5 extreme marathons around the world



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Looking for a new running challenge? When you’ve ticked off the small goals like adding an extra couple of miles to your daily jog, or defeated the city marathon in under 4 hours, there comes a time to look elsewhere for your kicks. Check out the ideas below for something that might add some excitement to your workout when your motivation levels are ebbing low.



Chasqui Challenge

Although this marathon will have you zooming across to the other side of the globe, this run offers much more than just the post-finish line highs. Starting at 11,150 feet in Cusco, Peru, this 100-mile multi-stage adventure run goes along the Inca Trail and through the lost city of Machu Picchu. You will get plenty of time to stop and explore the sights before you’ll be back on track completing a 31-mile trek around Mt. Ausangate. The run will take you 14 days.

The next race will take place from Aug. 1 until Aug. 15 (applications should be in by February 2015 at the latest) and the cost for the entire marathon, including camping, is $3,795.


Antarctic Ice Marathon

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out where this marathon takes place and the kind of climate you’ll be running in. At a frosty 10 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll need to prepare heavily for this cold-weather monster marathon that takes place over 5 days. Weather unpredictability means you can often be delayed by a couple of days, but there are always snow mobiles on hand to zip you across the finish line if Mother Nature is against you.

Getting there is the biggest worry for most people, but Marathon Tours will arrange all transportation there and back (for the small fee of around $8,000). Make sure you book well in advance; the race is currently full for 2015 and 2016, as there are only a hundred places available.


Haria Extreme — Lanzarote, Europe

For a race that won’t have you dipping into your rainy day fund, the Haria Extreme in Lanzarote is much more achievable.

Although the trail is only 19.88 miles long, the changing landscape is enough of a battle to make this a strenuous race for the most experienced of runners. Rocky, barren landscapes; uphill mountain scrabbles; and trying to pound the soft beach sand without slipping; this is a tricky one to tackle, but the after-party with the celebrating Spaniards in the small town of Haria will make it all worthwhile.

Budget travelers would do best to book cheap flights through Ryanair, and to stay further south in hotels where prices won’t be hiked up for the race. Towns such as Puerto del Carmen are a good bet as there’ll be lots to do to keep family and friends entertained — as if witnessing your racing triumph isn’t enough!



Man versus Horse

In 1980 there was a bar bet that stated a man could defeat a horse in a long distance race. Fast-forward 34 years and man has triumphed a mere two times in this race, which is battled out each year by 50 horses and 500 runners. The sheer unlikeliness of winning is what attracts most runners; it takes the pressure off and you can simply relax and enjoy the 23.6-mile slog through crags and bogs. You can sign up here.  



The Great British Beerathon

For those who curl up into a ball at the mere mention of exercise, there’s also a marathon for you! This beer run takes place in London, and competitors must battle it out by completing a series of five laps of a 0.62-mile course. At the end of each lap, which starts and begins in the pub, there are ‘slobstacles,’ such as eating pies or drinking pints for the unlikely athletes to complete. If you’re coming to London for the event, Air BnB is proving a much cheaper way to sleepover in this expensive city. More information about the race is available here.


Ran any weird, wonderful death-defying marathons lately? Let us know!