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Marathon Rules

One of the main purposes of the Country Club is to help our members find and participate in marathons in countries around the world. Like most Marathon Clubs, we have a set of rules to define a marathon. However, we prefer to keep our rules basic and simple to understand:

  1. The marathon must be the official marathon distance of 26.2M/42.2K or longer

  2. There must be a minimum of 5 finishers

  3.  The race must be continuous. Multi-stage races adding up to the marathon distance do not count.

  4. If a marathon includes multiple loops a volunteer or system must be used to count and verify the completion of all loops by participants.

  5. If a marathon includes turn-around points, a volunteer or system must be used to verify that all participants reach each turn-around point.

  6. An official timer must verify and record the finish time of all participants.

  7.  A runner must finish the marathon under the time limit set by the race director. If a runner’s finish time is over the time limit, but  posted in the race results, it will count.

  8. A runner must receive a copy of the race results, and possibly a finisher's medal or certificate for verification.

  9. A marathon must be open and announced to the public a minimum of 60 days in advance of the event. Advanced publicity may include a running publication, magazine, newspaper, website,  online race calendar or race brochure.

  10. When a marathon passes through multiple countries, it can count for the country where it starts, finishes or passes through - but only ONE country!

11. Every participant must be provided and wear a race bib.


Many Marathon Clubs have a more complex and strict set of rules to define a marathon. However, to expect or demand small clubs, and race organizations in poor, 3rd- world and foreign countries to comply with those rules may be naïve, impractical and unreasonable! Many do not have the financial and/or technical resources to comply.


The Country Club often offers assistance to Clubs, and organizations, in 3rd- world and foreign countries to help them organize a marathon, and comply with as many rules as possible.

When the Country Club organizes a Club marathon/race (we are the only Club to do so in foreign countries), the main priority is to comply with our basic set of rules and philosophy. We then try to comply with as many rules as possible for other clubs so that their members may count the marathon and country. If we do not comply with all rules of other Clubs, and interested participants complain that our rules do not comply, we respectively suggest that “they do not participate in our race”!

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