Want To Explore The World? These Awesome Running Trails Will Take You Way Off The Beaten Path
Do you like real adventures, running and travel? Meet your new bucket list....
While running is one of the best ways to get that giddy endorphin high after a workout, the act of running itself can get pretty dull if done unimaginatively.
While that 3K park path seemed like the perfect route when you were first starting out, it's now near impossible to get excited about going out the door to run laps around those same ten benches.
Thing is, there's a planet full of insanely bad ass running routes out there and while we can't get to the Inca trail or the Brazilian jungle every Tuesday after work, booking a trip and then training for one of these routes, is the best way to get excited about getting your run on again.
From ice capped mountains to rain forest swamps- these routes are the best way to let your inner action hero out...
1) Jungle Marathon
This Brazilian wild eco race gives competitors the opportunity to explore swamps, river crossings, steep climbs and descents, village trails and fluvial beaches.
The humidity and scorching temperatures mean that preparation is key and mental resilience is a must.
The first on the Mpora bucket list, what an experience!
2) Antarctic Ice Marathon
The Antarctic Ice Trail is at Union Glacier base 650 miles away from the South Pole, with a choice between a normal marathon race and 100k race.
This race is the ultimate winter run, with the lowest temperature ever recorded in the area at -94.7°C (-135.8°F!!!)
In 2014 there were only 47 runners in the whole race! Basically if you run this you're one of the biggest badasses on the planet...
3) Big Sur Marathon
For the wannabe Kerouacs among us, here's your chance to mix hipster wanderlust with some real adventure.
The Big Sur trail takes you past rolling hills, redwoods, ranches and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean throughout.
The raddest way to experience exactly what inspired ol' Jack about this area of the world!
4) Australian Outback Marathon
One of the most spectacular races this planet has to offer, the Outback trail offers views of both Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).
This is a kind race as well as a stunning one. Runners have the option of a 6K route, 11k route, half marathon and full marathon. Phew!
5) Badwater Cape Fear
As the ominous name may suggest. This is the most dangerous race in the world.
Made famous by the hugely successful book Born To Run, this ultra marathon is deadly for both its conditions, its terrain and its length.
A 51.4-mile ultra running race featuring a twelve-mile warm-up, the race is held along the Atlantic Seaboard with spectacular views of the Frying Pan Shoals to the east and the undeveloped marshlands and Cape Fear River to the west.
Good luck, you'll need it!
6) Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
A 103 mile single-stage mountain ultramarathon, this one is tough.
This race is one to book in early as it's gaining popularity year on year, with over 1,000 racers competing last year.
You'll definitely have to work, with 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) of ascent/descent along the way- but the race is worth it as you'll pass through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France.
7) Great Wall Marathon
Everyone with any knowledge of The Great Wall will have the same initial thought about this race- 4,000 steps.
Apart from the incredible views, the best part of this race is the crazy support from onlookers. Thousands of people travel to the race to cheer on the runners!
The race cut off time is eight hours and anyone still running after that will get picked up by a race official! The shame...
8) Jungfrau Marathon
This is the most famous mountain marathon in the world for nothing. This race is incredible.
Last year it attracted 4200 participants from 50 different countries!
The first 10 km of the course are flat, but from there it heads upward through Zweilütschinen (at 15 km) to Lauterbrunnen (at 20 km), reaching its highest point of 7,234 feet (2,205 m) around the 40 km point.
9) Kilimanjaro Marathon
Many people climb Kilimanjaro- but run it?!
Amazingly, people really do it, climbing to the summit and back down again in the fastest time possible.
Our favorite part of this race is that hot air balloons are available on the day for spectators to keep track of the runners.
10) Inca Trail Marathon
As the Inca trail is a national park, there is no 'official' marathon here, but there are still a whole lot of unofficial ones going on!
Run the classic trail to Machu Picchu, with whichever race you choose. The route leads into the religious capital of the Inca Empire, the legendary “Lost city of the Incas" and back out to the finish line.
That's some real Indiana Jones running right there....