...and other fantastic, albeit totally crazy, marathons across the globe. With running season in full swing, here’s our pick of the toughest and strangest races in the coming months. See you at the starting line!
by meher bajwa
The Man vs Horse Marathon
Where: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
When: June 11, 2016
First started in 1980 in Wales, the Man vs Horse Marathon was the brainchild of Gordon Green, a landlord who overheard two men discussing who’d win if men and horses ran over mountainous terrain. The race does exactly that as runners compete against riders on horseback over 35 km. In 2004, a man finally beat a horse and claimed the title.
The Big Five MARATHON
Where: Entabeni Game Reserve, Bosveld, South Africa
When: June 25, 2016
If you fancy testing your running skills against local South African wildlife, this one’s for you. It gives you a chance to run through some magnificent scenery as you are joined by elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, antelopes and even lions—there are no fences to separate you from the game. A truly challenging course, this is one experience you’re unlikely to forget.
The Liverpool Rock’n’Roll Marathon
Where: Liverpool, UK
When: May 28-29, 2016
It started in America in 1998 as a simple idea to have a marathon with live music, cheerleaders and theme water stations, to celebrate participation and eventually it helped ignite the second running boom in the country. Fast forward to 2015 and this one has moved all around the world and still lives up to its name with live music from world famous acts at every turn of the 42-km course. It culminates in a finishing line festival featuring several big name musicians as well as local talent.
The Marathon Du Medoc
Where: Bordeaux, France
When: September 12, 2015
To put it bluntly, it’s a marathon for winophiles—a boozy race through 59 vineyards with nearly 20 wine stops on the way. As you slurp your way around the course, you’re also offered local delicacies like cheese, oysters and sausages. Sign us up please!
The North Pole Marathon
Where: The North Pole!
When: April 11-17, 2016
It’s been dubbed the world’s coolest marathon for good reason—you’ll be running on top of the world, literally. The marathon takes place on sheets of floating ice and very little space separating you from the Arctic.
How cold does it get? Oh just around -25˚C to -30˚C.
The Underpants Run
Where: Kona, Hawaii
When: October 8, 2015
The Underpants Run now continues into its 18th year. It was conceived in ’98 as a protest against wearing Speedos in inappropriate places like stores and restaurants because the locals became frustrated with all the visiting athletes in the Ironman World Championships parading around town in their Speedos. For most it was not a sight for sore eyes. It has now become an official Championship ice-breaker. For a $20 donation you get a hat, T-shirt, socks and underpants.
The Santa Speedo Run
Where: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
When: December 2015
Officially called the SSRun, this one is similar to the Underpants Run in that it requires participants to dress in Speedo-type garments and little else. Holiday flair is always encouraged as you take to the streets of Boston in chilly December. It started in 2000 when a group of five friends decided to streak through a high-end shopping district dressed as nearly naked Santas. You read that right.
The antarctic Ice Marathon
Where: 80 Degrees South, Antarctica
When: November 19, 2015
If you’re feeling a need to get away from fellow humans, you can head to the most remote spot on earth and take part in the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Touted as the southernmost race in the world, it takes places just a few hundred miles from the South Pole. Imagine windchill at -20˚C. It’s a tad pricey, with the all-inclusive package starting at
Rs.10 lakh—but the experience makes it worth it.
The Firefly Run
Where: Dallas, Texas, USA
When: March 2016
This multi-city night time run is illuminating, quite literally. Each runner is equipped with LED lights with reflective clothing along with a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. The race ends with an after-party packed with scintillating visual effects. One trippy race if you ask us.