8 Unique Races Worldwide

8 Unique Races Worldwide

Running a marathon is not an easy task. It requires years of training and immense dedication and commitment. A runner has to push his or her body to its absolute limits. But the thrill of the challenge and the intense sense of satisfaction as you cross the finish line is incomparable.

Participating in marathons doesn’t always have to be a serious endeavor, however. What if you could run a marathon and have some fun too? Would you be interested in a marathon in a locale that is far from the usual city roads? Or perhaps, a race that includes trucking through the mud? There are so many unique races that appeal to many different audiences. Let’s take a look at 8 of the most unique marathon races across the world.

Extraordinary Races for Unique Runners

1.    Marathon du Médoc

Have you ever imagined drinking wine and running? Well, this race is perfect for wine afficionados looking to exert some physical energy while imbibing. The marathon starts near Bordeaux and passes through dozens of vineyards where you get to sample the produce. Fancy costumes are welcome and the number of participants is limited to 8000.

Scheduled for September 12, 2015

marathon du medoc

Photo Credit: http://fr.bordeaux-tourisme.com/

2.     Krispy Kreme Challenge

Indulge your sweet tooth as you do some serious running for 2.5 miles, starting from the campus of North Carolina State University through downtown Raleigh, and culminating at a Krispy Kreme shop. While you’re at the shop, don’t forget to scarf down a dozen doughnuts and then make your way back to the starting point, all within an hour. The calorie-conscious can just carry the box to the finish line. Proceeds go to North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

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Dates for the run vary year to year, but this year it was held on February 14th- what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

3.     Antarctic Ice Marathon

Does the thought of a long run in ice-cold weather excite you? Then, this is the perfect marathon for you. A chilly wind and a temperature of -20ºc are just two things you need to brace yourself for. That is, besides the ice and snow. The marathon stretches across 26.2 miles of formidable terrain at an elevation of 700m. Participation this year cost 10,800 euros. For those who find the distance too daunting, there is a half marathon of 13 miles as well.

Scheduled for November 19, 2015

4.    Bay to Breakers

Race down the Pacific Coast in this amazing 12K marathon held in San Francisco. It is believed to be the world’s oldest consecutively run annual footrace and attracts a huge number of participants each year. The marathon presents an amazing spectacle as participants put on fancy or funny costumes and head gear. In 1986, this race won a place in the Guinness book of world records as the largest footrace in the world with 110,000 participants. Today, the number of participants crosses 50,000 with even greater number of spectators.

Scheduled for May 15, 2016

5.    Sandmine Challenge

This race is definitely out of the ordinary because of its underground location in the caves of Missouri. The SandMine challenge in Crystal City, Missouri spans four miles underground, and combines running and some spelunking (or cave exploration in layman terms). Participants wear headlamps and run, jump, climb and wade through small lakes and obstacles in the mines. Proceeds go to St. Louis nonprofit PayBack, Inc which is a community service and juvenile restitution center.

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Held on February 21, 2015

sandmine challenge

 Photo Credit: www.stltoday.com

6.    Safaricom Marathon

This is one of the most extraordinary races, allowing participants to run through Savannah amidst exquisite scenery. The marathon is organized in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. Runners can enjoy the experience of a wildlife safari with breathtaking views of Mount Kenya as they run across 13 miles of undulating terrain. The event has 3 categories: The Full Marathon, The Half Marathon and Children’s Race for experienced and amateur runners. Entry is limited to 1000 participants and proceeds from the event goes to Tusk, which is a wildlife conservation trust.

Scheduled for June 27, 2015

7.    Marathon of the Midnight Sun

Run in the middle of the night with the sun shining overhead in this unique marathon held in the Norwegian town of Tromsø in the Arctic Circle. Starting from the city center, the race crosses the Bridge of Tromsø, which rises from 6 to 43 metres above sea level to arrive at Tromsdalen in a 42 km course with some breathtaking views in between.

Scheduled for June 20, 2015

marathon of the midnight sun

Photo Credit: www.msm.no

8.    The Great Wall Marathon

It is one of the most physically challenging marathons worldwide consisting of a full marathon, a half marathon and an 8.5km run. The course is on the Great Wall with beautiful countryside views and involves climbing 5164 steps cut into the wall. This marathon is steadily gaining popularity with more than 2,500 participants last year.

Scheduled for May 21, 2016

Have you participated in any of these or heard of any other unique races? We’d love to hear about it!

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