For the CHAARG girl who loves running with wanderlust in her heart [#runderlust ; )], destination races are a great way to see the world. Whether you stay in the States, or you’re planning on traveling abroad, the options are abundant for your next Fit-Cation —
RACES IN THE US
Walt Disney World Marathon || Florida || January
*The most magical place on Earth* hosts a spectacular marathon weekend every January. The routes take you through all four theme parks with Disney characters + entertainment along the way. It’s really fun to see all the Disney costumes runners wear during the races too ; ) ++ if you’re really feeling the magic + up for the challenge, you can participate in the Dopey Challenge, which is running all four races back-to-back-to-back [that’s a 5k, 10k, half, + full marathon Thursday – Sunday!]. Throughout the year, there are many other races like the Disney Princess half marathon, the Disney Wine + Dine half marathon, ++ the Star Wars half marathon!
The Boston Marathon || Massachusetts || April
Debatably the most prestigious race in the US + the world’s oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon is for many runners the ultimate bucket list race. Runners must qualify or run in honor of a charity to enjoy the charming course through Boston’s small towns + other famous spots in the city.
Big Sur International Marathon || California || April
The race is one of the most scenic as it runs right along the coastline of Monterey Bay. The event weekend is fit for all types of runners — you can run a 3k, 5k, 12k, 10.6-miler, 21-miler, a marathon relay, + half or full marathon! This marathon gives runners the opportunity to soak up the sun + admire the stunning views of the West Coast.
Golden Leaf Half Marathon || Colorado || September
Chosen by Trail Runner Magazine as one of “America’s 14 most scenic races” + voted by Colorado Runner as Best Half Marathon, the Golden Leaf Half Marathon is truly an American landmark in terms of races to run. This trail run takes you through the picturesque Rocky Mountains with the perfect challenge of steep elevation to get those legs burnin’!
Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon || Tennessee || September
If you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains before [++ especially if you have, then you know! ; )], how beautiful it is out there with gorgeous rivers + waterfalls [+ it’s only slightly uphill, so it’s a nice challenge + a treat at the same time!] Post-race you can continue exploring // hiking the Smokies, hang out in downtown Gatlinburg, or shop in Pigeon Forge.
Grand Canyon Half Marathon || Arizona || October
In arguably one of America’s most magnificent + distinguishable landmarks, this trail course takes you around the outskirts of the Canyon, so after the race you can treat yo’self to a day soaking in the beautiful scenery.
RACES AROUND THE WORLD
Polar Night Half-Marathon || Norway || January
This winter race offers three distances [5k, 10k, + half marathon]. Unlike most races, this one is ran in the dark so that you can admire the beautiful Northern Lights while you’re running.
Great Ocean Road Marathon || Australia || May
Australia’s most stunning marathon runs along the Great Ocean Road with a panoramic view of the Southern Ocean.
Great Wall Marathon || China || May
The Great Wall Marathon is considered one of the world’s most challenging marathons since you’re practically climbing the iconic Great Wall of China with a massive elevation of 4,722 feet!
La Champenoise Half-Marathon || France || May
For our runners + wine-enthusiasts, what better place to do both than in France? Sign up for this race to enjoy some bubbly while running through a vineyard. [+ 170 lucky runners will win a bottle of champagne ; )]
The Big 5 Marathon || South Africa || June
Lions, Rhino’s, + Buffalo’s, oh my! This safari race has no fences, rivers, or anything separating the runners from the African wildlife. You’ll be running through one of the “Big 5” game reserves in Africa right alongside some of your favorite safari animals!
Reykjavik Marathon || Iceland || August
This race offers five different distances so that runners of all ages + fitness levels can enjoy this *super-cool* summer marathon [while August is the peak of American summer, temperatures linger in the fifties in Iceland]. This race also coincides with ‘Culture Night,” so you can really immerse yourself in the Icelandic atmosphere, community + culture.
Jungfrau Marathon || Switzerland || September
Starting in resort-town Interlaken + finishing at mountain-pass Kleine Scheidegg, the Jungfrau Marathon offers a challenge for any runner with the high 1,829-meter altitude. ++ it’s got to have one of the most beautiful mountain scenery, running through villages + past dramatic waterfalls with the peaks of the Swiss Alps always looming over the course.
Running long-distance can be intimidating by itself, but there’s so much to learn from it + doing so in your dream destination can make it an experience you’ll never forget. Be Fearless ++ get your travel + run on! Find the beauty in running + let us know where you end up traveling to by tagging #CHAARGGOES on Insta!
++Cassie [@cassiem_inchaarg] // Belmont University