World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

Save the date!  11-15th June 2018

The 2018 Finals week will be on 11th to 15th June 2018 but teams can compete and enter their time at any point between 2nd October 2017 and 15th June 2018.  This year teams can also have several trials before the finals - so they can have a go early in October and then again in March to see if any training has paid off and they can beat their previous time.


The World Marathon Challenge is the brainchild of AAA Events Manager George Bunner who is best known as the creator of Sportshall Athletics, a form of modified indoor athletics for children which has since grown to one of the most popular school sports competition in the UK and continues to spread throughout the world. It was through the international links developed through the Sportshall programme that the World Marathon Challenge was born.  The AAA intends to maintain its involvement in helping to promote the event throughout the UK.

The AAA continued its sponsorship enabling the programme to grow and in the following years more and more teams from both the UK and abroad have joined until 2012 when adoption of the programme by Save the Children ensured it spread worldwide.  The World Marathon Challenge was included as part of London’s successful bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships and the AAA are delighted that Sportshall are now continuing to run this event each year.


Teams can be entered into one of two age categories; Juniors (13 and under), and Any Age (adults can take part too!)

The main World Marathon Challenge competition is for mixed teams made up of equal numbers of boys and girls from the same school, in the Junior category.  There are additional competition categories for single gender teams, non-school teams and teams of older runners.

We recommend that primary school teams enter the 5000m Challenge (a relay event in which teams are challenged to beat the 5000m world record) instead of completing the full marathon.


 View videos below: 2011 and 2012.