With many beautiful parks and stunning trails along the river, Munich is a great place to run. Running is a popular pastime here to get outside and enjoy nature. As a result, Munich has many great running races throughout the year. Here the Go! Running Tours Munich team lists a few of their favorites.
Generali München Marathon
Photo credit: Paul Günther · Photodesign, Norbert Wilhelmi, Leon Morelli / Bensound.com
Date: 8 October 2023
Distance: 42.195 km
Number of Participants (2022): 19,000+
Starting and finishing in the Olympic Park built for the 1972 Olympic Games, the Generali Munich Marathon is the main running event of the year. Accompanied by live music and cheering spectators along the way, the Munich Marathon is almost a sightseeing tour, passing all the must-see landmarks. The finish in the Olympic stadium is one of the most memorable of any marathon we’ve run so far. Running through the tunnel into the stadium and then the last 300m along the running track to the finish line makes everyone feel like a running legend.
We also love the cute medal design: a “Lebkuchen” (typical Bavarian heart-shaped gingerbread) that makes a fun and unique souvenir of the day. And our tip for those of you not yet ready to run the full marathon – there is a 10K and half marathon on the same day, or you can run the full distance in a relay team of four people. The only downside we can think of is that the Munich Marathon usually takes place about a week after the Oktoberfest, which adds to the training challenge.
Sportscheck Run München RUN MUC – Munich Half Marathon
Photo credit: © SportScheck GmbH
Date: 2 July 2023
Distance: 21.1 km
Number of Participants (2019): 4615
Organised by the sports store Sportscheck, the Run München Half Marathon is part of a running series of 15 city runs across Germany with a total of over 70,000 participants each year. Even though this is a city-centre run, usually starting and finishing near the University quarter of Munich, the route is mostly through the largest city-centre park in Munich, the beautiful Englischer Garten. What we really enjoy most on this route is the atmosphere, with thousands of spectators lining up along the route to cheer the runners along.
Nikolauslauf and the Munich Winter Running Series
Photo credit: Larasch.de
Date: 2 April 2023 and 1 June 2023
Number of Participants (2019): 798
The Olympic Park is home to many sporting events throughout the year and this one is our favourite. Organised by a local running club, this 10K race is the first in the Munich Winter Running Series (there is a 15K in January and a 20K in February) that keeps you fit and motivated throughout the winter. We’ll be honest and admit that it might be really cold and even snow, but there are mountains of gingerbread and stollen with warm tea or warm isotonic waiting to help you warm up at the end. As an added bonus, some years when we collected our starting numbers, we got a Santa Claus hat to get into the spirit of the season!
Cross the River Run
Distance: up to you
Starting and ending at Porto City Hall, this tour explores the pleasant and unique places of Cidade Velha, as well as crossing the river to Gaia.
Wings for Life World Run in Munich
Photo Credit: Marcel Lämmerhirt/ Red Bull Content Pool
Date: 7 May 2023
Distance: up to you
Number of Participants (2022): 161,892
We love the concept of this unique race: participants start in the Olympic Park and run out of the city pursued by a “catcher car” that overtakes each runner one by one until only one runner remains. Having no finish line means that the race is great for runners of all abilities, with the best part being that 100% of the registration fee goes towards research for finding a cure for spinal cord injury. We can’t fault the organisation – you might finish your race in the middle of nowhere (personal experience here!) but buses are provided all along the route to take finishers back to the Olympic stadium. This is truly a world run in the sense that there are Wings for Life races taking place simultaneously throughout the world at the same time, both in real life and virtually using the Wings for Life app.
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