Signing up for a marathon or race can be daunting, even for the most seasoned runner. In fact, just a 5k can seem like a lot, especially if you’re the kind of person who thinks of cardio as a form of torture. But what if we told you that you could run a marathon at one of the world’s wonders, race against a bunch of Disney princesses, or take part in a run with pizza pit stops? (In our opinion, any race that involves cheese and pepperoni is a win.) You can mix it up on race day by competing in one of the world’s weirdest runs. These events prove that running really can be fun – and even downright ridiculous! So grab your sneakers (and possibly a plane ticket) and sign up for one of these unique running events today.
Location: Bordeaux, France
Date: September 9, 2017
Some things just go together: beaches and bikinis, avocados and toast, Sunday and brunch. But we’re a little surprised that this pairing works so well – marathons and Merlot! Le Marathon du Médoc is a full-length marathon through the Bordeaux region’s gorgeous vineyards. The scenic run is broken up with over 20 pit stops where you can enjoy French wine and food along the way. Crazy costumes are optional, but encouraged!
Location: Powys, Wales
Date: TBD, 2018
The Man V Horse Marathon is exactly what it sounds like (although women are welcome to compete!). This annual event challenges participants to race against riders on horseback through a remote Welsh landscape. As impossible as this contest sounds, two racers have managed to beat their horse competitors at past events! Are you up for the challenge?
Location: Tianjin, China
Date: May 19, 2018
The Great Wall Marathon is famous for being one of the most difficult – and incredible – races in the world. The route, which includes 5,164 stone steps up to the Wall itself, takes racers along the Great Wall of China, through the surrounding valley and into the nearby villages. If a full-length marathon sounds a little too intense, the event also offers a half marathon and an 8.5km fun run.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Date: February 22 – 25, 2018
Have you always dreamed of being a Disney Princess? Well pack up your ball gown – and your favorite running shoes – and head to Walt Disney World! The 13.1-mile run takes racers through the “Magic Kingdom” and “Epcot” parks. Who knew that going for a run could feel just like a fairy-tale?
Location: New York, New York
Date: September 17, 2017
If you need incentive to get running, why not sign up for the NYC Pizza Run? “New York’s Sauciest Run” is a 5k that has two different checkpoints where competitors can take a rest and chow down on a couple of real New York slices. Come prepared to break a sweat and then eat your fill! Pizza has never tasted so good.
Location: Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa
Date: June 23, 2018
Are you ready to run wild? The Big Five Marathon in South Africa will have you racing with lions and leopards! The event takes place in the African Savannah, and is named after the resident “Big Five Game:” the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. The route is notoriously difficult, but the breath-taking scenery makes it totally worth it!
Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Date: October 12th, 2017
No pants? No problem! What started out as a silly protest against wearing “Speedos” in inappropriate places has evolved into an annual event! Every year, during Kona’s Ironman World Championship Week, hundreds of racers hit the streets in their underpants. The short run is just 1.5 miles long, so even if you’re not a veteran runner, you can join in the fun! Just don’t forget – undies are required!
Location: Throughout the USA
If you join the Great Inflatable Race, you’re not just signing up for a fun run – you’re signing up for a wild race through a course of inflatable obstacles! Once you climb, bounce, and slide your way to the finish line, the fun continues at the “Inflatable Village.” These races are held all over the USA, all throughout the year! So get pumped-up, because bouncy houses aren’t just for kids anymore!