Most of us like to travel; many may even participate in a local 10K. However, there are us folks that like to take our interests a step further. If you fall into that category, then there are 3 marathons that you need to be aware of. Not only do these runs offer an opportunity to push yourself over the gut wrenching 26.2 miles of the marathon course, but it does so in extreme locations. In fact the races are in such exotic locals, that all offer a vacation package to take advantage of being there. Although all are open to general entry as well, leaving you free to explore the region on your own.
- 1. Great Wall of China Marathon – This run is an annual May event and begins in Beijing The Great Wall was built to keep people out, however you will quickly find even once the wall is accessed, the uneven stones and countless stairs may have been just as defeating to any advancing army. The race course is designed for the participants to experience the wall for half of the race, but also to expose them to the rural Chinese countryside as well. Last year’s winning time was 3:39.28
- 2. Mt. Kilimanjaro Marathon – Stepping up to the starting line in Moshi, Tanzania you may not yet be able to see the snows of Kilimanjaro. However, if you look around you will quickly realize your opponents in the marathon are as world class as the scenery you are about to be exposed to. Eastern Africa is home to the sport’s most elite runners. Without doubt you will be running next to, or more likely behind entrants from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya. After an out and back, the course turns upward and you will be able to view the race’s name sake. Save enough energy and you could be standing on the summit 5 days later. Last year’s winning time was 2:13:50
- 3. Antarctica Marathon – I apologize for this entry. To run the race at the bottom of the world you are going to have to be as patient. The marathon is already sold out through 2016. Like the seven summits of mountaineering, marathoners also want to count coup on each continent. There is always a chance and with a $300 deposit you may get your name on the waiting list. However, the chance of getting in is about as likely as an ice free Prince George Island. The organizers are taking entries for 2017, which provides you little excuse to not be in shape when the gun sounds. Last year’s winning time was 3:07:58
Whenever passions are combined the inevitable result are good times and excellent memories. All three marathons are times not to be forgotten. Even for you hardened adventurers, I bet you will keep the t-shirt!