If you’re looking for your next fitness challenge, then look no further! We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the ultimate races from around the world so that you can challenge yourself in some of the world’s most iconic settings.
- Inca Trail Marathon
There are several Inca Trail races, but this one has the best reputation for organisation: it’s currently measured and fully supported, with clear course markings, marshals and aid stations. The route is incredible too, starting from the Llactapata Inca ruins it climbs to Warmiwanusqa Pass, before heading down through Inca sites and mountain passes, offering superb views of the Andes, to perhaps the most thrilling race finish in the world, Machu Picchu.
Next Race: 9th July 2015, www.eriksadventures.com
- Bay to Breakers
First run in 1912, this annual event is one of the oldest footraces in the world. It’s a 12k run through San Francisco from the Bay to the Great Highway, where huge waves (breakers) crash onto Ocean Beach. In 1986, this event set a Guinness World Record, when 110,000 runners took part.
Next Race: 17th May 2015, www.baytobreakers.com
- Everest Marathon
Starting at Everest base camp and finishing in Namche Bazaar in Nepal, this race is every bit as ruthless as you’d imagine from the world’s highest marathon. It takes extra time to prepare for this high-level event as runners must sign up for a 26-day trip to allow for proper pre-race acclimatisation.
Next Race: November 2015, www.everestmarathon.org.uk
- Walt Disney World Marathon
Over a long-weekend festival in Disney’s Florida resort, you can tackle a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon. The routes go through the resort’s four theme parks and Disney characters interact with runners along the way.
Next Race: 7th January 2015, www.rundisney.com
- Great Wall Marathon
Hitting the wall becomes literal over 26.2 miles and 5,164 steps of China’s 2,200 year old great wonder. As well as enjoying the great atmosphere created by the 2,000 runners, and the up close look at one of humanity’s greatest feats of engineering, you’ll be treated to dramatic views of Tianjin province.
Next Race: 16th May 2015, www.great-wall-marathon.com
- Polar Circle Marathon
The ‘coolest marathon on earth’ starts and finishes in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, inside the Arctic Circle. The course takes in a 3km loop on Greenland’s ice cap, then runs through the tundra against the backdrop of huge glacier tongues and the stillness of the Arctic desert. Cool, indeed!
Next Race: 25th October 2014, www.polar-circle-marathon.com
- Marathon des Sables
This event, commonly referred to as MDS is one of the great badges of honour for endurance runners. MDS, ‘the toughest footrace on earth’, is run over six stages, ranging from 21-82km for a total of over 150 miles, and all through the stunning Sahara desert.
Next Race: 2015 (date TBC), www.marathondessables.co.uk
With over 80,000 runners, this is currently the world’s biggest running event. At 14k, it’s an unusual but manageable distance and the course, which takes you from downtown Sydney to a Bondi Beach finish is a real treat.
Next Race: 2015 (date TBC), www.city2surf.com.au
- Angkor Wat International Half Marathon
There’s a hefty ‘wow factor’ from this course, which takes runners through Cambodia’s Angkor Wat World Heritage Site. The event raises funds for victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia, which makes it all the more worthwhile.
Next Race: 7th December 2014, www.angkormarathon.org
- Midnight Sun Marathon
The sun doesn’t set at all from mid-May to mid-July in northern Norway, which gives TromsØ’s showpiece event its unique magic as 8,000 marathoners run under the midnight sun. The ‘capital of the Arctic’ provides a thrilling back drop to this phenomenon, surrounded by mountains, fjords and islands, with a largely waterside course.
Next Race: June 2015, www.msm.no
If our guide has inspired you to take up a future challenge, Tanita products can help you on your way to peak health and fitness. Our range of sophisticated body composition monitors use advanced Bio-electrical Impedance technology (BIA) to provide accurate measurements of your body fat percentage, muscle mass, Basal Metabolic Rate and hydration level. Each of these measurements can significantly impact your training and help you achieve your fitness goals faster and more efficiently. Read more about how Tanita can help you get race-ready here.