Besides travelling I also love running. Although my body doesn’t seem to enjoy running as much as I do (injuries, because my right leg is a little screwed), I do still dream of completing a marathon. At this moment I’m stuck between 5 and 10k, but one day I’ll run those 42.2k. And when that happens, I’ll start saving up for one of those bucketlist marathons on this list. Because for me, combining travelling with running, is ultimate happiness!
Since I’m a Dutchie, this marathon is actually feasible: The Paris Marathon. For me it’s just a 4,5 hr drive to Paris. Why should you put Paris on your marathon bucketlist? For starters, it’s a gorgeous city with lots to do and see. But it’s also the food capital of Europe.
The marathon leads you through the beautiful city center, with cultural highlights like the Champs-Élysées (start), the Seine, the Eiffeltower and Place de la Concorde. Is that a scenic marathon or what?! After finishing your race, you can fuel up in one of the gazillion little restaurants the city has to offer.
Fun Fact: another marathon in France is the Médoc marathon. This is known to be the booziest marathon in the world. It takes place around a vineyard and it apparently has 23 (wine) stops along the way, with foods like cheese, oysters, waffles and bread. Not the best running food, but definitely a fun marathon for food lovers!
When I was travelling in Asia, I completely fell in love with Nepal. A truly stunning country, with lots of culture and the nicest people. So of course there’s a race in Nepal on this marathon bucketlist.
Also take a look at my top things to do in Kathmandu >>
Every year in November there is the Great Buddhist Trail Marathon. It takes you through the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. It’s definitely not an easy marathon, because you will go uphill a lot (highest point: 2200m!), but the gorgeous views make up for it big time. Are you more of a road runner instead of trails? In December there’s the Kathmandu marathon, which is a road race. But prepare yourself: the marathon is as chaotic as the city of Kathmandu itself 😛
Bagan Temple Marathon
If I would be putting this marathon bucketlist in the correct order, this one would be in first place: the Bagan Temple Marathon in Myanmar. This country was actually part of my initial itinerary when I was travelling through South East Asia some years ago, but in the end I couldn’t make it work timing-wise. Now I have an extra reason to go there in the future. The Bagan Temple Marathon leads you through Bagan, with its 2000 beautiful temples. Look at the amazing view.
Luckily there’s a half marathon and 10k option as well, so even if I’m not (yet) able to run a marathon, I will be running something when I’m in Myanmar :D.
I did some research, and apparently the only way to obtain a ticket is through this website. And that’s how I found out they organise other marathons as well: Great Wall Marathon in China, Big Five Marathon in South Africa, Petra Desert Marathon in Jordan and the Polar Circle Marathon in Greenland. All of those can be added to your marathon bucketlist.
Australian Outback Marathon
Another scenic run for this marathon bucketlist: the Outback marathon in Australia. This race leads you right through the Australian outback, with its characteristic red sandy roads.
You’ll be treated with stunning views of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Uluru (Ayers Rock). I do think this is a good marathon for me, since the sandy roads reduce the impact on the knees and legs. Another plus: there’s also a half marathon, 11k and 6k distance. But in all honesty: when I fly out to Australia to run a race, I hope to at least run a half marathon.
New York Marathon
A completely different scenic marathon. No endless landscape views, but high-rising skyscrapers. The city is still on my personal travel bucketlist, so the New York Marathon is a must-run marathon, if you ask me.
The race starts on Staten Island and the finish is in Central Park. Apparently there are a dozen bridges to cross, and also the rest of the course is slightly up- and downhill. A reasonably tough course, especially when compared to the ultra-fast course of for example the Berlin Marathon.
So here you go: 5 marathons for your bucketlist. There are many MANY more nice runs around the world, so part two will be up shortly 🙂
Note: since I haven’t visited most of these places personally, I used photos of Pexels / Unsplash