Looking for a new runner’s high? Be bold and daring, like your running shoes, and try something new – an international run. Destination unknown will provide more than a travel adventure — you’ll get 42.195 kilometers strolling amidst some amazing beaches and historic architecture. Possibly the best part is that the race is filled with thousands of foreign runners (technically, you would be the foreign one)? That means there’s exotic beers somewhere near that finish line. Strap up your laces and restore your glycogen with some of these amazing international marathons.
Athens Marathon, Greece
If you choose one international race in your life, it better be Greece. This is the sacred ground where ancient gods and heroes birthed marathons for western civilization around 490 BC. Pheidippedes, a Greek messenger, was sent from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Persians have been defeated. Today, the November marathons still follows the route that little messenger boy ran.
Berlin Marathon, Germany
Branded by BMW and recognized as a party, you know this marathon is one-of-a-kind. Run through the historic sites of Germany’s capital city, while you listen to various bands on the course. This September marathon takes you through parts of East and West Germany. Did you know Germany has a carefree drinking policy? From train stations to city streets, you know Berliners will be starting up a party somewhere near the end of the course.
Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
Run through the city and the Baltic shores as you are encouraged by thousands of friendly Swedish fans. The city of contrasts brings life to tired legs as you run past history, innovation, islands, small towns and big cities. This May to June marathon starts in the afternoon and ends at the 1912 Olympic stadium.
Australian Outback Marathon, Australia
This is not only a running event, but also a unique experience. Explore the outback by foot as you run amidst Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). Explore hues of orange and reds as you run, and shades of pink, purple and yellows as the sunsets later in the evening. This race takes place during Australia’s winter months, and is regularly held at the end of July.
Tokyo Marathon, Japan
For those who want a chic Asian experience, come to Tokyo. Slogan, “The Day We Unite,” rings true for many runners who come together to run for a cause. Run amidst the busy streets and high rise buildings as you experience this classy run. Held near the end of February, get ready to carbo-load on sushi and if you can’t read the signs, no worries, just follow the guy in front of you.
Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, India
For a unique Asian experience, explore the Mumbai marathon. India is a special place, and no better way to view life differently than through miles and miles on the road. This is the largest charity-generating platform in India. The trophies, like the race, have a deeper meaning, which showcases the energy, history and geography of Mumbai. The race is also special to local Mumbaikars, as well as runners, who emotionally connect with the marathon as runners overcome the hurdles of life and the seven pillars. This includes ritual, shock, denial, isolation, despair, affirmation and renewal. The race is held in January, which is the cooler month of India.
Maratona de Rio, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Oh Brazil. The land filled with beautiful beaches and gorgeous women. The race takes place during the cooler month of July, and the course is amidst the beautiful shorelines and city streets of Rio. Runners view spectacular views of the mountains and famous landmarks such as Christ the Redeemer. After the race, relax tired legs on the beach and have yourself a nice day filled with running, sun, sand and sea.