10 Scenic Runs That Will Feed Your Wanderlust

10 Scenic Runs That Will Feed Your Wanderlust

You may dare to run a marathon, but do you dare to do it under the midnight sun?
scenic runs around the world

Image credit: racingtheplanet

Let’s be honest, running in Singapore may get a tad boring at times. After a while, it’s all the same old same old, and even the organised runs we get are more or less around the same areas (Marina Bay, East Coast Park, Sentosa, and so on).

How to break the monotony? Here’s an idea: Go for a run overseas!

scenic runs around the world

Image credit: jungfraumarathon

Exploring a country on foot is one of the best ways you can get to know a foreign place, plus some of these runs give you access to places you may never get to see or go to on regular trips! Here’s your chance to live out your dreams of being an Olympian or a badass like Lara Croft because these runs give you the chance to push your limits in all the most exotic places!

We suss out the coolest international runs that will have you packing your running shoes and booking that flight!

1. Angkor Wat International Half Marathon

What better way to experience Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat than with a run! This run starts and ends in front of the largest religious monument in the world and takes you through 13 ancient temples and cool forested area. Marvel at the amazing architecture that speaks of years of history as you jog your way through the race course. With this, you’ll have covered one of Cambodia’s iconic sights, but there are plenty more places in Cambodia you must visit before leaving the country!

If the endorphins aren’t enough to give you a mood boost, how about the fact that this half marathon began and has always been to raise funds for the victims of the antipersonnel mines in Cambodia? Your run will feel even better because you not only get to appreciate this cultural monolith as you jog, your entry fee also goes to a fund that aids those affected by the landmines. You do good and you feel good!

Website | Next race date: 2 December 2018

2. Big Five Marathon

This may or may not be the aptest definition of running wild, but is there another way to describe running alongside wildlife in the African savannah? Yes, you read that right — the Big Five Marathon has a route that leads you through the habitats of elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions, and leopards. Forget a regular safari; this is one heart-pumping (in all senses of the word) way to see Africa’s top five famous animals! If the wildlife isn’t your only concern when it comes to travelling to Africa, find out how safe it is to visit and put your worries to rest!

Website | Next race date: 22 June 2019

3. Gyeongju Cherry Tree Marathon

It’s hard to feel tired when you’re running under the visual splendour that is South Korea’s cherry blossoms in full bloom! It’s a sight that tourists travel far and long to catch a glimpse of — with the annual cherry blossom season comes the throng of visitors it attracts. Certainly, you won’t be worrying about your pace or the distance because you’ll be too busy admiring these gorgeous flowers. There’s no way you’ll be thinking of how far you’ve got to run!

Image credit: masalz84

Held in South Korea’s ancient capital, this is also a brilliant opportunity for a dip into Korea’s history! Check out what you can do in Gyeongju like seeing the oldest astronomical tower in East Asia while you’re there for the run!

Website | Next race date: 13 April 2019

4. Antarctic Ice Marathon

Hardcore runners may want to consider this marathon as a way of kicking things up a notch, or several notches for that matter. The Antarctic Ice Marathon pushes you to your limits as you brave not only your own fatigue, but the elements as well in this ocean of white! Perfect for those who are looking for a real challenge. Apprehensive? Try the half marathon first and decide from there if you want to go the whole way next year! Still not convinced? Be inspired by the story of this guy’s trip to Antarctica!

Website | Next race date: 13 December 2018

5. Great Ocean Road Running Festival

Relish the opportunity to run down one of Australia’s most breathtaking coastlines. Meandering along the brilliant, blue expanse of the Southern Ocean, follow the Great Ocean Road and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze as you admire the incredible view. The best thing? There’s a wide selection of events to choose from, and between the ultra marathon, the 6km run, and a walk, you’re sure to find an event to your taste! Don’t forget to check out the insane wildlife and other things you can do in Southern Australia before you go home!

Website | Next race date: 18-19 May 2019

6. Pyongyang Marathon

Image credit: pyongyang_marathon

The Pyongyang Marathon or the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon is possibly one of the only chance you’ll get to run along the streets of North Korea in this lifetime. For many, North Korea will remain a mystery, but taking part in this run grants you the opportunity to jog past some of the country’s most famous spots such as the Arch of Triumph and the Kim Il Sung Square.

Image credit: pyongyang_marathon

In fact, six years prior, this run wasn’t even open to foreign athletes unless they were elite runners! Now, you can choose between the 5km, 10km, a half marathon, and a full marathon to take part in. You’ll also definitely have a cheering squad because throngs of spectators show up to support the runners. Not sure what to expect? This photo journey through North Korea might give you an idea of what the world’s most insulated country has in store.

Website | Next race date: 7 April 2019

7. Athens Marathon – The Authentic

Ever wanted to run where the marathon was birthed? The Athens Marathon takes you through the original marathon route where you will cut through imposing mountains, along Greek streets and past famous structures.

If that doesn’t make you feel like some sort of Olympian already, there’s also a marathon torch that will be lit and relayed along the entire course until it reaches the end. If you love running, then pay homage to where it all began in Greece! Take this chance to run like an Olympian, but don’t forget to fuel up for your run like an Olympian, too, and try some delicious Greek food while you’re there. Muslim friends, no worries, there are tons of halal food options in Greece for you to choose from as well!

Website | Next race date: 8 – 11 November 2018

8. Gobi March

Set across the stunning Mongolian landscape, this ultramarathon is somewhat more of a hike than a monotonous run, split into six stages and spread over seven days. More than a simple test of endurance, the Gobi March is a celebration of a culturally and geographically rich nation. While the distance may seem daunting, it’s essentially one long sightseeing trip that takes you to UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape and even the ancient city of Karakorum, the former capital of Genghis Khan’s empire.

Incredible historical sites aside, participants will follow a route that sends them through expansive grasslands, ancient forests, past temples. You’ll also get to sleep in traditional Mongolian yurts for an even more authentic experience! Nothing can prepare you for how breathtaking the Gobi Desert truly is, but this captivating photoset of Mongolia might have you sold on this ridiculously gorgeous event.

Website | Next race date: 28 July 2019

9. Jungfrau Marathon

Image credit: jungfraumarathon

Also known as the most beautiful marathon in the world, this run lets you get up close and personal with the Swiss Alps as the route leads you towards the famous Jungfrau. It’s a picture-perfect run with the mountainous backdrop, little villages, and crystalline waters of Lake Brienz, so much so that you probably won’t feel tired and instead, more inclined to burst into a rendition of “The Hills are Alive”.

Image credit: jungfraumarathon

If you’re not the marathoning type but still want to get some exercise in this lovely, scenic surrounds, there’s always the mini marathon which is 10% of the marathon’s distance. Bet you didn’t know you could run a marathon in Switzerland! Here are eight more unique things you probably didn’t know you could do to spice up your trip to Switzerland!

Website | Next race date: 6/7 September 2019

10. Bhutan International Marathon

Disneyworld who? Run in the happiest place in the world! One of the most mysterious countries in the world, Bhutan is legendary for its focus on the happiness of its people and its cautious warnings against the capitalist trappings of the outside world. As the number of foreigners allowed into their kingdom is limited annually, this event offers the rare chance to get a glimpse of the Bhutanese way of life.

Run through a lush rainforest terrain alongside the Mo Chhu River and cross the glittering waters of Pho Chhu on a magnificent suspension bridge. Be it the full marathon of the half marathon, revel in riveting Bhutanese landscapes and be delighted by snippets of culture and historical tidbits you get along the way. Don’t go completely unprepared though, debunk your misconceptions about Bhutan before making the trip!

Website | Next race date: 2 March 2019

Now who says running is boring? With these insanely gorgeous runs, you’ll be anything but bored as you jog. If you’re going to test your limits, you might as well see the world and broaden your horizons while you’re at it!

Also read: The Ultimate Adventure Bucket List: 30 Heart-Stopping Challenges You Must Conquer

About Author

Chloe Ang
Chloe Ang

Chloe spends her life trying to find the divine balance between eating, reading and travelling. When she’s not bounding off to explore new places, she’s likely slothing it out and stuffing her face. Her dream is to eat and read her way around the world, but her ultimate dream though is to be a cat.

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