Marathon Bar

Marathon Bar

Back in the 70s, there was a true giant in the confectionery world. Sporting a bright red wrapper and containing a full 8” of chocolate and caramel goodness, the Marathon Bar couldn’t help but catch your eye in the candy aisle. And if you were a kid trying to get the most from your measly allowance, this was a surefire way to get some bang from your candy buck. Let’s take a look back.

The Mars Candy Company introduced the world to the Marathon Bar in 1973. The confection consisted of chewy caramel, braided to look similar to a long pretzel, which was then dipped in a luxurious layer of milk chocolate. If time was of the essence and you needed a quick snack, this might not be the candy bar for you. One of these babies could give the jaw a heck of a workout, leaving it feeling like it had just completed a chewing marathon worthy of the Olympics.

This long-lasting ability was the topic of discussion in the series of memorable ads that touted the Marathon Bar. The star of these commercials was none other than film icon John Wayne’s son, Patrick, who portrayed a heroic chap named Marathon John in the ads. His nemesis was Quick Carl who proudly proclaimed, “I like to do everything fast!” The one thing Marathon John knew he couldn’t do fast, however, was eat a marathon bar, and he slowed Carl’s sinister ways to a crawl by simply giving him something to chomp on for a few hours – the candy cavalry, as it were.

Unfortunately, the Marathon Bar didn’t enjoy a similar longevity on store shelves, and by 1981, the last of these memorable candy bars left the candy aisle for good. One can only hope that the resurgence in popularity of various retro candies will someday lead to a return of the Marathon Bar – ready to help make the world safe again, and give our jaws a collective workout along the way.

If you were a fan of the Marathon Bar back in the day, we welcome your memories in our comments section. And if you would like to see the candy bar return to store shelves, share that with us as well, as we tip our hats to this long-lost, but not-forgotten, treat from yesteryear.

Photo credit: Jason Liebig

37 Responses to “Marathon Bar”

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  1. jennifer harris says:

    I forgot what it tasted like.

    • johndeadley says:

      You can find them online, made by Cadbury(UK) and go by the name “Curly Wurly”. I just ordered some on Amazon.

      • Katrina says:

        Thanks! Loved them and was hoping to find them again.

      • Bill says:

        The Cadbury Curly Wurly will leave you disappointed.

        It looks the similar at a distance but that is as far as the similarity goes. I just had one and I still want my Marathon back!

  2. Phil Clevenger says:

    Damn I loved those things. Had forgotten all about them :)

  3. Joel says:

    Ah! My favorite. Helped to stretch that piddly allowance… Plus they tasted great.

  4. Julie says:

    Loved those bars! Would love to see them come back again! :)

  5. cherrie says:

    I would LOOOOVVVEEEE to see this return…I have kept my eye out for yeeeeaars for them…but no luck

  6. Vincent says:

    I remember the Marathon Bar. When I went to the movies this was my candy bar of choice. When I moved from a small town to a large city in the late 70′s, I could not find this candy bar anywhere. I was so disappointed. I wish it were still around, but since it isn’t maybe it will make a comeback someday.

  7. longing for marathon says:

    i have been craving this candy bar…i loved it as a kid..it tasted so yummy with its salty caramel rope and coated in creamy mild chocolate..bring marathon back p[lease!!!!

  8. Darcell Butler says:

    I have been thinking and talking about these candybars since I was a kid and they just disappeared from the shelves!!! Would LOVE for them to make a comeback!!!

  9. Cheryl says:

    I would ride my bike to the store to buy candy, I always bought one if not two Marathon Candy Bars. I wish there was a way the world could vote to bring it back.

  10. Morgan says:

    I talk to my kids about this candybar all the time. It was one of my favorites. I would love to see them bring it back. I would back the truck up.

  11. JoeM says:

    I have told my kids about the candy bar as well. Loved it!!!

  12. Denise Patterson says:

    Would love to see these back again. I grew up with them and can’t find them anywhere.
    Thanks

  13. SJay says:

    It was my favorite candy bar. My friends and I would try and roll the candy bar up and put the whole thing in our mouth at one time!! It was amazing. I very much so remember how it tasted. YUMMY!

  14. Dee Anne Dickson says:

    I would love to see the Marathon candy bar come back to life, What a classic! Lots of people I talk to don’t remember

    this candy bar. What… didn’t they have this in the south? I’m glad I found this website. They could at least return it to

    the Cracker Barrel store/restaurant.

  15. bubu says:

    A treasured childhood memory during the hot VA summers was spending all day at the community pool, flirting w/ girls, playing games, swimming & ice cold coke while snacking on Marathon bars..A little piece of Heaven!

  16. SDMikey says:

    some great memories here…I had a 50 house paper route back in 1973 when these came out… One Sunday there was a coupon for a free Marathon bar in the comics section..no strings attached….we tore out all 50 and feasted on Marathon bars for weeks!

  17. Lisa says:

    Loved the Marathon candy bar! Yes I was a tight wad back then so my allowance was used very wisely!

  18. Cindy says:

    If you love the Marathon Bar, then you’ll have to try Cadbury’s Curly Wurly. I’ve only found it where they sell English import food or from online sellers. They are amazing and the next best thing to the real deal.

  19. GS says:

    Frozen Marathon bars on a summer’s day was heaven for any kid in the late 70′s / early 80′s. Figures they had to do away with it but maybe its better… even candy which is still around today doesn’t taste nearly as good as it used to.

  20. brentc76 says:

    I never got to try Marothon , but thanks for posting the commericial I would make a point to stop and watch “Quick Claude” when I was 4 yrs old I would always laugh myself silly at him running around in fast motion. So thanks for giving me that joyful chuckle 30+ years later!!!!

  21. Hannah says:

    I remember the “Marathon” candy bar sooo well. I was born in the 70′s and vividly remember “walking” from Grandma’s house down to the small candy store and buying one of these!! (you know, back when it was safe for a kid to walk down the street alone).

    I would love to see this retro bar make its way back to the store shelves!!! Yummy stuff…and you can’t go wrong with chocolate AND caramel!!

    tks

  22. LORA CHANEY says:

    I thought for years that the Marathon bar was 10 inches long…I am a little disappointed to find out it was only 8! Memory plays tricks on us doesnt it?

  23. Christine Crosby says:

    The world would be such a better place if this amazing treat would come back to us. I would stop on my way home from school everyday and get one of these. I can’t believe they didn’t make a big enough hit to stick around. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE bring this back.

  24. Laura Seal says:

    Oh I would so love the Marathon bar to return! That is the one candy bar that I loved from my childhood…if only everyone could experience the goodness!! I talk about it to friends and family and many remember it also. There has been NOTHING like it since.
    Please, please, please bring it back. Thank you!!!

  25. don rieser says:

    Im 1973 I was 12 yrs old and in my prime of eating chocolate. My favorite combination till today is chocolate and caramel but a milky way is not even close and I never buy them. I remember the marathon bar and miss it so much. Bring it back. Bring back my childhood !!

  26. ann says:

    Oh how I would LOVE for mars to bring back the marathon bar that was my favorite

  27. steve says:

    Like hires rootbeer, is an original and the best…they both need to come back…it was long and chewy caramel covered with chocolate like a pretzel braid shape…had many….as a kid, a friend of mine used to chant to me ma-ra-THON ma-ra-THON ma-ra-THON…when we would challenge each other to see how long it would stretch from our mouth before breaking…candy bars are not fun like that anymore

  28. vicki says:

    I often wondered what happened to the Marathon bar. It was definately one of my favorites. It needs to be brought back. I havent found anything that compares to it.

  29. Ahnna says:

    I Loved these! Also, 7 Up bars

  30. MICHAEL says:

    I loved the Marathon candy bar!!! YES, i would love it if they would bring it back! I’d love my kids to get a taste of something i enjoyed so much growing up!!!

  31. Tim says:

    The Marathon Bar was my favorite. It use to crack me up when I gave some to my dog and he would chew on one piece forever. Such memories of the ole Marathon Bar. I’d love to have another one some day.

  32. Angie says:

    It was 1978. Summer vacation. My sisters and I got to pick out 1 candy bar to enjoy. Mine was the Maraton Bar. Partly becaused I loved it, partly because it lasted a lonnnnnng time, and partly because size mattered when it came to a good sugary treat. I will always remember, taking a good hardy bite, not quite getting my bite completely dettached from the rest of the bar, pulling the bar out of my mouth and having a tooth filling stuck on it. (Grew up in the country, no fluoride in the well water). Those bars were STRONG. That didn’t put a damper on my vacation, and I’m no quitter, so I finished that baby off. And yes, I would still love to eat a Marathon Bar. It would be great if they brought it back.

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