The purpose of a marathon is to test yourself, and to know your physical and psychological capacity to endure and to persist. However, for many enthusiasts and athletes, there is more to a marathon than just that. It offers them to discover beautiful parts of the world with clear skies and unmitigated natural splendor. If you are one of these people and if you find the concept of a scenic marathon to be enticing, and if you are willing to risk health concerns for such an experience, then here are some of the most scenic and breathtakingly beautiful marathons in the world.
Big Sur International Marathon
California, USA is known for its beautiful beaches and scenery which simply takes your breath away. Combine with that the temperate and moderate climate, and what you get is an endurance event like none other. Hundreds of people participate every year only to revel at the natural splendor. The event is a combination of a 34-kilometer marathon along with a few relays and walk events. The marathon will take you from beautiful beaches to redwood forests and calm meadows. The whole experience is simply breathtaking, and it is worth every bit of effort that you put in.
Marathon di Roma
Rome is a historic city with art and architecture which draws millions of enthusiasts from around the globe every year. A few of these people have a unique way to enjoy the beauty of this city. Endurance athletes participate in the April marathon which is strategically planned out so that the athletes get a chance to see every historical and significant site and building in the city. Runners will start at the Via dei Fori Imperiali and they will also get a chance to descend the Spanish Steps to make their way to the Trevi Fountain. The finish line is at the Coliseum which is a fitting end for a grand event.
The Great Wall Marathon
The Great Wall of China is a magnificent stretch and the interesting part is that it is also a continuous track which is fit for walking and running. Though the wall was probably not built for the purpose, it is now home to an amazing marathon. Walking the entire wall is one thing, racing is totally another! The race takes runners up and down a total of 5,164 steps. The most challenging phase of this marathon is the goat track which is steep and therefore excruciating. This race instils in the participants a sense of community, and the most unusual aspect of this marathon is that athletes are continuously helping each other to the finish line.
Marathon de la Baie du Mont-Michel
Cancale is a lesser-known part of France but the grasslands and the greenery are certainly one of a kind. The great thing about this marathon is that participants can actually see the finish line from the starting point! The other amazing thing is that this marathon is along the coastline of Normandy which has a history of its own from the Second World War. You will finish the marathon at the monastery: Mont Saint-Michel which is an 18th-century establishment and a UNESCO world heritage site. The course may be flat but the experience is memorable. The area also attracts a lot of tourists and there is always an enthusiastic and a very supportive crowd to cheer the athletes on!
Great Ocean Road Running Festival
Lorne is a coastal part of Australia, and this marathon takes place along the breathtaking road along the seaside of Lorne. This is a complete festival and it has various races ranging from a 1.5 km race to a 60km extreme endurance marathon. The most challenging part: the marathon has a time limit of 6.5 hours! However, for the amateur athletes who are still lacking in endurance, the 44 km marathon offers a good challenge and it allows you to enjoy some of the most beautiful coastal scenery that Australia has to offer. The equator sun may pose health concerns, but the beauty of the scenery is absolutely worth it.