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.

More From Marathon Runners

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

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 1 Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge.
4
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: November 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya

 2 Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele.
4
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: June 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 3 Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie.
4
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Asella

 4 Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila.
4
Famous As: Olympic marathon champion
Birthdate: August 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: 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. 

 5 Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba.
4
Famous As: long-distance runner, athletics competitor
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 6 Frank Shorter

Frank Shorter
3
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: October 31, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Munich
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 7 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto

Dennis Kipruto Kimetto
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: April 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenya
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 8 Mary Jepkosgei Keitany

Mary Jepkosgei Keitany
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner, Marathon runner
Birthdate: January 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kabarnet, Baringo County, Kenya
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 9 Geoffrey Mutai

Geoffrey Mutai
3
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: October 7, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Koibatek District, Kenya

 10 Wim Hof

Wim Hof
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: April 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
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 11 Terry Fox

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.

 12 Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe
4
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
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.

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 13 Khalid Khannouchi

Khalid Khannouchi
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: September 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meknes, Morocco

 14 Carlos Lopes

Carlos Lopes
3
Famous As: Long-Distance Runner
Birthdate: February 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Viseu, Portugal
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 15 Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes
4
Famous As: Ultramarathon runner
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.

 16 Feyisa Lilesa

Feyisa Lilesa
3
Famous As: Athlete, Long-distance runner
Birthdate: February 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oromia, Ethiopia
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 17 Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh
6
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
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.

 18 Emil Zatopek

Emil Zatopek.
4
Famous As: Long Distance Runner
Birthdate: September 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Koprivnice
Died: November 22, 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.

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 19 Hannes Kolehmainen

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

 20 Alberto Salazar

Alberto Salazar
4
Famous As: Marathon runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: August 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Havana

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.

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 21 Tegla Loroupe

Tegla Loroupe
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: May 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenya

 22 Paavo Nurmi

Paavo Nurmi
4
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: June 13, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Turku, Finland
Died: October 2, 1973

 23 Brigid Kosgei

Brigid Kosgei
4
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: February 20, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sinon, Kapsowar, Kenya

 24 Genzebe Dibaba

Genzebe Dibaba
4
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: February 8, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 25 Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi
4
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: May 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Asmara

 26 Mamo Wolde

Mamo Wolde
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ada'a, Ethiopia
Died: May 26, 2002
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 27 Shizo Kanakuri

Shizo Kanakuri
3
Famous As: Marathon runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: August 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tamana
Died: November 13, 1983

 28 Billy Mills

Billy Mills
3
Famous As: Officer, Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: June 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pine Ridge
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 29 Waldemar Cierpinski

Waldemar Cierpinski
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: August 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neugattersleben, Nienburg, Germany

 30 Tiki Gelana

Tiki Gelana
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: October 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jijiga, Ethiopia
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 31 Yiannis Kouros

Yiannis Kouros
3
Famous As: Ultramarathon runner
Birthdate: February 13, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tripoli, Greece

 32 Gezahegne Abera

Gezahegne Abera
3
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: April 23, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ethiopia
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 33 Catherine Ndereba

Catherine Ndereba
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: July 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nyeri County, Kenya

 34 Grete Waitz

Grete Waitz
3
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: October 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: April 19, 2011
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 35 Spiridon Louis

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

 36 David Goggins

David Goggins
4
Famous As: Ultramarathon runner
Birthdate: February 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
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 37 Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich

Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich
3
Famous As: Long-distance running
Birthdate: March 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Keiyo District, Kenya

 38 Alain Mimoun

Alain Mimoun
3
Famous As: Distance runner
Birthdate: January 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Telagh, Algeria
Died: June 27, 2013

 39 Jim Peters

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

 40 Emelie Forsberg

Emelie Forsberg
3
Famous As: Athlete
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

 41 Lawrence Cherono

Lawrence Cherono
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: August 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Eldoret, Kenya

 42 Christopher Chataway

Christopher Chataway
3
Famous As: Runner
Birthdate: January 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chelsea, London, England
Died: January 19, 2014

 43 Satcha Pretto

Satcha Pretto.
3
Famous As: Journalist
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.

 44 Zola Budd

Zola Budd
4
Famous As: Middle-distance runner, Marathon runner
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloemfontein

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.

 45 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot

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

 46 Lelisa Desisa

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

 47 Kílian Jornet Burgada

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

 48 Paul Tergat

Paul Tergat
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: June 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kenya

 49 Michele Graglia

Michele Graglia
3
Famous As: Ultramarathon runner
Birthdate: August 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sanremo, Italy

 50 Tsegaye Kebede

Tsegaye Kebede
2
Famous As: Marathon runner
Birthdate: January 15, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mekelle, Ethiopia
See Also