Many thanks to Aldo, Andrew, Brian, Chris, Daniele, Dave, David, David, Debbie, Dino, Geoff, Jacky, James, James, Johan, Judit, Ken, Helen, Lee, Leon, Lisa, Lynne, Marianne, 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 Melbourne Marathon (and Half) in October: www.melbournemarathon.com.au
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?
If you want a unique run, the city of Hamilton, near Toronto, Canada hosts the oldest road race in North America (3 years older than the Boston Marathon). It is called Around the Bay, and it is a 30k run which goes around a natural bay at the west end of Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes in central North America: www.bayrace.com. There is an equivalent to Heartbreak Hill at the 26k mark.
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.
Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K footrace. Hovsgol National Park Mongolia. An eco race that takes place June/July annually.
The De Zestig van Texel (www.dezestigvantexel.nl), a biannual 60K race on the beautiful Island of Texel in the North of the Netherlands. Also available a 120k race and a 4x15k estafette are organized. Unique of the race, at least this year was that in autumn an information meeting was organized in the west of the Netherlands, in february a training weekend was offered and also a few lectures the two nights before the run in a youth hostel which offered a special deal connected with the race. The scenery is beautiful, because of beaches and dunes the course is tough, but not extremely so. The race is very well organized.
The Rotterdam Marathon is the biggest 1-day event in the country and was ranked one of the fastest in the world in 2010 with participants from 60 nationalities.
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 cross country race.
The Aletsch-Halbmarathon in Switzerland. You run in a breathtaking scenery!
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.Brighton is situated on the South Coast of England. The race is held to raise money for the various African School’s and Orphanages (www.passingiton.org.uk).
Vietnam first stair climbing race, the Bitexco Vertical Run in Ho Chi Minh City held in October: www.vietnamrun.com