Top 2012 Adventure Races For Every Extremist’s Bucket List

We’ve been talking a lot about endurance events and races for the last couple of weeks, so I think it’s about time we talk about some of the best adventure races that are coming up this year.

These adventure races are tough and challenging, but they can take you to some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Nothing like joining great adventure races and enjoying the world at the same time, right?

Top 2012 adventure races for your bucket list

Here are five great adventure races that extremists should definitely have in their bucket list.

Read through this list, then pick one or all, and get to it!

1. The Great Wall Marathon

The Great Wall Marathon is just one of the scenic adventure races on this list. As you probably figured out already, this marathon takes runners to the very famous Great Wall of China. I’ve been to the Great Wall and I can’t imagine running the whole length of it. It’s definitely not your typical giant fence on the block. It has steep steps going up and going down and seems to go on for miles.

The Great Wall Marathon has two sections. The first is about 9 km and consists of several descents and ascents. This section gives runners a chance to go up, down and across the Great Wall. Half marathoners need to go through this section only once while full marathoners need to go through twice. The second section is on gravel roads and flat asphalts and lets runners go through rice fields and villages. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

This year’s Great Wall Marathon kicks off in May so check out the official website if you want in. Click on the Great Wall Marathon heading above.

2. The Big Five Marathon

From China we go to Africa! The Big Five Marathon happens in one of the “Big Five” game reserves in South Africa. Runners get an opportunity to run through the Entabeni Game reserve and have a chance at spotting some of the amazing wildlife that Africa is known for. How many adventure races can boast of that?

The start and end of the race is at Lakeside Lodge on the upper side of the escarpment. Racers go through Ravineside Lodge, the Entabeni Monolith, to the lower plateau, through and round the valley, then up the valley again. They get back on the upper side of the escarpment and through a circular route in a small valley. There are ascents and descents on this race course so this is definitely an adventurous race!

The race starts in June. Click on the Big Five Marathon heading above for more information about this exciting race!

3. The Great Tibetan Marathon (considered as one of the world’s most extreme adventure races!)

Scenic adventure races are definitely the “in” thing these days because we have another one that takes participants to one of the highest mountain ranges in the world, the Ladakh in the Indian Trans-Himalayas.

Many consider The Great Tibetan Marathon as one of the most extreme adventure races in the world because racers run at an average altitude of 11,800 feet (3,600 m) above sea level. There’s even a mandatory five-day acclimatization period in Ladakh for this race to avoid serious altitude illnesses during this race. Participants have to acclimatize themselves at an altitude of 3,500 meters.

Participants can opt to do a full marathon, half marathon or 10 km run. Whatever they choose, they are definitely in for one of the greatest adventure races of their lives!

4. Petra Marathon

It seems like adventure races are always set in beautiful places. You have the Petra Marathon, which is set in, where else, the city of Petra in Jordan. Petra is an old old city carved in the sandstone mountains and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage area. In 2007 this city was considered one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’ so you can be sure that there are amazing sights to see during the race.

In the Petra Marathon, runners can expect to see the ancient city in all its glory. Runners get a chance to run past caves, tombs and monasteries sculpted out in the sides of mountains.

5. The Polar Circle Marathon

So, guess where this marathon takes place? If you said Greenland then you are right! The Polar Circle Marathon, also known as “the coolest marathon on earth,” is a marathon event in Greenland.  Runners have to run on uneven gravel road and ice.

Half marathon runners have to complete the race within 4 hours while full marathon runners have to finish in 7 hours. Participants of this race get a chance to see icy plains, glacier tongues and ice caps during this race.

This year’s Polar Circle Marathon starts in October!

There you have it, five awesome adventure races for the extremist’s bucket list. Yes, we are talking about adventure races and not city tours. I know, these races are AMAZING.

Tell us which of these adventure races appeal to you the most by posting below!

Share this article with your friends and let them know that adventure races can be great world travel experiences, too!

Show/Hide Comments (4 comments)
  1. Deanne

    Great post !

    • admin

      Thanks Deanne! I appreciate it!

    • Todd

      Great point!

      • Todd Kuslikis

        Yeah, great!

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