The Top 5 Marathons in the World (that you probably don't know about)

The Top 5 Marathons in the World (that you probably don't know about)

We didn't want to do another standard post about how great the London, Boston or Tokyo marathons are. Yes they are brilliant races, which are well organised have huge attendance and are a lot of fun. But if you are looking for something slightly different to the norm then here are the 5 marathon races you should check out; 

1) Big Sur International Marathon

One of the most challenging courses along the California coastline is the Big Sur International Marathon which takes place in the month of April. The course is a struggle through hills and head wind, but the scenery offers runners a big reward. The course takes runners through redwood forests and offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Live entertainment throughout the run may help keep you motivated, too. This is one we would recommend for sure. 

2) The Big Five Marathon

The Big Five Marathon in South Africa which takes place in June, will provide you with a marathon and a safari rolled into one. Named for the famed Big Five African game animals -- leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo -- the course runs among wildlife in the Limpopo province’s Entabeni Safari Conservancy. You might even be lucky enough to run alongside antelope, giraffes, zebras and lions, as the course does not have anything to separate the runners from the African wildlife. If dodging lions was not enough runners must negotiate steep altitude changes and rocky footing.

3) Great Wall Marathon 

Deemed one of the toughest marathons in the world, the Great Wall Marathon  which takes place in May, challenges runners to climb more than 5,164 steps of the Great Wall, and finish by running through Chinese villages. First run in 1999, the Great Wall marathon has gained popularity over the years, with more than 2,500 entrants. 

4) Great Ocean Road Marathon

The visually stunning views of Australia's Southern Ocean are enough to make you forget your legs are dying (or at least enough to make it bearable). The Great Ocean Road Marathon is in the month of May. You'll travel along Victoria's Great Ocean Road and take in the beautiful landscapes for the entire 44 kilometers. And if you're traveling from out of town, there's plenty to see and do in Victoria -- from exploring Apollo Bay and the surrounding picturesque seaside town with restaurants famous for their crawfish to the breathtaking mountains with its diversity of wildlife and weather conditions.

5) Puerto Rica Marathon

The Puerto Rico Marathon in the month of March is a popular destination race, combining a Caribbean vacation with first-class competition. You run 26.2 miles along the Atlantic and various lagoons, seeing the amazing scenery, and then recover on the beach sipping on a piña colada ;)  (This race is also a Boston and New York Marathon qualifier) 

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