathon, formerly known as the Intercontinental Eurasia Marathon, is the world’s one and ONLY transcontinental marathon, bonding two continents, Asia and Europe, with a stunning course that passes through historical landmarks of this bustling metropolis in Turkey.

The city of Istanbul, hence the nation of Turkey is divided by the narrow strait known as the Bosporus, with Europe on one side and Asia on the other. This geographical division is not the only aspect that sets Istanbul apart; it is also the abundant cultural legacy. The city acts as a melting pot in which different cultures and religions have mixed over the centuries.

The Istanbul Marathon starts on the Asian side of the city, traverses the Bridge over the Bosporus Strait, and concludes on the European side at the ancient Roman Hippodrome. A truly unique event that has been captivating runners and spectators alike since 1979, Istanbul Marathon was initiated by a group of German tourists, inspired by a newspaper article suggesting a run from Asia to Europe. On April 1, 1979 people who witnessed athletes running on the bridge, believed it to be an amusing April Fools’ joke. Over the years, the participation in the Istanbul Marathon grew steadily, eventually expanding to its current scale under the patronage of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The Istanbul Marathon is not only about running; it’s a unification tale of sportsmanship, history, cultural exchange, and continents that will etch unforgettable memories of the magnificent city of Istanbul that boasts a plethora of historical landmarks and breathtaking natural landscapes.

MAHO on Earth is organizing an unforgettable long-weekend marathon trip for you, where you will experience the exhilaration of running in a city that connects continents and civilizations, and you’ll come to the conclusion that Istanbul is definitely worth another trip.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the details of this unique marathon!

Istanbul Marathon 2024 Race Info

  • Race Date: Sunday NOVEMBER 3, 2024, start 9:00 am
  • Race categories: 42K Marathon (ages 18 years and older) and15 km (ages 16 years and older) for both male and female.
  • Race entry requirements: In order to register for the 42K, you must have completed in the last 2 years; either a 42K run in the 6:20 time frame, 21K run in the 3:25 time frame, or 15K run in the 2:15 time frame.
  • Race Course of the Istanbul Marathon: The 42K race starts near the 15 July Martyrs Bridge and takes you on a scenic journey through Istanbul, passing by iconic landmarks.

Important Points and Historical Places

The Istanbul Marathon not only tests runners’ endurance but also offers them a chance to run through the pages of history itself as they traverse the race course. Along the route, runners will encounter significant landmarks such as the Naval Museum, Galata Bridge, Topkapı Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, and the resplendent Blue Mosque among others. Additionally, the route winds through the ancient streets of Sultanahmet, where the Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace stand as witnesses to centuries of history. Finally, as participants cross the finish line at the Hippodrome, they are surrounded by the echoes of chariots and gladiators, as this historic square was once the vibrant center of sporting and social activities during the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.

Istanbul Marathon - MAHO on Earth
Istanbul Marathon - MAHO on Earth

Istanbul Marathon 2024 Travel Package

Due to the fact that Maho (the nickname of our founder & CEO) was born and raised in Turkey, we find optimal conditions not only in Istanbul but across Turkey to be able to offer you a very special travel package. We cannot remember how many times we have been in this simply magnificent city and we have yet to discover each time something new. Hence, we are stoked to be able to offer you an amazing weekend package to Istanbul Marathon 2024.

We have already put together a 3-night/4-day race package in Istanbul. So, lace up your running shoes on and discover this extraordinary city with us to experience highlights that you won’t find elsewhere!

Your exclusive extras with us:

  • Ideally located accommodation (approx. 750m from the end point of the marathon) including free access to the pool and sauna. A visit to the in-house hammam or a relaxing massage can be booked on site.
  • Race kit delivery to your hotel – no waiting in line at the Expo.
  • Insider tips compiled by locals and a service hotline throughout your entire trip.

Istanbul Marathon 2024 Package Itinerary (01-04 November)

Day 1 – Friday November 1, 2024 – Merhaba Istanbul!
Individual arrival to Istanbul and transfer from the airport (IST or SAW) to our ****Hotel in Sultanahmet, historical district of Istanbul.

After checking in and moving into the rooms, we will meet for a welcome dinner with stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline.

You can easily find direct flights to Istanbul International (IST) or Sabiha Gökçen Airports (SAW) from many cities all over the world. We would be happy to help you book your flights. Note: IST airport is on the European side, and SAW on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Although the distance to Sultanahmet district is around 45km from both airports, traffic jams during rush hours can make a huge difference. Transfer by car +/- 1h from IST, 1.5-2h from SAW. Something to consider when comparing the airfares.

Day 2: Saturday November 2, 2024Istanbul at leisure
As part of our service, today is a completely free day at your leisure as your bib number will already have been delivered to you during check-in. How convenient!

After a deli breakfast, explore the Ottomans and Byzantines highlights all easily reachable on foot from your ideally located hotel. One day is certainly not enough to hit all the highlights in Istanbul, yet here is some of the city’s must-see sights and monuments:

  • Hagia Sophia
  • Sultanahmet Hippodrome Square (marathon finish point)
  • Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar, the world’s oldest covered market maze
  • Eminönü Neighborhood
  • Topkapi Palace
  • The underground waterways of Basilica Cistern
  • Galata Tower, the best 360° views of Istanbul
  • Dolmabahçe Palace
  • Visit a traditional hammam (Turkish bath)
  • Take a sunset or dinner Bosphorus cruise with Turkish show
  • Istiklal Street and Taksim
  • Kadikoy, Camlica Mosque, Uskudar, and more…

We will provide you with recommended lunch and dinner spots as part of your info-pack for a perfect self-guided tour of the city, but optionally, you can book a full-day walking tour and/or Bosporus cruise. We will organize a private guide for our group at no additional cost (in English and/or German) if a minimum of 10 people sign up for this Marathon weekend package.

Day 3: Sunday November 3, 2024 – Race day
After an early breakfast, a short tram and then a ferry ride will bring you to the Asian side of Istanbul where the race starts. Istanbul Marathon staff in Sultanahmet and Eminönü Pier will support you in using the tram and ferry.

Race start is at 9:00 a.m and from 6:00 am on you can access to the start point by using all the public transportation vehicles of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for free by showing your BIB number. You can hand in clothing bags at the start, which will then be ready at the finish for pick up. The bags for this service are available with the race kit. Note: the shuttle bus service from previous years is no longer available. The streets remain closed to the traffic until about 3:00 pm on the race day.

Enjoy this extraordinary marathon, because nowhere else in the world can you run a marathon on two continents. There is something very special about crossing over the 8-lane Bosporus Bridge and leave Asia and enter Europe on foot.

The route takes you along the banks of the Bosporus, and many landmarks. It is not completely flat, but not too difficult either.

The finish line is at the hippodrome, 10 mins walking distance from your accommodation, where you can simply relax in the spa area or get an optional massage in Hamam.

Good luck with the race!

Day 4: Monday November 4,2024 Departure or extension
You can leave at any time or explore the city for another day. Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight home or perhaps further to Cappadocia? Either way we wish you a pleasant journey.

Package Inclusions and exclusions

Inclusions

  • 3 nights in a double room with daily breakfast, pool and sauna access.
  • Registration for the marathon through MAHO on Earth.
  • Delivery of your race kit to your hotel – no standing in long queues at the race Expo.
  • Welcome dinner.
  • Return airport transfers by private transfer services.
  • Pre-departure support and info-pack with numerous tips.
  • Service hotline during your trip (German, Turkish, English).
  • Half-double room option for solo travelers depending on availability. If we cannot find a double room partner for you, we book a single room for an additional charge.
  • Guaranteed departure as soon as we receive 2 bookings.
  • Experienced tour guide and travel coordinator throughout your stay in Istanbul when minimum 10 participants sign up. Maximum group size 20.

Our 4**** Hotel in Sultanahmet
The luxurious hotel is located in the historical district of Sultanahmet, close to numerous well-known places and sights, such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, German Fountain, Basilica Cistern, Obelisk, Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Archeological Museum are all within walking distance.

The rooms are equipped with telephone, TV, minibar, safe, air conditioning, bathrobe, slippers and hairdryer. There is a spa area with pool, sauna, fitness room and hammam.

Please note: In Istanbul you will find many hotels labeled as 4* for bargain rates. Precisely you get what you pay for. We cooperate only with personally-quality-checked establishments.

Exclusions

  • Airfares (We would be happy to help you arrange flights!)
  • Visas, vaccinations (if required – many nationalities do not need a visa to Turkey for tourism purposes – please contact us if you are a non-EU passport holder)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Optional sightseeing day tour and Bosporus cruise
  • Hammam & massage
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals other than specified
  • Entrance fees, and anything else not mentioned in inclusions
  • Registration fees for Marathon & 15K
    • 1 January – 31 May: 80 Euro
    • 1 June -31 July: 100 Euro
    • 1 August -14 October: 120 Euro

Booking and Payment Terms

  • Marathon weekend package cost: 795.-EUR per person sharing a twin/double room (Single supplement: 220,- EUR per person), plus race fee.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 500,- EUR is required upon receiving your confirmation invoice. The final payment is due until August 1, 2024.
  • For bookings after August 1, 2024, the full amount is immediately due (subject to availability).
  • Any cancellations beyond August 1, 2024, the full amount of package cost is non-refundable.
  • If you do not require return airport transfer services, let us know while booking. We will deduct 80,- EUR from the total price accordingly.
  • Please read our general T&C (Note: our general payment & cancellation terms in sections D.8 and G do no apply to this marathon package).
  • Please follow the BOOK NOW link to secure your spot.

Extend your stay

Our standard marathon package is designed to include everything you need on your race weekend – with all the exclusive Istanbul Marathon package extras thrown in of course. While we’ve included 3 nights, we can of course add on additional nights so you can make a longer stay and take time to enjoy Istanbul and everything on offer here.

The Istanbul Marathon offers a distinctive chance to experience a very special marathon, the ONLY one in the world across two continents. This run is one that HAS to be ticked off your bucket list!

Remember that a marathon encompasses more than crossing the finish line; it’s also about the entire journey and invaluable experiences gained along the way.

Enjoy your time in Istanbul, and relish every single moment of your Istanbul Marathon adventure.

MAHO on Earth is here to support you every step of the way!

We’ll see you there!

Event Information

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