Best Running Races in the World
A marathon is a lifelong accomplishment, but for the most extreme athletes, the 50-mile or 100-mile distance is the ultimate challenge. Many people will seek out extreme races that offer obstacles such as rugged terrain, heat and cold, elevation, and route finding difficulties. Many of these races are highly regarded as the world’s toughest. You can qualify for one of these races if you’ve never run one before.
The Marathon des Sables, held in the Sahara desert each year, is billed as the world’s toughest footrace. Participants will cover 156 miles over six days, including travel in the Sahara. This race has more than a hundred thousand competitors, and it’s an exciting spectator event. Participants may even dress up for the event, which attracts huge crowds. It’s a challenging race, but well-organized and supported with accommodations and food.
Located in Alaska, the Alaska Marathon is a three-day race that takes participants back to colonial times. This course includes a mile-long hilly section of the historic town of Anchorage, as well as the site where William Penn landed in the New World. The chilly weather, altitude, and uneven terrain make for a tough challenge, but the spectacular scenery is worth it. In addition to the Boston Marathon, the Oregon Marathon is another race to look out for.
A popular ultra-marathon, the UTMB is held in the French Alps. Runners need to qualify by earning qualifying points or enter a ballot to compete. The race’s venues are in high demand, so entry is highly competitive. There are only a few spots available each year. The competition itself is tough, so make sure to plan accordingly. These events are among the best running events in the world!
Another popular race in the United States is the Missoula Marathon. Runner’s World magazine named it the best marathon in the United States in 2010 and the race’s registration is capped at 1,750 participants. It is also a Boston qualifying race. Although the race is flat, it is also fast and has one significant hill near the halfway point. The registration fee is only $20, which makes it a great deal of fun.
A race in Cape Town, Australia is also a great place to compete. The race is held every year and draws runners from several states and Canada. Founded by Olympic marathoner Don Kardong in 1998, it has expanded over the years. Its registration total in 2014 was just under 50 thousand runners. A race like this is a must-do for anyone who enjoys running. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to run in such a spectacular race, it is well worth taking the plunge and joining in.
One of the most challenging races in the world is the Badwater Ultramarathon in the United States. This race, billed as the “world’s toughest footrace,” features a mountainous course through Yellowstone National Park. It begins in Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level and ends at Whitney Portal, 8360 feet above sea level. A marathon, half marathon, or 10K will be offered at this event.