Places to run a marathon may not be your nearest city or even your own country. If you love running and spend hours upon hours training to run a marathon why shouldn’t you also dream of doing it in somewhere wonderful. Road races in your own town/city are all very well but how do you fancy having some wonderful sights whilst you’re running. There are some fabulous places to run a marathon and unless you’re a professional athlete, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a view as your little feet pound the floor is there? From the orient to the occident, here are 9 Exotic Places to Run a Marathon. On your marks... get set... go...
1. The North Pole Marathon
Well if there’s one place where you can guarantee you won’t need a long cooling down period it’s the North Pole. Surely the coldest of places to run a marathon, participants experience temperatures of minus 30 degrees and lower as they navigate the expanse of snow and ice.
2. Marathon De Medoc
Whilst you might think a corner of rural France is a pretty standard place to run a marathon, the Medoc race is a long distance running event with a difference. Medoc, just north of Burgundy, is a wine-growing region and participants in this marathon can stop and guzzle oysters and white wine at every mile marker. They also hold a recovery walk the day after the marathon.
3. The Everest Marathon
Can you imagine a more incredible marathon location than the world’s highest mountain? The race starts at Mount Everest Base Camp, 17,000 feet up the mountain and runners descend 6,000 feet to reach the finish line. If you’re going to take part you’ll need to spend at least a month getting acclimatized in Kathmandu.
4. The Death Valley Marathon
Ok, so the Cottonwood, Funeral, Grapevine, Black and Panamint Mountains are a long way from the height of Everest but they still provide a spectacular backdrop to the Death Valley Marathon. The course wends it ways through the Death Valley National Park which is very flat and below sea level, making this a unique place to run a marathon.
5. The Galapagos Marathon
If you want to see flora and fauna like nowhere else, The Galapagos Islands has to be the most amazing marathon location. There’s only been two marathons in the ecologically diverse islands where Darwin formed his Theory of Evolution but there’s an event planned for next year and organizers intend it to be a continuing annual event.
6. The Great Wall of China Marathon
The beautiful Great Wall of China is definitely one of the more exotic places to run a marathon. It’s historic and magnificent and there are 5164 steps for runners to negotiate.
7. South Africa’s Big 5 Marathon
We are used to «fun runners» in animal costumes participating in marathons but in south Africa’s Big 5 race, the animals are real. As you make your way along the course in one of South Africa’s National Parks, not only will your sights include mountains, rivers, waterfalls and swamps but zebras, giraffes, antelope and maybe even a lion or two.
8. Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon
Another of the world’s highest mountains provides an exotic place to run a marathon. Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano, and the tallest peak in Africa hosts a race that winds through some quaintest towns of Tanzania.
9. Solar Eclipse Marathon
The most unique start to a marathon has to be a solar eclipse. The starting pistol is fired on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, Australia as the sun emerges from behind the moon setting runners off on a course in a marathon location that takes in sugar cane fields, rivers, rainforest and mining roads.
So, next time you sign up to pound out more than 26 miles will it be in one of these Exotic Places to Run a Marathon? There’s probably nothing to beat the atmosphere of the big city marathons but these exotic marathon locations will surely afford the experience of a lifetime.
Top Photo Credit: weheartit.com