>We always try to find the best (in a very not statistical way) races in the world. We ask famous (and less famous) runners about their favourite ones. We interview race organizers to figure out what is so special in their events and if they have other races to suggest. But we receive as well many tips from our readers that often disagree and suggest some races that cannot be missed. Here are the ones we received in the last few weeks. Because what matters most is to give more ideas to runners to enjoy their weekends abroad.
Many thanks to Andrew, Brian, Chris, Daniele, Dave, David, Debbie, Dino, Dominic, Jacky, James, James, Judit, Ken, Kire, Helen, Lee, Leon, Lisa, Lynne, Philip, Pierre Emmanuel, Sam, Sunil and Ubaldo for their valuable suggestions.
Part of the Sydney Running Festival the Sydney marathon (September) is the only running event where you can run across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, run a nice easy flat to undulating very scenic course (surely a PB) and finish in front of the Opera House with some of the most beautiful views in the world!
The Gold Coast Marathon. The best race in Australia!
Join the Grossglockner mountain race in Heiligenblut next July and run to the highest mountain of Austria.
The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, home of vineyards, farms, historic sites and amazing vistas, and the region with the highest tides in the World! Running on 10-10-10? The Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada coincides with the Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday weekend! The even starts with a children’s event on the Saturday, and the Sunday features full, half, 10K and 5K runs. Races begin at the foot of the Main campus for Acadia University. The longer course routes go by locations of vineyards, cheese farms, apple orchards and hilltops (yes, it can be hilly) which give you views few races offer. The 5k follows a route along a historic and traditional dyke build by the Acadian people over 250 years ago. Who can resist Nova Scotia in the fall?
In September you can run a new half marathon called Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon, with a unique route in the Inner City, or a 10km called Friløbet: it’s the only race where you can run inside Tivoli Gardens.
Social Marathon on 31st December on Amager in Copenhagen Denmark. This marathon (and half marathon) costs a little more than the main Sparta half marathon the same day but most of the money goes to childrens charities. The great thing about it is that everyone runs in groups and depending on their speed they start earlier or later so they all cross the finish line together.
In the North of France (in Picardie), a race similar to the Gois race: the Transbaie de Somme. In the South of France, similarly to the Cannes-Nice Race, the Course du Soleil, a semi-marathon between Nice and Monaco along the sea-shore.
There are a few nice races in France in May, including the Paris
Saint Germain (20K) and the semi marathon du Pays d Aix (in Provence).
Fancy something a little longer than a marathon.? Trere is (at least!) one 43kms race, the Trail De Gorbio. But is that really a ultra marathon?
Another atypical race, the Marseille Cassis: they call it the “tour de france of running”.
The BIG 25 Berlin is an historical 25k in Berlin.
Along with the Budapest International Half Marathon, you can run in Hungary the BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon (March), the SPAR Budapest International Marathon (October) and the Women’s Running Gala (October). For all the races more details on www.budapestmarathon.com
The La Ultra-The High is organized by a passionate Indian, Rajat Chauhan, a Delhi based sports medic who knows what he is doing and successfully pulled off the first edition in July 2010 offering the runners a very high level of personal support.
The Great Tibetan marathon offers a marathon, HM and a 10 K run at an elevation of 11500 feet. And the area around Ladakh is fantastic.
Fancy a marathon in Ireland? What about a Guinness in Dublin? The Dublin marathon is possibly one of the best in autumn.
The Jersey Marathon has grown and grown each year and offers a stunning route, taking in the town centre, which has a huge french influence, along quiet country lanes and also takes in the waterfront and gorgeous beaches of the Island.
Fancy a marathon in the capital of Macedonia? Try next May the Skopje Marathon (www.skopjemarathon.com)
The Rotterdam Marathon has been The Netherlands’ biggest one-day event for the 11th year running. In 2010 more than 22,000 participants stood at the start, among whom the absolute top of world athletes. Besides the participants there were more than 900,000 spectators along the course. The event is transmitted live via NOS, RTV Rijnmond and worldwide via Universal Sports. The press coverage extends to more than a thousand publications in the daily and weekly Dutch press. The Marathon is considered to be one of the most atmospheric Dutch marathons. This is for the most part thanks to the spectators. Through their enthusiasm they ensure that the event blossoms into an unforgettable festival. They coax and encourage the runner through the difficult moments and give every participant a hero’s reception at the finish. That leads to every runner going home with an indelible memory of the event. The finish on the Coolsingel is one of the best experiences for the runners. They also derive extra energy from the support and encouragement from the spectators along the way. The ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam without its inspiring spectators would be unthinkable.
Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K footrace. Hovsgol National Park Mongolia. An eco race that takes place June/July annually.
In Singapore there’s a good race nearly every month, the night races and jungle trails are a bit difference. Check this blog for a lot of the local flavour. There’s also a local running group, sgrunners.com, and a club called MR25 – the MacRitchie 25, they run around the MacRitchie Reservoir Park but you have to be able to run 5K in less than 25 minutes to join.
The Benidorm Half Marathon near Alicante in Spain at the end of November is a great race. Wonderful new flat course of 2 laps taking in both beaches of the resort. For a pint of beer this has got to be the ultimate town – pubs and bars abound!
The VOB Grape Run has quickly become a classic on the running calendar. The route is tough and challenging but arguably the most beautiful in the Western Cape. The course runs through the historic wine farms of Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting, as well as taking a turn through Tokai plantation.
A three day trail running stage race (25-42km each day) in South Africa, the Pronutro Africanx Trailrun is only open to teams of two. Each day begins and ends in the town of Kleinmond, with views of the ocean, mountains and waterfalls.
If you have just time for one race in Sweden or in any Scandinavian country, join the Lidingöloppet, the world’s largest crosscountry race.
Khon Kaen is upcountry. Beautiful climate – the low 60s. The Khon Kaen Marathon is thoroughly well planned and administered. Nothing is too much trouble. The race Start/Finish is the university campus. People come out in their thousands to cheer, play music, laugh, offer encouragement, wave flags. The longer distances and the Fun Run merge with 5km to go. This is when the race heads from the road and into the campus again (…) Masses of students line the campus and are truly delighted to see a foreigner running.
The World’s Premier Superhero Themed fun run: the event takes place every May on Brighton and Hove Seafront. The race is held to raise money for the various African School’s and Orphanages (www.passingiton.org.uk).