I think I found the holy grail of the Runner’s Bucket List – Adventure Marathon. With names like these…who can resist?! Bagan Temple (Myanmar), The Great Wall (China), The Big Five (South Africa), Petra Desert (Jordan), and The Polar Circle (Greenland).
Stumbling across this site made me frantically search for all the best international locations for races! In no particular order I would love to run in these different races/places at some point over the next 50 years:
- Great Wall Marathon, China. Ok – this IS actually my #1, since the Great Wall has been on my bucket list since…forever! Forget a PR as you tackle the 5,164 steps of one of the world’s most famous landmarks!!!
- The Big Five, South Africa. The only motivation you need on this trail marathon is that it runs right through the thick of the African Savannah — and its wildlife – no fences, no barriers – nothing that separates runners from the elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions, and leopards!!!
- Athens Marathon. The original. “In 490 BC, the first battle for democracy was fought at the Greek village of Marathon. Though overwhelmingly out numbered by an invading Persian Army, the citizen-soldiers of Athens prevailed and in so doing allows the first democracy to be established and preserved the classical Greek way of life that became the foundation of western civilization. Legend has it that, when the battle was won, the Athenian messenger Phidippides ran twenty-four miles to Athens, carrying news of that stunning victory. The modern marathon commemorates this feat.”
- Paris Marathon. One just may have to use croissants as running fuel before passing by the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. *Le Sigh*
- London Marathon. The River Thames. Tower Bridge. Big Ben. Buckingham Palace. It’s all very posh.
- Rome Marathon. This marathon reads like a must-see list of Rome’s most alluring attractions – the Colosseum, the Tiber River, St. Peter’s Basilica, Circus Maximus, the Pyramid of Cestius, and the Spanish Steps. Who doesn’t love charming piazzas and cobblestone streets?!
- Chicago Marathon. There is something fascinating about the windy city. And you can’t go wrong the course…fast and flat!
- Jungfrau Marathon, Switzerland. This demanding marathon races to the top of one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world – and boasts a legendary finish with panoramic views at 2,100 meters above sea level.
- New York City Marathon. This course covers all five boroughs of one city – a true celebration of sport and diversity! Also…it is the largest marathon in the world.
- Two Oceans Marathon, South Africa. – This race is self-proclaimed as “The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon.” Should we verify?!
- I want to run all over Ireland. Every step in the country of my heritage would have me grinning ear to ear.
- International Marathon of Marrakech, Morocco. Where else can you say you took a destination run through olive groves and orange trees and past roadside camels with snow-covered mountains looming in the distance?
- Maui Oceanfront Marathon. Can you think of a more perfect backdrop than the beaches of Hawaii?!
- Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail Marathon would be pretty AH-MAZ-ING!!!
The craziest race I would love to do?! Hands down – the North Pole. Literally the world’s COOLEST marathon 🙂
What is your top destination race? Have you – or someone you know – completed any of these races?