To a runner, there’s no better way to see the world — and experience the great outdoors — than time spent laced up in running shoes. Running can be transportation, a way to tour a new city, time to relax in nature, a new physical challenge and so much more.
All these great reasons to run are why road racing (running on a paved surface) has dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. In the U.S. alone in 2013, more than 1,100 marathon-distance races (26.2 miles) saw more than 541,000 finishers, according the Running U.S.A. — a record high.
Of course, road racing isn’t limited to the continental United States. Marathons are run on all seven continents (yes, including Antarctica), in Siberia, under the midnight sun of Norway and across the greatest cities in the world.
Runners are notorious for planning their seasonal “goal” races months or even years in advance, whether they aim to trot through a Thanksgiving 5K or chase an elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many have dream “bucket list” races on their mind. After all, there are hundreds of incredible races around the world.
In the U.S., a top race for these road-running dreamers is the Big Sur Marathon, held every spring (next on April 26, 2015) along the stunning California coast. It has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful marathons in the world — one reason why entries sell out in less than an hour. As running legend and Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso said, “If we were told we could only run one marathon in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it.”
The storied Boston Marathon is the oldest continually run marathon in the world (since 1896) — but that’s just one reason why running the race would be a dream come true for many.
Race day in Boston is literally a holiday — Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of every April — that spurs area spectators to the streets to cheer on runners from all over the world. That you typically need a speedy qualifying time to get in (though there are other ways to secure a bib) only makes the race more special for dedicated runners.
In 1996, the hundredth year of the event, the Boston Marathon clocked in as the world’s largest marathon (at that time) with more than 35,000 finishers.
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source: Weather Ventures by Annie Hauser