Unusual Marathons

Most people who have been running for a while can confidently say that they have run in various cities, on different kinds of surfaces and in races of varied distances. If you do fall in the category above and would like to mix it up a bit, we have just the thing for you. Carry on reading if you are looking to maybe get some travelling in along with great marathon experiences.

First up, we have the Solar Eclipse Marathon. The first one ever is scheduled to be held on 14th November 2012, the same day as our very own Bangalore Ultra 2012! Port Douglas in Australia, the site of the marathon, is going to experience a complete eclipse at 6:38am, local time. The start of the marathon is to be signaled by the re-emergence of the sun following the total eclipse.                                                                       

This, however, is by no means the only reason to give this marathon serious consideration. The marathon follows an incredibly scenic path starting from the beach, passing through the outskirts of Port Douglas towards the Mowbray River. Runners will be taken on a challenging course through sugar cane fields, old mining roads, and lush tropical areas. The region the marathon course passes through is world renowned for its beauty and plays host to World Heritage listed sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest living rainforests in the world.  

Needless to say, it is not going to be an annual event so you may want to seize this opportunity to be a part of something incredibly unique. Click here to visit the Solar Eclipse Marathon website. 

Second up is the Great Wall Marathon which has been popular with Indians in the past. Counted amongst the most challenging courses in the world, runners have to climb 5,164 steps of the Great Wall to successfully finish the course. The official website of the Great Wall marathon claims, “The 5164 steps of the Great Wall will put your physique to the test, and the breathtaking surroundings of Tianjin Province will compete with your tired muscles for attention.”

If you are looking for a challenge of a completely different kind and an unforgettable experience to boot then this is the race for you. Coming up on 19th May, 2012 this promises to be the race of a lifetime. Click here to visit their website.

The third unusual marathon we have for you will take you through what used to be a thriving city in about 6 BC and is celebrating the 200th year of its rediscovery this year. The Marathon that will take you through this special city is the Petra Marathon being held this year on 8th September 2012. This is  possibly the only marathon where you are exercising even before you get to the start line as getting there involves a 1.2km walk from the visitor center to the ancient treasury.

Starting at the treasury, the route almost immediately plunges into the midst of the breathtaking ruins. Running past monasteries, tombs and caves carved in the mountainside is not an experience anyone is likely to forget in a hurry. This is followed by a trip down a river bed gorge that leads the runners into Little Petra and then uphill to a mountain ridge where runners are greeted with spectacular views as far as Israel on a clear day. The route then loops back and finishes at the Petra Visitors Centre.

Click here to read more about the Petra Marathon.

We hope you have enjoyed our little round-up of some of the more unusual races coming up this year and please do let us know if you take past in any of them!

Pictures Courtesy:

http://www.great-wall-marathon.com

http://solar-eclipse-marathon.com

http://www.petra-marathon.com/

- Mehvash Arslan

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