Races Off The Beaten Path

Posted by Filed Under: Marathons

Jungfrau Marathon

So you’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the New York Marathon and even the Flying Pig Marathon, but now you’re looking for something a little different. Although running a marathon anywhere is a unique experience in the scope of life’s experiences, some marathons add to the interest by virtue of their location and courses. Take, for example, the Marathon du Medoc. It features a show before the departure, events during the race with over 90% of runners in disguise, some 52 other events alongside the race, 22 refreshment stands, 21 food stands and special gourmet stands (oysters, ham, steak, cheese, ice cream, Medoc attic, etc.). With so many unique races around, I thought I’d help you with this list:

March 1, 2008
Baikal International Ice Running Marathon – Baikal Lake, Russia
Run a marathon on a frozen lake

March 27, 2008
Marathon des Sables – Sahara Desert, Morocco
Hottest Ultra-Marathon

March 30, 2008
Around The Bay 30K – Hamilton, ON, Canada
Oldest Race in North America (and right in my backyard – I’ve done this race 2 times and had a blast!)

Apr 11, 2008
Dead Sea Marathon – Amman, Jordan
Lowest Marathon – Finish Line is 400 m below sea level

May 17, 2008
Great Wall Marathon – Tianjin Province, China
Run along one of the seven wonders of the medieval world – they can even see ya from outer space!

June 21, 2008
Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon – Anchorage, Alaska
Run in the daylight at night – race starts at 11 pm

June 28, 2008
Safaricom Marathon – Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya
Run in a game conservancy

Sep 6, 2008
Jungfrau Marathon – Jungfrau, Switzerland
Slowest Marathon – an all uphill course

Marathon du Medoc – France
A marathon where they serve wine at the aid stations (now that’s my kind of marathon!)

Oct 26, 2008
Niagara Falls International Marathon – Niagara Falls, NY, USA, and Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
The only marathon that starts in one country and ends in another (my hubby proposed to me at this race, so it’s a personal favourite).

Nov 9, 2008
Athens Marathon – Athens, Greece
Run the original course that Phidippides ran

Dec 7, 2008
Tucson Marathon – Tucson, Arizona, USA
Fastest marathon – the course is mostly downhill! 

Nov 1, 2009
Everest Marathon – Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Highest Marathon – race starts at 17,000 ft above sea level

No matter which race you run, it is sure to be a unique experience. Run on, my friends!

Photo credit: Kai Mengel

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About Janice Smith

Janice is a 30-something wife, mother, employee, runner, softball player, internet addict and a completely obsessed New Kids On The Block fan.w She has two daughters, 3 year old Sierra and 1 year old Brooke. She lives near Toronto, ON Canada and has just recently returned to running after having her second darling daughter. You can follow her journey back into running, and her journey through motherhood on her blog: Mom On The Run

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  2. Mick W on March 31st at 2:34 pm

    I just got two words to say about the Jungfrau Marathon: “Do it!”

    Mick W’s last blog post..I’m Back!

  3. jay b on April 23rd at 7:10 am

    This is a great post! My wife and I have run or attended several of the races on the list. Additionally, we are involved with organizing the Tucson Marathon and Marathon des Sables events. The website listed for the MDS is for British competitors. Runners from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who are interested in the MDS can learn more on our webiste,

    Thank you for the mentions!

    –jay batchen