Here is my view on the marathon events that I have participated in so far. I judge them from a runners point of view. Spectators may find different criteria more important.
By far the best organized marathon event in my personal view. The wellbeing of the runners is absolutely the main objective of the organizers. Everything is clearly marked, the supply stations on the way are very frequent, well organized and they have everything that an exhausted runner might need. There are plenty of medical teams around to help out if a runner has overdone it a little. The starting fee is very moderate and there is no limitation on the number of runners.
The event takes place in the end of June every year, so sometimes it is very hot. But I have seen a cold and rainy event as well (only one in 5 years of participation).
The whole town of Fürth seems to be totally enthusiastic about the event, there are plenty of spectators on the road that push the runners forward.
I really recommend this event and I intend to continue to participate every year.
Fränkische Schweiz Marathon Forchheim/Ebermannstadt
This is the event which has by far the most beautiful landscape. The track leads through a really beautiful valley in the so called Franconian Switzerland. They close down the only road through the valley for all kind of traffic, to reserve it completely for the runners. The downside is that there is very little shadow on this road, so if there is sunshine, you are up for running 42km in the bright sun.
There is also another fact that makes this event a bit less attractive. The start is located in the down of Forchheim, leads to the town of Ebermannstadt after 16km, then down the valley and back to Ebermannstadt. That means that after 42km you end up in Ebermannstadt, while your car is still parked in Forchheim. And since the only road back to Forchheim is closed for the event, it is rather tricky to drive back, even if someone picks you up at the finishing line. There is a railroad connection as well, but after an exhausting running event, I don’t like to sit around and wait for a train.
Seenland Marathon, Brombachsee, Pleinfeld
A very nice, smaller event, located about 50km south of the town of Nuremberg. Except for the first 2km, the track is extremely flat, which is very nice of course. The track leads around the lake Brombach twice, which is located in a very beautiful landscape. Supply stations are not so frequent but ok. The event takes place in late September, which yields the risk for a rainy event. The tracks are not paved, but even in the rain they don’t get to muddy.
I have participated once in the München Marathon, which has at the same time been the German marathon championship.
It is of course a very big event, which is far more challenging for the organizers compared to the other events that I judge here. But frankly, I was not really impressed by the organization and how they took care for the runners.
Especially the selection of food and drinks on the way and after the finishing line is rather limited, compared to the other events that I have seen. It seems to be more important for the organizers to give away the products of their main sponsors then to care what exhausted runners really need. Not that I would object alcohol free beer and bezel, but seriously guys, that is not what my body in longing for after 42km of running.