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The Traveller's Magazine
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Want to take your fitness regime to a whole new level? Running tourism has exploded in recent years, with iconic races and marathons attracting people from all over the world. Here are some of the coolest races to tackle around the world, from Hawaii to Bordeaux.

Sometimes running on a treadmill at your local gym just doesn’t cut it anymore. How about a half marathon with Hawaii’s most spectacular scenery as your backdrop, or a full marathon through France’s most famous wine region where you actually get to stop along the way to taste the region’s delicacies? Here are our top 5 running races that are so worth running.

Marathon du Medoc

  • Location: Bordeaux, France
  • Ideal for: foodies who also like to run
  • Official website

This marathon takes place in France’s most famous wine region: Bordeaux and incorporates not only wine, but the best in French food. Along the route, runners stop to taste wine, cheese, steak, ice cream… even oysters.

It’s tradition that participants run in fancy dress. Let’s just say, as far as the Marathon du Medoc is concerned, it’s more about the experience than the actual running. It’s a full marathon though, so training for it will be necessary.


The Hapalua

This half marathon’s course takes place in Honolulu, so as you can imagine, the scenery is pretty spectacular. This is the ideal race for runners who also love the beach and want to relax in paradise after the race.

What makes this race unique? “The Chase,” which allows native Hawaiians to start ahead of the fastest runners. The first ten participants across the finish line win cash prizes.


Nude Run of Finland

This race isn’t just for runners, it’s for everyone! Participants can run, walk or Nordic walk their way to the finish line on this 10km course, the only thing that is mandatory is that participants must do it in the nude. Competitors are limited to wearing shoes, socks and hats. Ladies can also wear something up top but most don’t.

Waiting at the finish line is coffee, food and a free pass to the local sauna and nearby swimming area.


Italy Coast to Coast

  • Location: Cattolica to Marina di Cecina
  • Ideal for: team or group running
  • Official website

This coast-to-coast race takes running relay teams from the Adriatic Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea, passing through Italy’s stunning vineyards and olive tree groves along the way. The route follows the backroads through Marche, Umbria and Tuscany and takes 4 days to complete.

Each runner has to tackle 55 miles each day, with a new running taking over each day for the team. The post-run meals are definitely a highlight, as is the scenery and the friendly atmosphere among runners.


Sydney’s City to Surf

This is one of the most popular running races in the world, attracting around 80,000 participants each year. The 14km (8-mile) route takes participants through Sydney’s suburbs and finishes at the famous Bondi Beach.

There are a few elite runners taking part each year, but most participants just do it for fun. It’s the perfect excuse to book flights to Sydney for August. Some hill training is necessary, to tackle Heartbreak Hill in the middle of the race.


Imgs: flintman45, nbabaian, joebi, tlindfors, tommyscapes, jonassmith / Flickr cc.

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