When looking for your next marathon, it’s tempting to choose one based on how flat or fast it’s likely to be – two requisites for a personal record. But what if you were to combine a touch of tourism with your marathon? There’s no greater pleasure than a run with a view. So we’ve compiled five of what we consider to be the most scenic marathons in the world.
Marathon du Medoc, France
If you love to run, enjoy your wine, have a penchant for fancy dress and have always harboured a desire to visit France, then the Marathon du Medoc is going to be your idea of heaven. It’s described as ‘the longest marathon in the world’, and for good reason, as you will quickly discover as you negotiate the 20+ wine stops en route. Our Pack Editor, Tobias Mews, ran the marathon with his fiancee in 2012 and decided they’d get married there later at the 30th anniversary of France’s most quirky marathon.
Next event: 13 September 2014
Safaricom Marathon, Kenya
If running through an 62,000-acre African game park with views of Mount Kenya sounds like your cup of tea, then you’ll love the Safaricom Marathon. Not only will you be experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, running alongside rhino and giraffe through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy but you’ll also be helping to raise money for a good cause, as entry requires you raise $1500.
Next Event: 28 June 2014
Big Sur Marathon, USA
If there is one running race that is almost guaranteed to get a mention when you combine the words ‘scenic’ and ‘marathon’, the Big Sur Marathon will be the one. Starting in Bug Sur and finishing in Carmel, you’ll run along the stunning stretch of North California coastline known as Highway One – the nation’s first nationally designated Scenic Highway. It attracts runners from all over the world, so you need to be quick in getting your entry in.
Next race: April 2015 (Exact date TBC)
Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset, Mongolia
Set in the Hovsgol National Park of Northern Mongolia, the Mongolian Sunrise to Sunset describes itself as the ‘world’s most beautiful 42km and 100km trail run’. Yak herds, wild horses, pristine freshwater lakes, rocky mountain passes, river valleys – this race has it all.
Next race: 6 August 2014
Mont Blanc Marathon, France
In a world where most of us chase Personal Records’, the Mont Blanc Marathon won’t be your first choice for a fast and flat course – not when you factor in the 2511m of ascent and 1490m of vertical drop off. But if you want stunning scenery in an iconic location, then this race will blow you away. The 2014 edition will also play host to the Sky Running World Championships and will see hundreds of the worlds best mountain runners descend on Chamonix for a weekend no one will forget in a hurry!
Next race: 28 June 2014