Feeling inspired after watching yesterday’s ING NYC Marathon? 26.2 miles is certainly an incredible feat and seasoned runners put careful time into finalizing their annual race schedules. Whether you’re running for time or just to finish (which is a perfectly acceptable goal!), we highly encourage scheduling a few destination races in your calendar. Because, yes, you can run a marathon and STILL have a vacation!
Marathon du Médoc: September 13, 2014
We can pretty much guarantee you won’t run a personal record at this race. In fact, the Marathon du Médoc advises against runners who are obsessed with speed from registering. This race is all about the wine! Runners set out on a tasting tour of some of the best vineyards in Bordeaux, France. “Water stops” along the route feature vino and gourmet eats like steak and oysters. And to make this marathon a bit more fun, many participants opt to run in costumes.
Tip: Don’t stress! This marathon is all about pleasure over pain.
Great Wall Marathon, China: May 17, 2014
Is the Great Wall of China on your bucket list? Check it off by registering for the Great Wall Marathon! This race instantly combines your passion for travel, running and adventure. But beware, it will probably be the steps (all 5,164 of them) not the distance that will test your physical strength. In fact, the race organizers predict that it will take you about 50 percent longer to complete this marathon than an average marathon because of the steep ascents and descents. The race isn’t all steps though – besides running on an international landmark, you’ll also loop through China’s countryside.
Tip: Amp up those hill repeats and stair training in order to be prepared.
Honolulu Marathon, Hawaii: December 8, 2013
The Honolulu Marathon is one of America’s largest races and we’re pretty sure we know why. Let’s be serious, if you’re going to spend months training, you may as well reward yourself by running a marathon somewhere gorgeous like Hawaii. White sandy beaches and brilliant blue surf – join the tens of thousands runners who set their goals on Waikiki. Besides being beach-bound, you’ll also journey past the volcanic craters of Diamond Head and Koko Head.
Tip: Go to bed super early! This marathon begins at 5AM to help beat the heat.
And hey, you don’t have to travel to France, China or Hawaii to experience a “destination” marathon. Depending on where you live, traveling a few hours outside your hometown may offer up the perfect race destination and excuse for a much needed vacation. Where have you traveled for a race? Tell us in the comments below!
By Lara Nicotra