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.”
Midnight Sun Marathon
Time to train for a race becomes a lot easier when you live in the land of the all-day sun, even for just the summer.
Every year, runners gather in Tromso, Norway, to celebrate the region’s long hours of summer daylight with a winding trip through the town and nearby countryside. Based on the popularity of the Norwegian race, which began in 1989, race organizations also put on a Polar Night Half Marathon in January to mark winter’s short, dark days.
If 26.2 miles just isn’t enough, there’s also an ultra marathon in Norway, as well as the Nunavut Midnight Sun Ultra Marathon, a 52.2-mile race that takes place in the Arctic Bay of Nunavet, Canada
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source: Weather Ventures by Annie Hauser