Marathon Runners

Marathoners are the recreational or professional runners who participate in a marathon. The marathon is a long-distance running event usually run as a road race. A marathon officially covers a distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards). The marathon is one of the major Olympic events, first included in the modern Olympics in 1896. Marathons are very popular sporting events with more than 500 marathons being held throughout the world each year. Both professional runners and recreational athletes take part in marathons. Professional runners who rank among the top-finishers in major marathons earn good monetary rewards. There are also certain athletes who charge appearance fees for entering high-profile marathons. It is also common for celebrities from other fields like show business to participate in a marathon in order to promote some social cause. To run a marathon, the participants need to be in peak physical and mental conditions as the long-distance race is as much a test of their strength and endurance as it of their determination and resilience. Marathon running is also not without its risks; common risks include injury, fatigue, sprains and dehydration. Browse this section to explore about the life and works of various famous marathoners from all over the world.

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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Marathon Runners

 1 
Eliud Kipchoge
(Long-distance runner)

Eliud Kipchoge
6
Birthdate: November 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya

 2 
Haile Gebrselassie
(Ethiopian running legend who won 10,000 meter gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics)

Haile Gebrselassie
10
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Assela, Ethiopia

 3 
Abebe Bikila
(Runner)

Abebe Bikila
6
Birthdate: June 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: October 25, 1973

Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikil,a became the first black African Olympic gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Four years later, he won his second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He created world record both the times. A pioneer in long-distance running, he participated in a total of 16 marathons. 

 4 
Kenenisa Bekele
(Long-distance runner)

Kenenisa Bekele
6
Birthdate: June 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 5 
Frank Shorter
(Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor)

Frank Shorter
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Munich

 6 
Mary Jepkosgei Keitany
(Long-distance runner, Marathon runner)

Mary Jepkosgei Keitany
5
Birthdate: January 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kabarnet, Baringo County, Kenya
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 7 
Dennis Kipruto Kimetto
(Long-distance runner)

Dennis Kipruto Kimetto
5
Birthdate: April 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenya
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 8 
Wim Hof
(Athlete)

Wim Hof
4
Birthdate: April 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
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 9 
Terry Fox
(Athlete, Activist)

Terry Fox
6
Birthdate: July 28, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Died: June 28, 1981

Terry Fox was a popular cancer research activist and humanitarian. Despite suffering from cancer and having lost one of his legs to cancer, he embarked on a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Although he died at the age of 22, his efforts resulted in a worldwide legacy and gave rise to the annual Terry Fox Run.

 10 
Geoffrey Mutai
(Marathon runner)

Geoffrey Mutai
5
Birthdate: October 7, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Koibatek District, Kenya
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 11 
David Goggins
(Ultramarathon runner)

David Goggins
6
Birthdate: February 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

 12 
Dean Karnazes
(Ultramarathon runner)

Dean Karnazes
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, U.S.

Dean Karnazes began running for fun while in kindergarten; taking diversionary routes while returning home from school. Slowly, he started taking it more seriously, running a marathon to the South Pole in 2002, embarking on the Endurance 50: 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days in 2006.  Currently a businessperson, he has also written a book on marathon.

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 13 
Paula Radcliffe
(Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor)

Paula Radcliffe
6
Birthdate: December 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Northwich

Paula Radcliffe is a retired distance runner, credited with winning the London Marathon and the New York Marathon three times each. Born into an athletic family, she emerged as a running talent by the time she was in her teens, winning the world junior cross-country title at the age of nineteen, eventually. She held the Women's World Marathon Record from 2003 to 2019.

 14 
Carlos Lopes
(Long-Distance Runner)

Carlos Lopes
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Viseu, Portugal
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 15 
Cliff Young
(Winner of the Inaugural 'Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon' in 1983 at the age of 61)

Cliff Young
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Victoria, Australia
Died: November 2, 2003

 16 
Zola Budd
(Two-time winner at the World Cross Country Championships (1985–1986))

Zola Budd
6
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Zola Budd is a South African former athlete who used to compete in long-distance and middle-distance running. Budd represented Great Britain at the 1984 Olympic Games before representing South Africa at the 1992 Olympic Games. Zola Budd also took part in the 1985 and 1986 World Cross Country Championships, winning gold medals on both occasions.

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 17 
Paavo Nurmi
(Long-distance runner)

Paavo Nurmi
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Turku, Finland
Died: October 2, 1973

 18 
Khalid Khannouchi
(Long-distance runner)

Khalid Khannouchi
5
Birthdate: September 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meknes, Morocco
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 19 
Emil Zatopek
(Long Distance Runner)

Emil Zatopek
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kopřivnice, Czechia
Died: November 21, 2000

Winner of four Olympic golds, three of which came from the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Czech long-distance runner Emil Zatopek came to be known as the Czech Locomotive and The Bouncing Czech for his speed. He lost his Communist Party membership for criticizing the 1968 Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia.

 20 
Brigid Kosgei
(Marathon runner)

Brigid Kosgei
6
Birthdate: February 20, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sinon, Kapsowar, Kenya
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 21 
Alberto Salazar
(Former Track Coach and Long-Distance Runner)

Alberto Salazar
4
Birthdate: August 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba

Alberto Salazar is an American former long-distance runner who won the silver medal at the 1982 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Rome, Italy. After his retirement from the sport, Salazar served as the head coach for the Nike Oregon Project and received the 2013 IAAF Coaching Achievement Award in Monaco. He was later banned for doping and sexual offenses.

 22 
Billy Mills
(Officer, Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor)

Billy Mills
3
Birthdate: June 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pine Ridge

 23 
Genzebe Dibaba
(Long-distance runner)

Genzebe Dibaba
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 24 
Shizo Kanakuri
(Marathon runner, Athletics competitor)

Shizo Kanakuri
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tamana
Died: November 13, 1983

 25 
Tirunesh Dibaba
(Athlete who competes in long-distance track events and international road races)

Tirunesh Dibaba
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 26 
Feyisa Lilesa
(Athlete, Long-distance runner)

Feyisa Lilesa
3
Birthdate: February 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oromia, Ethiopia
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 27 
Meb Keflezighi
(Long-distance runner)

Meb Keflezighi
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea

 28 

Hannes Kolehmainen
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kuopio, Finland
Died: January 11, 1966
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 29 

Spiridon Louis
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marousi, Greece
Died: March 26, 1940

Spiridon Louis was a Greek water carrier-turned-national hero. Louis achieved widespread popularity after becoming the first person to win the modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Olympics in Athens. A former soldier, Louis is an example of an early rags-to-riches story where he wins the Olympic medal at a crucial moment and later becomes a police officer.

 30 
Tiki Gelana
(Long-distance runner)

Tiki Gelana
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jijiga, Ethiopia
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 31 
Ryan Hall
(Retired American Long-Distance Runner Who Holds the U.S. Record in the Half Marathon)

Ryan Hall
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kirkland, Washington, United States

 32 
Yiannis Kouros
(Ultramarathon runner)

Yiannis Kouros
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tripoli, Greece

Known as The Running God and The Golden Greek, Yiannis Kouros was the greatest ultramarathon runner from Greece. Born into poverty, he was forced into manual labor at age five and decided to run professionally at age 16 only. Often compared to Pheidippides, he later played the character in a movie.

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 33 
Grete Waitz
(Marathon runner)

Grete Waitz
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: April 19, 2011

Grete Waitz was a Norwegian marathon runner who became the first female runner to complete a marathon in less than two and a half hours in 1979. A former world record holder, Waitz won a record nine New York City Marathons between 1978 and 1988. Grete Waitz is also remembered for winning the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.  

 34 

Waldemar Cierpinski
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neugattersleben, Nienburg, Germany
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 35 
Mamo Wolde
(Athlete)

Mamo Wolde
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ada'a, Ethiopia
Died: May 26, 2002

 36 
Alain Mimoun
(Distance runner)

Alain Mimoun
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Telagh, Algeria
Died: June 27, 2013
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 37 
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich
(Long-distance running)

Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich
3
Birthdate: March 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Keiyo District, Kenya

 38 
Catherine Ndereba
(Long-distance runner)

Catherine Ndereba
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nyeri County, Kenya

 39 
Lawrence Cherono
(Long-distance runner)

Lawrence Cherono
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Eldoret, Kenya

 40 
Fauja Singh
(Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor)

Fauja Singh
6
Birthdate: April 1, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jalandhar

Indian Sikh marathon runner Fauja Singh, who later moved to the U.K., made history by becoming the oldest person to complete a marathon, at age 100. His biography, Fauja Singh Keeps Going, became a bestseller. It is believed, the death of his fifth son motivated him to follow his passion.

 41 
Gezahegne Abera
(Marathon runner)

Gezahegne Abera
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 42 
Lelisa Desisa
(Marathon runner)

Lelisa Desisa
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shewa, Oromia, Ethiopia

Kílian Jornet Burgada
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sabadell, Spain

 44 

Emelie Forsberg
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sollefteå, Sweden

Emelie Forsberg is a Swedish athlete who competes in ski mountaineering and trail running. Renowned for her endurance and incredible strength, Forsberg has won six medals so far including four gold medals at the Skyrunner World Series. She also has one gold medal at World Championships and three gold medals at European Championships

 45 
Satcha Pretto
(Journalist)

Satcha Pretto
3
Birthdate: April 5, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Paz

Satcha Pretto is a Honduran journalist best known for appearing as a news co-anchor in the popular American Spanish language television show, Despierta America. Over the years, she has received many recognitions for her work in broadcast journalism. In 2017, People en Espanol magazine included her in their 25 Most Powerful Women list.

 46 
Paul Tergat
(Long-distance runner)

Paul Tergat
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kenya

 47 
Jim Peters
(Athlete)

Jim Peters
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 9, 1999

 48 
Selemon Barega
(Long-distance runner)

Selemon Barega
3
Birthdate: January 20, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gurage, Ethiopia

 49 
Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot
(Marathon runner)

Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot
2
Birthdate: September 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Eldoret, Kenya

 50 
Michele Graglia
(Ultramarathon runner)

Michele Graglia
3
Birthdate: August 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sanremo, Italy