Baku is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula. It is the largest city of the Transcaucasian region for its antiquity, territory, and population. The Inner City of Baku, along with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower, were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. In January 2015 the "New York Times" included Baku to the list of the world's 52 cities which have to be visited.
Baku is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan.
Furthermore, Baku is also known as the “City of Winds”. Historically, the strong wind and dust made it impossible to walk in streets of Baku, but now Baku has turned into a city of cool air and comfortable life style.
The course of the marathon, which is to be held in Baku on May 1st, will give the participants an opportunity to see both the ancient and the modern parts of Baku. Baku Marathon 2016, starting from the National Flag Square and finishing at Baku Olympic Stadium, will cover the distance of 21.097 km.
The starting point – the National Flag Square was established in 2010 and is considered one of the city landmarks. The Square can be viewed from different sights of the capital. The height of the flagpole is 162 m and according to this indication, it holds the second place in the world. The participants will go through the above-mentioned start point, from the Seaside National Park’s newly constructed part, along the Neftchiler Avenue, nearly the distance of 6km. This part of the route covers both the old (Icherisheher and Maiden Tower) and the modern locations. Running 6km on the background of this beautiful contrast and the coastline, the participants will reach Yusif Safarov street. They will run 2 km along this street where Modern Art Museum and Supreme Court are situated and after that comes the final and the most difficult part of the route. This part of the marathon opens up a magnificent view to Heydar Aliyev Center – one of the modern world architectural monuments. It should be noted that Heydar Aliyev Center was recognized as the symbol of modern Baku and was awarded the Design of the Year 2014 prize by the influential London Design Museum award in June 2014.
Nearly half of the marathon’s distance which is the final part, continues through Heydar Aliyev Avenue and Baku Olympic Stadium. The opening and closing ceremonies of the First European Games was hosted at the Baku Olympic Stadium. It was designed and constructed to meet the international standards of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) and IAAF (the International Association of Athletics Federation). Housing 68700 spectators, this stadium was presented in international press as “Allianz Arena” of Caucasus.
Balu Olympic Stadium, the biggest stadium of Azerbaijan and Caucasus is the world’s seventh best sport arena. This stadium will host UEFA European U-17 Championship and four matches of UEFA Euro 2020. No doubt, to hold these events in Baku is of great importance.