Runners now have a world of opportunity for marathoning. But do your homework in advance, and be sure to check out the sometimes-finicky requirements for each race via their Web sites or outfits such as MarathonGuide.com. In France, for instance, you'll need a doctor's note attesting that you're healthy enough to run, and you can register only by mail or through tour operators. In London, running for a charity is all the rage, though not mandatory.
Most places do let you sign up online, but make sure to plan well in advance, or you could be shut out of a popular run. You'll likely need time to train at home anyway. Enjoy the adventure.
TRIESTE: Maratona d'Europa, 5/8/05.
The flat, fast course starts and ends in Trieste's lovely Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia. Runs across the city, along the Canale di Ponte Rosso and the Riviera of Barcola.
GREAT WALL OF CHINA: The Great Wall Marathon, 5/21/05.
Course, about 3.5 hours from Beijing, runs through villages and includes more than four miles on the Wall, much of it sharply uphill.
COPENHAGEN: Copenhagen Marathon, 5/22/05.
Runs through the Carlsberg Brewery and even by the famed Little Mermaid. Sees most of the city's famed sights, including a castle.
VIENNA: Vienna City Marathon, 5/22/05.
Runs by the state opera house in the city of Mozart and through a famed amusement park, with a giant ferris wheel, and much of one of Europe's grand old cities.
PRAGUE: Prague International Marathon, 5/22/05.
Claims to be the most international marathon, with runners from 55 countries. An intimate crowd, though.
STOCKHOLM: Stockholm Marathon, 6/4/05.
Passes by the Royal Palace, the City Hall, the Royal Opera, and the Houses of Parliament, with much of the run along waterways.
EASTER ISLAND: Easter Island Marathon, 6/11/05.
Run in the home of the mysterious "moai" statues on a South Pacific island that spans just 63 square miles, so you'll see much of the island on the course.
Marathon Tours and Travel: Easter Island Marathon
LEWA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY, KENYA: Safaricom Marathon, 7/2/05.
Run alongside giraffes and rhino in a game preserve. Conditions are challenging, with temperatures swinging from the 40s to the 80s over the course of the run.
CALGARY: Burnco Calgary Marathon, 7/10/05.
The race is a tour of this Canadian Rockies city, including stretches through the Calgary Stampede Grounds and the city zoo.
CHICAGO: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, 10/9/05.
Chinese dragons, gay men's groups in drag cheering on the sidelines, and the most enthusiastic race fans anywhere grace this run, a loop through downtown and many of the city's ethnic neighborhoods.
MEDOC: Le Marathon des Chateaux du Medoc, 9/10/05.
Scampers through vineyards in odd costumes, with plenty to drink along the way -- or afterward.
WARSAW: The Arkadia Warsaw Marathon, 9/18/05.
Runs through the Old Town, by the Royal Castle and the Palace of Culture, and near the two sides of the Vistula River in the homeland of Chopin, Copernicus, and John Paul II.
BERLIN: real,-Berlin-Marathon, 9/25/05.
More than 50 jazz, blues, and samba bands help you along the course, currently the fastest in the world.
AMSTERDAM: ING Amsterdam Marathon, 10/16/05.
Fast, flat course ends in the Olympic Stadium, with thousands cheering there and along the route.
TORONTO: The Toronto Marathon, 10/16/05.
Runs through most of the ultramodern city's charming neighborhoods. A few hills.
VENICE: Venicemarathon, 10/23/05.
Flat and mostly downhill, the course runs along the Brenta River, passing Palladian villas, and it enters Venice over the Liberty Bridge. Then it goes over a floating bridge on the Grand Canal to St. Mark's Square, to the finish line on Venice's waterfront.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Marine Corps Marathon, 10/30/05.
Course passes the Kennedy Center; the Washington Mall area; the Lincoln, FDR, Korean War, and Vietnam Veteran's memorials; Washington Monument; and the U.S. Capitol. No lottery this year, but first-come, first-served admission beginning Apr. 6.
DUBLIN: adidas Dublin Marathon, 10/31/05.
Runs through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest city and its capital. Bit hilly.
NEW YORK: ING New York City Marathon, 11/6/05.
Admission is by lottery for this much-sought-after race. Features all five boroughs of the Big Apple, bridges, neighborhoods, and a finish in Central Park.
ATHENS: Athens Marathon, 11/6/05.
Covers the same ground an Athenian messenger ran to bring news of victory from the battlefield of Marathon almost 2,500 years ago. Finishes in Athens' Olympic Stadium.
MONTE CARLO: Marathon de Monaco et des Riviera, 11/13/05.
Winding course runs along the Riviera and up along neighboring mountains, dipping into France, Italy, and Monaco.
FLORENCE: Firenze Marathon, 11/27/05.
Starts at the Piazzale Michelangiolo and the Ponte Vecchio, though the historic town center, the Cascine Monument and National Park. Mostly flat.
HONOLULU: Honolulu Marathon, 12/11/05.
Runs through the city before dawn, as it's lit up for Christmas. Finishes near Diamond Head at Waikiki.
ROME: Maratona della cittá di Roma, 3/26/06.
Starts at the Coliseum and zips through much of the glorious old city. Watch out for cobblestones.
DATA: Race Web sites, MarathonGuide.com, Marathon Tours