Big Five Marathon

Big Five MarathonThere are few sports that allow you to exercise and see the world at the same time. But, running features that unique perk – you can lace up and get your legs moving while sightseeing in a way traditional tours can’t offer.

Whether it’s just a trip to a particular city or a race you’re in search of, here are some of the best places and races for runners.

South Africa
In June, runners can take part in the Big Five marathon here. This marathon offers runners the same challenge as other marathons, except it takes place in South Africa’s Entabeni Game Reserve. That means you’ll be surrounded by mountain landscape, wide open plains and rivers while having the chance to run with zebras, giraffes and antelopes and other wild game and bird life. Don’t’ worry, you won’t become any large animal’s lunch during this race; the course is equipped with armed rangers.

Barcelona, Spain
There’s a lot to see in this Spanish city. So running may be the best way to make sure you see it all. You can take a run through The Old Town, which is about 5 to 6 miles, giving you the opportunity to run through the streets of Las Ramblas and the destroyed medieval era Jewish Quarter and more. If you want to ditch the map and let a guide take the running lead, you could always call on a running tour company, like Running Tours Barcelona, which offers sight-seeing running tours at all running levels.

Described as one of the world’s most beautiful runs, the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset trail run gives runners the chance to take in the scenery of Hovsgol National Park and its pristine alpine lake surrounded by mountains. Runners have the option of a 42-kilometer run, which is equivalent to a marathon, or a whopping 100-kilometer run. This race is being held for the 17th year in a row this August.

A lot of cities in Canada have jogging trails along the water, but Vancouver boasts its Seawall path, featuring a loop around Stanley Park. In addition, there are many other trails in this area worth a visit such as simply running from one end of Stanley Park to the other.

Oxford, UK
While this town is best known for its big university, it’s also the home to Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile, the first in the world. Here you will find riverside running trails that take you through town and beyond. And each Saturday morning there’s a completely free 5K run by volunteers called Oxford Parkrun in Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park.

The Netherlands is flat, which makes it perfect for running. If you’ve never been to this city before, you can join Tourist Run Amsterdam to run down historic streets and past all of the main sights. Or, you can take in nature with a run in Vondelpark along the Amstel River.

Hong Kong
This city is popular for many things, so traveling here to run may seem less obvious. But, Hong Kong has many running trails and a lot of races runners can take advantage of. You can find trails to run on the government’s hiking website, join a local running club or sign up for a race. One thing in particular this city is known for when it comes to running is the popularity of running stairwells in some of Hong Kong’s many high-rises. Try tackling the stairs in the 118-story International Commerce Center, which features an infinity pool on the top floor.

Do you have any suggestions to share with your fellow runners? We’d love to hear them.

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About The Author

Nicole Jenet is a writer at Scribewise. There's nothing she loves more than the feeling of warm sand beneath her feet and trying new, exotic cuisine. Visit

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