Marathon races are not easy. Held over a distance of 20 plus miles, they are an extreme test of your ability to run long distances. Some of you may find this enjoyable, but the majority of you hate the idea of running a marathon. After all, they are hard work and boring. But, what if they were not boring? What if they were exciting? Yes, as long as you pick the right one a marathon has the potential to be exciting. The most exciting are the strangest, so here are the strangest marathons on Earth.
What Is It: Just like the name suggests, this is an endurance race where men race horses. The man vs. horse marathon takes place in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales every year. The winner is the man, or the animal, that crosses the line first
Why It Is Strange: It is strange because it is one of the only inter-animal marathons in the world. In fact, it is probably fair to say that it is the only inter-animal marathon in the world! Horses are animals that have top endurance skills, whereas humans have lots of limitations. The strangest thing is that the horses do not always win. They start off strong, but they falter towards the end as they struggle with the heat. On occasion, a man or woman has taken advantage to secure the title. Unbelievable Jeff!
What Is It: A race up the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest
Why It Is Strange: Firstly, you have to exercise for fifteen days before the event, which is a bit different. Most marathons, for example, require you to train hard before the event, and then rest a week beforehand. With the Everest Marathon, you need to acclimatize for at least two weeks. Then there is the fact that it is hard to get to the start line, never mind the finish line. And, finally, there is a host of battles from hypothermia to altitude sickness.
What Is It: A race through the vineyards of Bordeaux with a twist
Why It Is Strange: Instead of ingesting energy bars and sports drinks, you spend your time drinking wine and eating. Yes, the French do know how to throw a marathon! There are numerous foods and drinks on the menu, from oyster to cheese and ice cream. The time limit is 6 hrs and 30min, but the time depends on how much you drink!
North Korea Marathon
What Is It: A marathon in Pyongyang that takes place every year to kick off Kim II Sung’s birthday celebrations
Why It Is Strange: To begin with, the marathon is commemorating a dead man’s birthday, which is a little weird. But, the kicker is that it takes place in the most secretive country in the world. And, this year, foreigners are allowed to participate. If you want to find out more about the communist state that is North Korea, their annual marathon is your best chance.
What Is It: A marathon where you have to drag a donkey holding weights around a course
Why It Is Strange: Did you not read the ‘what is it’ section? You have to lead a donkey wearing weights around a course! In all fairness, the race pays tribute to the Colorado region Goldrush era. Still, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the weirdest races on the planet. Although, there are plenty of marathons where you have to drag your ass around the course if you don’t train hard enough! This is just a different interpretation.
What Is It: An endurance race that takes place in an African game reserve
Why It Is Strange: It is strange because the name ‘Big Five refers to the five big animals that frequent the African plains. During this marathon, you will run side by side with lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos. As you may be able to tell, this is one of the most dangerous marathons on the planet. But, it is also one of the most beautiful as you get to run through the animal’s’ natural habitat. Plus, the adrenaline boost may mean you could smash your personal best.
What Is It: A marathon race that takes place in Norway throughout the summer
Why It Is Strange: What is strange about a summer marathon? For the most part, there is nothing strange about a summer marathon. But, this marathon is different. Even though it takes place at night, you take part in perpetual sunshine. As the sun doesn’t set during the summer months in the Arctic, there is no darkness. The race finishes at 12 o’clock at night, but you would think it was 12 o’clock in the afternoon.
What Is It: A marathon in Florida where the course dissects the world’s most famous theme parks
Why It Is Strange: The weird part of this marathon is the fact that you Disney characters surround you throughout the whole 26 miles. There is nothing more disconcerting than looking up at a life-sized Goofy when you are about to hit the wall. Plus, there is the fact that the route goes through famous Florida attractions such as the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. A lot like being in school after 3:30, running around a theme park and not going on the rides is odd.
What Is It: A marathon around the North Pole
Why It Is Strange: A marathon in the North Pole is unlike any marathon you will participate in because of the weather. The conditions are below freezing, and they are the harshest on Earth. If that is not enough, you have to negotiate rock fields and the occasional polar bear. This is not a marathon for the faint of heart.
In fact, only a handful of people takes part in the North Pole Marathon every year.