24. Spar Budapest Nemzetközi Maraton

The marathon in the beautiful city of Budapest is Hungary's most popular running event.

Last year, almost 10,000 took part in various races for individuals and relay teams. More than 2500 of them finished the race over the full marathon distance.

You can expect lots of street musicians along the course and enough drink stations with friendly helpers but spectator support is usually very limited.

The entry fees are quite high but they include free entry to the wonderful thermal pools in the Széchenyi Baths. Those who have previously participated in an event organized by the "Budapest Sport Office" (BSI) get large discounts on the entry fee (but no ticket to the pools).

The baths are near the start and finish in the large Városliget (City Park), a nice leafy place with a fairy-tale castle and artificial lakes. 

The route shows you all the major city sights. Most of the race travels along the River Danube, which offers great views of the magnificent parliament building and the Buda Palace, but you might find the long out-and-back section to the industrial area in the southern parts of the city a bit dull.

Apart from the ramps leading up to the bridges across the Danube the route is generally flat and fast. However, on the embankments along the river it can be quite windy.

In 2008, Gergely Rezessy won the marathon after a sprint finish in a time of 2:24:18. Judit Nagy Földingné, winner of the Paris Marathon 1995, was first woman home in 2:45:30.


Country: Hungary

Venue (Map): Budapest

Date: 4 October 2009 (Sunday)

Race distance: 42.2km (AIMS certified); 42.2km relay (for 3 or 5 runners); 30km; 7.5km (mini marathon); 3.5km (fun run)

Start time: 10.00 (marathon and marathon relay); 10.15 (7.5km); 10.50 (3.5km); variable start for 30k runners

Start: Hősök tere (Heroes' Square)

Finish: near Olof Palme sétany (Olof Palme Promenade)

Entries: online, by post, or by e-mail; late entries on the day

Entry fees (42.2km): 55/65/80 EUR* (until 31 July/until 27 September/late entries)

* Discounts are available for those who have previously participated in a BSI event.

Timing: Champion Chip - use your own chip or rent a chip (no fees but 1000 HUF deposit) 

Race centre: Felvonulási tér (Saturday 3 October from 12.00 to 18.00 and on the day from 7.00 to 9.45)

You get: T-Shirt, pasta party (on Saturday from 14.00 to 17.30), medal, finisher bag, massage, free entry to the Széchenyi Baths after the race

Prizes: first 6 M/F

Showers and changing facilities: Széchenyi Baths

Number of finishers 2008: 2598 (full marathon)

Event website: www.budapestmarathon.com


No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or thoroughness of the information on this page.