Running can lead to all sorts of incredible adventures, all over the globe! You may happily partake in a daily neighbourhood run, but you might not have been aware that this hobby can lead to some truly unforgettable experiences!
We aren’t talking about a half marathon in the nearest town; we are talking about unique races around the world that you’d need to travel to!
Interested? Let’s go on a journey…
1. The Antarctica Marathon
Fancy taking part in the southernmost marathon on earth? Got chills down your spine? So you should! Mainland Antarctica represents the last frontier, the final great wilderness to be conquered. And now adventure athletes can enjoy a crazy race around it!
Taking place at an altitude of 700 metres the Antarctica Marathon is the only footrace within the Antarctic Circle and boy is it unique! The race boasts underfoot conditions comprising freezing snow and ice throughout. You can also enjoy the fresh feel of an average wind-chill temperature of -20C, and the common occurrence of strong Katabatic winds to contend with.
The next one will be on 24th of November 2017.
2. The Swissman Triathlon
Anyone game for a super extreme triathlon? If you like a little bit more than just a run the Swissman Triathlon may be the race for you! A stunning mix of beauty and bravery makes this experience unbelievably worthwhile.
So what exactly is it? The Swissman is a point-to-point race beginning in the southern part of Switzerland. It will lead you over three mountain passes to the central part of Switzerland and finishes with a final climb in the heart of the country, just at the bottom of the massive mountain backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
The scenery with more than 5500m elevation gain is breathtakingly beautiful and the challenge of the course is undeniably extreme. This particular triathlon is famous for its final part – a marathon that goes uphill for its entire length.
Registration is open for a very limited time and is closed already for 2017 race.
Visit their web-site
3. The Jungle Ultra, Peru
Not for the faint hearted and for lovers of nature The Jungle Ultra is a 230km ultra-marathon! Participants are guided through the remote Amazonian rainforest. The marathon begins at an astonishing 10,000 feet above sea level in Cloud Forest. It’s from here that runners will trek through the dense Peruvian jungle.
The runners will make their way through tribal villages, virtually untouched forests, and a mountainous terrain. A major difficulty runners are faced with is having to deal with the humidity levels that reach nearly 100% in the jungle.
On top of that, the runners also need to be fully aware of the dangers of their surroundings due to the surprises jungles can have! They are running through the home of nature’s wildest beasts such as jaguars, monkeys, and tapirs.
The next one is on 4th of June 2017.
4. The Great Wall of China Marathon
One day a year The Great Wall of China hosts an incredible marathon – yes, you can actually race across this wonder of the world! The marathon route kicks off at the Yin and Yang Square situated in the old Huangyaguan fortress. It then gruellingly guides competitors up the first of many staircases on the Great Wall of China.
Marathon runners then get to venture through the lower valley and surrounding villages before finishing a second loop around the Great Wall. Hopefully you like stairs because you can enjoy a whopping 5,164 of them throughout the course of the marathon! If you’re not quite ready mentally and physically for a full-length marathon there is also a half marathon and 8.5km fun run options available too.
The weather will likely be hot and humid, reaching 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). The cut-off time is eight hours, and participants that do not make the eight-hour time limit will be disqualified – harsh!
The next race is on 20th May 2017.
5. Polar Night Half Marathon / Midnight Sun Marathon
The Polar Night half marathon may only be half the distance of a traditional marathon, but it packs plenty of impact; this race is one to add to your bucket list. It takes place in the beginning of January, during the Polar night-period, when the sun does not rise above the horizon – see it already sounds scary, doesn’t it?!
To make it even more extreme and spine tingling the route is lit by torches only to make it easier to see the beautiful aurora borealis as you run. It’s also the northernmost AIMS-certified (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) half marathon in the world at almost 70° north. It’s as extreme as it is beautiful!
There is a sibling race called – Midnight Sun marathon, that happens in the exactly same location but during the summer.
The next midnight sun marathon is on 17th June 2017 in Tromso, Norway.
The next polar night half-marathon is on 7th January 2018.
6. The Petra Desert Marathon
Whilst the above environments are pretty unforgiving in their own right – nothing could be as harsh as the open desert. This incredible marathon starts on the streets of the beautiful Facades, before taking the runner through the stunning ancient city of Petra then into the desert it self via tombs, caves and other breath taking pieces of scenery.
The breath-taking element is quite literal too, in that you’re going to have to come packing a tremendous amount of fluid and a respectable level of fitness to tackle this awesome challenge.
If you can get to the end, the run culminates in a lap around the land of the Bedouins – you’ll feel like you’re on the moon whilst running through this alien-like landscape and taking in the array of splendorous colours on offer. This particular marathon does not offer a “half” sized variant – it’s only for the hard-core, so please keep this in mind before entering as there’s no “easy” option!
The next one is on 26th of August 2017 in Petra, Jordan.
Any one of these marathons is going to provide you with an experience that you’ll simply never forget, and it’s arguably the best way to see the world for an avid fitness fanatic. You can simultaneously do something you love whilst seeing some of the most magnificent sights the world has to offer.
Anyone can simply go abroad and put their feet up, but you can take yourself through a one-off physical challenge that’ll remain perfectly etched in your mind forever. After that? YOU can put your feet up too! Once it’s all over, you can simply do all of the things that everyone else does whilst they’re abroad and relax to the max, taking solace in the fact that you’re a lean mean running machine.