There are marathons you run simply to prove to yourself that you can do it. Start with them. Then, there are those that are a truly special experience, a test for your resilience and spirit. Below you will find a list of some of the most extreme, fun and hands down crazy marathons around the world.
Great Wall Marathon
How about running along one of the biggest attractions in the world? Run 42 km (26 miles) of the Great Wall Marathon in China. Despite the arduous course on the iconic Great Wall of China, you will be rewarded by its breathtaking panoramas. As the route leads you through the lower valley and into the villages, onlookers will be cheering and the festive atmosphere is a real energy boost!
Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert
When you mention the Sahara Desert, a marathon of 251 km (155 miles) is hardly the first thing that comes to mind. What makes it even harder to believe is that under the baking sun, marathoners have to run the distance of six regular marathons in six consecutive days.
Antarctica Marathon and Half-Marathon
Where else can you run among seals, penguins, whales and icebergs? The 200 participants in Antarctica Marathon and Half-Marathon and their supporters have the unique opportunity to visit the ice continent and test their stamina while ticking off one of the continents from their to-race list. History and biology lectures and excursions to remote areas are among the bonuses of this trip.
The Maldon Mud Race in the UK
Few marathon runners around the world boast the enthusiasm of those who take part in the Maldon Mud Race, along with the enormous amount of mud they get covered in. The race through the natural mud, which could easily be defined as a ‘swamp’, requires nerves of steel to complete the route of 400 m (1310 ft) – running, falling, getting up and even crawling.
Lake Baikal Ice Marathon, Russia
This extreme race is the regular distance of slightly more than 42 km (26 mi) but along the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, in conditions that only Siberia, Russia can offer in early March.
Santa Speedo Run, Boston, USA
To run the annual Santa Speedo Run in Boston you need a Speedo-like bathing suit (holiday colors are preferred) and some Christmas flair (Santa hat, beard, Christmas socks, etc.). December weather in Boston is far from the temperature suitable for bathing suits, so the runners are allowed (recommended even) to have a drink or two before the run.