Once you have run all the standard marathons on offer around the world, what do you do? Well if you have any sense, you collapse in front of the television with a drink. If you don’t have any sense, one of these marathons might seem like the next step.
The Tough Mudder Marathon
The Tough Mudder Marathon is comparatively short by marathon standards – lasting between 10 and 12 miles – but that is because the runners have to contend with all manner of different obstacles (including tyres as high as your knee, massive bales of hay and barbed wire) along the route. It is run in America, Australia and a variety of European countries, proving that insanity runs across nations, and even continents. If you do make it to the end however, you will be rewarded with turkey legs, beer and live bands at a post-marathon party.
The Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
Most people think only of the casios when Vegas is mentioned. However, in the days of online competition from mobile casino sites, many people now look to Vegas for other forms of entertainment. This marathon is one of the older and more well-established mad marathons – as it has been around for nearly fifty years. The casino strip in Las Vegas is just one of the places The Rock ‘n Roll Marathon is held, but the Vegas version has definitely become the most famous of the rock ‘n’ roll marathons. After all, there is no more appropriate location than Vegas to run around in public dressed as 1970s-era Elvis (if such behaviour can ever be considered appropriate anywhere).
The Santa Clause Marathon
For the grumpy amongst us this event is more commonly known as ‘Christmas’, but for everyone else it is Finland’s top long distance race event. It starts in Rovaniemi, in Lapland, and you have the choice whether you run in standard vest and shorts – or whether you dress up as Santa. Given that the earlier stages of the event are in an Arctic locale, you might decide that the latter represents a warmer option. Another curious point about this marathon: it starts between 6 and 8 pm at night.
Dead Sea Ultra Marathon
If you fancy a marathon where the running is all downhill then this race in Jordan could be just the one for you. The route taken by the runners here goes down virtually all the way, starting at Amman, placed 900 meters above the level of the sea, and finishing 400 meters below it – at the Dead Sea. If you think this makes it easy though, bear in mind that there is so much sun shining in the faces of the runners that they have to provide their own skin protection.
Another marathon with a largely downhill route is this one on Everest – mostly because it starts from the top of a mountain. If this doesn’t strike you as the most obvious starting point for a marathon then you are not alone in feeling that way, but this race still attracts the determined (or deranged) in large numbers. With its 17,000 foot above sea level start point and combination of downhill and uphill tests, it is strictly a race for the experienced loony, rather than the enthusiastic amateur.