ten dream international marathons

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

When I was in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago I found this gem.

Ever since I spent the summer in Monaco, I have been obsessed with any food with lavender in it. You should have seen me in Napa when I saw they had not only lavender vanilla ice cream but lavender chocolate ice cream. I think it is delicious and it has a certain amount of nostalgia associated with it. Am I too young to remember the good old days?

The point is I want to go back. Ideally I would have a summer home there, but I guess I would settle for a marathon. I found a very enticing marathon there.

I love running. I love traveling. So why not combine the two? It worked out well in Iceland.

For fun I decided to compile a list of ten international marathons that I really want to do. Marathon des Alpes Maritimes is on the list along with nine other dream marathons listed in chronological order.

Antarctica Marathon (King George Island, Antarctica; March) – I love running in cold weather and where can one find colder weather than Antarctica? Just kidding. That is not the reason I want to run it. Something about going to the edge of the world is very appealing. Some of the only inhabitants are seals.

London Marathon (London, United Kingdom; April) – It is one of the Marathon Majors. It is also one of those marathons I feel one just has to do.

Great Wall Marathon (Beijing, China; May): I would love to get to run part of a marathon on one of the seven wonders of the world. Enough said.

Midnight Sun Marathon (Tromso, Norway; June) – I had the opportunity to go to Tromso when I was living in Finland. Sadly, I was too dumb to take it. It looks beautiful and is a night race IN DAYLIGHT!

The Big Five Marathon (Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa; June) – Who doesn’t want to run a marathon with elephants and lions?!

Rio Marathon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; July) – It is run along the Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches in what is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I have always wanted to go to Rio.

Helsinki Marathon (Helsinki, Finland; August) – I have family in Finland so this is basically like my hometown race. Another great point is it starts in the afternoon. I can sleep in until noon!

Le Marathon du Medoc (Medoc, France; September) – I am pretty competitive and am not sure how many marathons I could do truly “for fun,” but this is one of them. There are over 20 wine tasting stations IN THE RACE and most people run in a costume.

Berlin Marathon (Berlin, Germany; September) – Berlin is another one in the series of Marathon Majors that I want to complete. I have also heard great things about it…and it is the fastest course in the world. Never mind that isn’t completely accurate because it is based on the elites’ times.

Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes (Nice, France; November) – The summer I spent in the South of France was the one time in my life I did not want to travel to be anywhere else. A flat marathon that runs along the coast and a vacation afterwards? A winning combination.

Oops. One more race snuck on my list but it is okay because it is not a marathon.

Comrades (Durban, South Africa; June) – Comrades is a legendary event and the one ultra I feel really compelled to do. It is going to happen. 88km…

I better go buy my lottery ticket. Make that lottery tickets.

Have you ever ran an international marathon? What would be at the top of your list to run?

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10 Responses to ten dream international marathons

  1. Jocelyn says:

    You literally just named ALL my “dream races”. Great Wall is definitely Number 1, but I’ve been there already so I feel that might take a back seat. Midnight Sun is DEFINITELY on the top of my list! I feel like I should start making a “Ten Year Plan” for races…1 per year?

  2. krissy m. murphy says:

    WOW! That one in France sounds pretty incredible.

    I want to run the Paris Marathon (for baguette carb loading and post-race macarons, lol) as well as the Tokyo marathon.

    Tokyo, because that is where I grew up and was never a runner when I was growing up! It would be incredible to see the places I’ve hung out, walked around and visited in a whole new way. My parents still live in Tokyo and will be there until about 2015 so I hope 2014 it will happen!!

  3. My boyfriend did Comrades this year and is running it again next year to do the “up” direction (they flip the course every year). I want to do the Machu Picchu Marathon someday. Carla and I have family in Peru but haven’t hiked Machu Picchu since we were 10. It would definitely be just for the experience– running at altitude is hard, yo!

    How does one dress for the Antarctica Marathon?! Do you race in a parka??

  4. Carla says:

    Since I’ve already run New York and Chicago, if I ever make it to Boston, I would want to run all the marathon majors, so Berlin and London would be on my list. And after working on a book about Antarctica, I am definitely intrigued by that race! My roommate is also currently in Australia for work, so she’s taking advantage of being able to run the Sydney Half this weekend. If she has good things to say, I’m sure that will be on my list since I really want to go to Australia!

  5. I’m in! I want to run them all with you :) — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

  6. Laura says:

    Absolutely count me in for both Medoc and Nices! Those are my top two :)

  7. Comrades – yes, yes, yes! I also would love to do London and Berlin b/c of Marathon Majors. Throw in Dublin too. I love Ireland.

  8. Ahh, I’m dying to do most of those! London is at the top of my list, and Berlin too. Also the one in Africa with wildlife sounds amazing. Once I have an income again, I will be your travel buddy :)

  9. Kimra says:

    My first marathon will be international, in Berlin! The Midnight Sun run is also near the top of my list.

  10. Angela says:

    I will most likely be running the Hong Kong Marathon and the Taipei Marathon next spring when I study abroad! However, I would love to run the London, Tokyo, and Berlin Marathons as well. I’ve been to both Tokyo and Berlin and they are both wonderful cities to visit.

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