Any excuse seems good to travel the world. Even some as extreme and demanding as runners’ tourism. More and more runners and athletes are taking advantage of vacations to travel to cities or places where great races are held, especially marathons, and combine sports, healthy life and travel.
It only takes a look at the Internet to realize the number of agencies specializing in this type of travel. They know that there is an important market niche among the most urban runners. They take care of almost everything necessary to be able to participate in some of the most prestigious races, and since at unuk we like trends, we have prepared an article with the best marathons in the world — in case someone here is decides to join. We can tell you upfront that we have not included the New York Marathon in the list. It would be too easy!
Big Sur International Marathon (April)
The last weekend of April is when this marathon takes place. Along the race, there are many runners who do not hesitate to stop to take pictures. It is celebrated in California, specifically along Highway 1 between Big Sur and Carmel. Unpredictable wind gusts combine with spectacular views of the cliffs over a raging sea. The most iconic point of the route is Bixby Bridge.
Great Ocean Road Running Festival (May)
Heading Down Under. In the mythical Great Ocean Road, a competition that goes beyond the brands and winners is held. It features all types of competitions, from the ultramarathon to 1.5 km races with the goal that nobody has an excuse not to go and enjoy a less sedentary life next to spectacular beaches. The organization offers accommodation and a multitude of activities related to well-being.
Great Wall Marathon (May)
Not suitable for beginners. The Great Wall of China Marathon is one of the most demanding on the planet because at 42km there are more than 5,000 steps that make up this monument. The departure takes place in the Huangyaguan Fortress, with one of the best restored sections of the wall. If there is still energy left after such a feat, Beijing awaits.
Safaricom Marathon (June)
The combination is somewhat strange, but it is possible to run a marathon while you taking a safari through one of the most important reserves in Kenya and Africa. We warn you that the experience is not within reach for everybody’s budget. But also because only 1,200 people can participate to ensure both the safety of the participants and the animals that inhabit the area. Because it is not unusual to see how zebras, giraffes or rhinoceros accompany the runners. The organization not only provides accommodation, but also assistance with helicopters and armed rangers.
Berlin Marathon (September)
A classic among classics. The Berlin event is one of the most important in the marathon calendar, both for tradition and history. The first edition was held in 1974 and had just under 300 participants. Currently, there are almost 45,000 runners who enjoy the contrast of one of the most cosmopolitan and cultural cities in Europe.
Chicago Marathon (October)
This race is a real tour of the city as it runs through no less than 29 Chicago neighbourhoods. Almost two million people go out to the street to follow and cheer the athletes. Participants (and their families) who make the trip can soak up the art and culture of one of the most interesting cities in the United States.
Volcano Marathon (November)
Running the Volcano Marathon is the closest thing to racing on Mars. Only the most extreme athletes — and crazy ones — can afford a challenge like the one proposed by this race, taking place along the Atacama Desert in Chile. The finish line is more than 3,000 meters high over the sea level and you will endure tropical temperatures. Go brave!
Our favourite, without a doubt. There is no time nor participants limit. And so every December there are more than 30,000 people who join this marathon, the fourth most important in the United States. After the mandatory 42km, time for some sun, beach and being in Hawaii in mid-December. Who is in?
Cultural, historical, extreme and of sun and beach. There are marathon trips for all tastes. You just need to train hard, run some of the marathons that are closest to you such as the one in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia to gain experience… and out you go!