Ever heard of the World Marathon Challenge? If not, here’s the rub. It’s an exclusive challenge where participants complete 7 marathons, on the 7 continents in 7 days. It’s a tough physical test and for organisers is a logistical nightmare. It’s a pretty cool gimmick, but it comes with a serious price tag. It costs a whopping 32,000 Euros. Yep, that’s a shitload! Naturally it’s an expensive undertaking. There’s a lot of travel including a private aircraft, medical support, food, accommodation and more. So you can see where the cash goes, or at least maybe 60% of it. You can add a few thousand dollars more to the cost because you need to get to the start of the event and then home from Sydney afterwards. But in all honesty, while it sounds like a cool thing to do, we can think of plenty of other better things to do with that sort of cash. And by things, we mean running related stuff.
- Big City Marathons: London, Paris, Berlin, New York and Tokyo
Running in one of the major global marathons is a pretty cool experience. There’s the buzz of the crowd. The traffic free course through a major city, plus the expo and other fun that often surrounds the event. And with our hefty budget we could manage five or more of the world’s best marathons, with several days pre and post race in luxury accommodation to see the sites and take advantage of being in a special place. It would be pretty awesome to do these incredible events and also fly business class and stay in high-end hotels too!
- Awesome Off-road Events: Mt Blanc Marathon, The Everest Marathon, The Dodo Trail Mauritius and Antarctic Ice Marathon
So you wanna go to some amazing places and do some epic events? Well with the fat wad of cash we have, it’s possible to do some of the best. This includes a visit to Antarctica, which is the only really unique event on offer in the World Marathon Challenge. From running in the French Alps and the tropical paradise of Mauritius to visiting the high mountains of Nepal, this selection of events is pretty spectacular. The thing that makes it all the more enjoyable is having time to explore the regions where the events are held.
- Quirky Events and Great Locales: Marathon du Medoc, Moorea Marathon, Venice Marathon, Great wall of China Marathon and Jungfrau Marathon
So you want to have a bit of fun while racking up the air and running miles. These events are not only in some of the most remarkable and popular holiday destinations you’ll come across, they’re also loads of fun to take part in. Think of sipping a glass of red wine while running through grapevines, or bolting through narrow streets with gondolas floating by. You’ll also be able to sleep in luxury and spend a week at each place checking out the sites. Sure beats simply flying in, running in a crappy non-event marathon and then getting back on a plane – as is the case with the World Marathon Challenge!
- The 4 Deserts Series
This is a series of four events: the Sahara Race (Egypt), Gobi March (China), Atacama Crossing (Chile) and The Last Desert (Antarctica). In each race participants traverse 250km over 7 days, covering spectacular and rough terrain with only water and a tent supplied at the end of each day. You basically carry your fuel and any other gear you need and then tackle the epic challenge along with a bunch of other crazies. For most of us we’d love to do just one of these events. But hey, we’ve got a bucket load of money to spend so why not do all four of them in the one year! I don’t know about you, but I reckon this shits all over the World Marathon Challenge.
- UTWT Circuit
The Ultra Trail World Tour is a series of 11 epic ultra marathons in some of the most amazing places on the planet. From TNF100 in the Blue Mountains of Australia and the legendary Western States 100 miler, to UTMB and Ultra Trail Mt Fuji – with 32,000 Euros to spend on travel you can fly to pretty much all of these events and either have a run or just enjoy the spectacle and do a little training on the side. This would make for an incredible year of travel that would take you to every corner of the world and to many of the most iconic events.
Like the UTWT, the Skyrunning World Series takes in incredible locales and even more epic events. Across the series there are races in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Locations include the Dolomites, Zermatt, Hong Kong, Norway, Montana and Zegama in Spain. With the money at our disposal we can basically spend either 10 weeks in Europe and take part in all the craziness of this leg of the series, or split the travel across the year and checkout a few Euro races, head to North America later in the year for a couple weeks and then plan a holiday Down Under for some mountain madness at The Buffalo Stampede…actually, with 32K you’d likely be able to take a friend too!
- Running Holidays: Flagstaff USA, Chamonix France, The Swiss Alps and New Zealand
Sometimes a running holiday is better if it doesn’t involve a race. This way you can party, train, go site seeing and indulge in whatever food and beverages you like without having to worry about an impending event. If we had 32K EUR at our disposal this is what we’d do for a series of running adventures. Firstly, fly to Flagstaff and spend two weeks exploring the mountains. Next stop would be New Zealand, the South Island in particular. Grab a hire care and spend 10 days cruising around and staying in nice lodges in the hills. From there it’s time to hit Europe and the running meccas of Chamonix in France and the Swiss Alps. By now we would have about 12,000 Euros left in the kitty (Keep in mind we are flying business class, dining like royalty and staying in luxury) so with that budget you can have a pretty bloody amazing time for three weeks!