Marathon Bar

Marathon Bar

Back in the 70s, there roamed 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, to a kid trying to stretch that measly allowance, this was a surefire way to get some bang from your candy buck.

The Mars Candy Company introduced the world to the Marathon Bar in 1973. The treat consisted of chewy caramel, braided to resemble 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, the Marathon bar wasn’t the candy bar for you. One of these babies lasted a very long time, leaving the jaw 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 his rival couldn’t do fast, however, was eat a marathon bar, He slowed Carl’s sinister ways to a caramely crawl by simply giving him a bar to chomp on for a few hours – the candy cavalry, as it were.

Unfortunately, the Marathon Bar didn’t last on store shelves quite as long. By 1981, the last of these memorable candy bars left the sweets aisle for good, and fans have never stopped mourning. They hold out hope that the mighty Marathon bar might one day be resurrected from the extinct candy graveyard, offering fans, old and new alike, the opportunity to experience the glory (and jaw-ache) that they missed the first time around.

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.

69 Responses to “Marathon Bar”

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  1. jennifer harris says:

    I forgot what it tasted like.

  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 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.

  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 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!!


  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

    • steve says:

      had curly wurly last year in desperation…awful and didn’t even finish it….like most anything in desperation…it does not live up to the original thing, it was actually sad and disappointing for an excuse to try and substitute it as the modern marathon…like a&w trying to fill in for hires (barrelhead #2)..nice try but no cigar

  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.

  33. Angie says:

    Would love to see the Marathon bar come back– they were my all time favorite!!!

  34. Wesley says:

    We have got to get these back. It was my favorite candy as a kid

  35. Dave Helman says:

    Loved them frozen!!! Miss them soooo much!!

  36. Jennifer says:

    would love to have one of these! I used to go to “Mitchell’s Quick Stop” with my grandfather and get these. They had a HUGE candy selection. The marathon was the greatest!

  37. Wow. Thanks for this post.

    I remember these well, but I was too young to know what “marathon” meant, so, for whatever reason, we affectionately called them “Chainsaws.” (Blame my strange Mississippi upbringing.)

    Since then, I’ve remembered them fondly, but I was never sure what they were actually called. I’d seen references to the “Marathon” bar, but never with a photo or video to prove they were the same.

    Sometimes I really do miss the 1970s. :-)

  38. Lara says:

    OMG! I have been asking everyone if they remember Marathon candy bars. They were my favorite! Bring them back!

  39. Allison A says:

    I loved marathon bars. You could spot the red wrapper from at least a 100 feet away. I still can’t believe it has been 22 years since they were on the supermarket shelves. I am not into “sweets” but I would make an exception if they brought these chocolate and caramel delights back on the market…oh my sweet and glorious memories of the magic marathon bar…

  40. Anita says:

    I remember walking to the store and turning in my glass coke bottles so I could get one. Would love to have one now!

  41. Lynn says:

    The Marathon Bar was a symbol of most precious memories of youthful exuberance & indulgence. I seem to remember a extra long version that as crazy as it sounds seems like it was 2 foot long or longer! I remember stopping at a local Casey’s General Store in Exira, Iowa after school and chow down to my heart’s content.

    It was not only delicious, blending together the best of flavors (chocolate and carmel)…but it had staying power as it could last as long as a bag of chips. I have ordered the Curly Whirlies and they do bring back memories of the favor and texture, but I’ll never be 16 again living on the edge of discovery as it was then. Now make that a 3 foot curly Whirly and I might change my tune. =)))

  42. Stephanie says:

    Bring it back! This was always my favorite as a kid!

  43. Robin Tucker says:

    I absolutely loved the marathon bar!
    Please bring it back Id like to share it with my children and grand child.
    The candy of today, can’t beat a Marathon Bar!
    Bring it back!!!!!!

  44. Nadine says:

    I so wish they would make these again they were my favorite !!!

  45. Sheri says:

    This was one of my sisters favorite candy bars!

  46. Jenn McGriskin says:

    I soooo loved the Marathon bar and had a hell of a time remembering what it was called. lol. It was born the same year as me and it should’ve lasted longer than it did.

  47. Donna says:

    I have been trying to find that candy bar forever!!! It was so good. I would mostly get it when I was a little girl at the theater. I ate on it forever and loved the way the ligjt chocolate tasted over the caramel. I have been telling my girl about it since she was born. Thanks to you I can show her a picture. I wish it was back…my favorite ever!

  48. donna says:

    Let’s all get a petition and send it to Mars so they will start making it again! My girl would love the way it tasted! I was so little then that I never could remember he name. I thought it was the 10000 Grand Bar. Ha

  49. Ron says:

    I loved the marathon and bubs daddy gum grape , sour apple strawberry marathon was the best

  50. Jane says:

    Loved this candy bar! Wish they would make it again!

  51. Mike says:

    I was talking on the phone to a girl I had never met before. I was 19, she was 16. I guessed that her favorite candy bar was Marathon. It turned out I was right, she was mightily impressed, and we were a couple for the next three years.

  52. Peggy Saphian says:

    Would love to see this come back! Have told my children and grandchildren about this candy bar and would love to be have them all experience it!!!!

  53. TPunk says:

    Sheesh! You’d think that all Cadbury, or some other chocolate company would have to do is read all these posts to figure out that bringing back the Marathon bar is a NO-BRAINER!!!

    As Comic-Book Guy would say, “BEST candy bar EVER!”

  54. Maxine says:

    I would absolutely love to see the Marathon come back… Also brings back great memories!! :)

  55. Julie says:

    Favorites from childhood they should totally bring back are 1) Choco’lite Bar by Nestle, 2) the Marathon Bar, and 3) Bit O Chocolate. All delicious and very much missed.

  56. Johnny C. says:

    Yep, they were surely chewy. I totally remember this commercial now after not seeing it for almost 40 years.

  57. Kathy says:

    I miss this candy bar , I ate this when I was a kid and it was delicious… Please bring it back …….

  58. Kisha says:

    I loved these and now that I am a diabetic I have to be so careful, I would definitely use a cheat on these!! The memories of eating these with my sister and friends are priceless. SOMEBODY BRING THEM BACK!!

  59. Janice friary says:

    Lease bring back my favorite candy of all time!!! It would make my life better

  60. Janice says:

    Please bring back my very favorite candy as a kid…I’ve told my kids countless times how delicious they were and would love it if they could enjoy them as well!!!

  61. Hope platt says:

    Please bring back the marathon bar. I would love for my kids to try.

  62. LaTrese says:

    My sister and I loved the Marathon candy bar. My mom would give them to us if we did a good job getting our hair washed. And for that yummy goodness, we always did a good job😁 I would love to see this candy bar back on the shelf.

  63. Valerie says:

    They were my absolute favorite! I always look for them, even though I will probably never see one again. 😓

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