Get ready to embrace the extreme side of running. Last Sunday, the world’s largest marathon took place in New York City – but it turns out it’s not a patch on some of the other weird and whacky races out there. Thought that running across ice caps, mountains and savannahs was purely the stuff of video games? Think again...
At Wahanda, we’re not adverse to a bit of pavement-pounding, but we can’t say we’ve ever considered jogging up Everest or combining a marathon with wine-tasting. When the lovely people at Skyscanner sent us these marathon gems, our minds boggled – and we think yours will, too...
North Pole Marathon (7th April 2012)
‘The coolest marathon in the world’ surely boasts the most unusual location for a marathon. As well as, unsurprisingly, being the most northerly marathon on the planet, it’s not actually run on land. Overcome seriously sub-zero temperatures and the thought that below the ice flow beneath your feet is 12,000 feet of ocean, and you’ll be fine.
Remember to pack your thermals… and goggles, snow shoes and survival equipment. If you can do the run in a Big Bird costume, then you’ll earn even more respect from your colleagues who think that a run is 10 minutes in the gym. And of course, if you survive, and even finish the race, you’ll feel on top of the world...
Everest Marathon (December 2013)
Don’t fancy the world’s coldest marathon? How about the world’s highest? Around 80 of the world’s craziest athletes compete in one of the hardest races in the world, staged in Nepal. Due to the need to acclimatise to the extreme altitude, runners need to devote an entire 25 days to the event. The terrain takes its toll as well as the altitude, with tough trails, snow and ice, and even Indiana Jones-style narrow suspension bridges. Alas, it’s too late to sign up for this year’s race, so you’ve got two years to train for the next one.
The most dangerous:
The Big Five Marathon (23rd June 2012)
Ever wanted to race a lion? Here’s your chance. The Big Five is so named because it takes place right amidst the famous five animals of the savannah in South Africa. There are no high fences, nor barbed wire or anything of the sort separating you from a mauling, but therein lies the excitement. Held in the spectacular Entabeni Game Reserve, between Johannesburg and the Kruger National Park, the scenery should take your mind off imminent peril, and what’s more, you’ll have close encounters with rhino, buffalo, zebras, giraffes and elephants. Concentrate on your breathing and rest assured that no one has been hurt - yet...
The most drunken:
Le Marathon du Médoc (September 2012)
For those who run to shift those extra pounds that a gourmet lifestyle can lead to, the Médoc Marathon is the perfect option. The challenge is to complete a route, preferably in fancy dress, that takes in tasting sessions of top quality local produce at over 30 chateaux. Starting from Pauillac, near Bordeaux, the run is a joyous tour through charming scenery that is sure to get slightly blurred as the day goes on. Other than holding your drink and running in a straight line, indigestion is perhaps the biggest hazard.
The most chilled:
The Reggae Marathon (December 2011)
Taking place every year in Jamaica’s beautiful Negril, the Reggae Marathon is one for laid back runners. The objective is to combine the best of Jamaica – sports, music and tourism - in a single event and thus runners take to the stunning course accompanied by reggae beats helping to keep them in an “irie” spirit. The event starts with a Rastafarian drummer session and finishes with a victory jam – Jamaicans sure know how to party!
Not quite ready to sign up for any of those bad boys, but already looking ahead to next year's London marathon? Check out our deals and offers on bootcamps and personal trainers to help get you fighting fit in time for race day.