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Tough Takes

12 Days of Marathons

The enthusiast runner’s epic holiday, wouldn’t be the 12 days of Christmas, but this – the 12 days of marathons. It is time to start planning your trip, starting in Marrakech in January, then off to Tokyo, and ending your remarkable journey in the Land of Usain Bolt – Jamaica. One Marathon A Month, 12 lifetime experiences a year.

January-Marrakech Marathon, Morocco

Marrakech Marathon. Photo Credits: http://www.marathon-marrakech.com/en/
Marrakech Marathon, Morroco. Photo Credits: marathon-marrakech.com

The Marrakech Marathon is all about this exceptional town of Morocco. You would feel like you have been transported into the Aladdin Movie. It goes through alleys of palm trees, orange, olive trees, and through parts of this magical city. It is as much a cultural experience as it is a beautiful one. This oasis city is also the base of the Atlas Mountains, so running with Atlas Mountain as your backdrop surely will be truly amazing.


February-Tokyo Marathon, Japan

Tokyo Marathon
Tokyo Marathon, Japan. Photo credit: tokyo42195.org


The city of Tokyo is a beauty, but you haven’t seen its true beauty until you run the Tokyo Marathon. The true beauty of Tokyo is her people. The spectators were special.  They would hand out things from M&Ms to strawberries to even miso soup. They shouted words of encouragement, although in Japanese but I’m pretty sure they are words of encouragement. The Tokyo Marathon definitely ticks all the boxes, no surprise why it is one of the Marathon Majors.

March-Puerto Rico Marathon, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Marathon. Photo credit
Puerto Rico Marathon. Photo credit : marathonpuertorico.com

This is a two in one combo, combining a fantastic Caribbean vacation with a first class race-competition. Imagine running along the Atlantic, running though lagoons, it is a once in a year offer to run in paradise. The experience even lasts after the race. You can kick back and relax with a pina-colada in hand. This is a beautiful race-experience with a special post-race experience. Combined, it gives the Puerto Rico Marathon a unique flair.

April-Boston Marathon, USA

Boston Marathon. Photo credit: http://www.baa.org
Boston Marathon, USA. Photo credit: baa.org

The legendary Boston Marathon is something not to be missed. Not only is it one of the 6 Major Marathons in the world, it is also one of the oldest marathons. The fact that you would need to qualify for this marathon makes it a very prestige marathon to have on your running resume. This qualifying status, knowing that you are running with the many that have strived to achieve this status of qualifying, is all the glory of this race. Boston marathon offers a net downhill route, half a million spectators cheering you on, running through iconic landmarks and a big city finish. This race will surely feed your ego.

May-Great Wall of China Marathon, China

Great Wall Marathon, China. Photo Credits: http://great-wall-marathon.com/
Great Wall of China Marathon, China. Photo Credits: great-wall-marathon.com

Running 5164 steps into history, the Great Wall China Marathon has been deemed one of the most challenging marathons. The highlight of this journey is the sweet finish. You run through Chinese local villages and will experience the immense support of the local Chinese villagers. The children will captivate your hearts – they make dandelion bouquets to serenade the runners. Just this in itself will make the whole experience invaluable.

June-Big 5 Marathon, South Africa

Big 5 Marathon, South Africa. Photo Credits: big-five-marathon.com
Big 5 Marathon, South Africa. Photo Credits: big-five-marathon.com

This is as though you have entered the realm of Lion King!  Racing in the wilderness is no easy challenge, but you will be rewarded with the stunning views of South Africa. The Big 5 stems from the Big 5 of Africa – The Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos and Buffalos. You literally run with the giraffes, run through a lion’s den, and be pretty up close and personal with the wildlife. This will be a Disney Dream come true.

July-Australian Outback Marathon, Australia

Australia Outback Marathon. Photo Credits: www.australianoutbackmarathon.com
Australia Outback Marathon. Photo Credits: www.australianoutbackmarathon.com

The Red Earth of central Australia awaits you. Different aptly describes this marathon, from the start, right up to the end. First you get dropped off in the middle of nowhere, literally. There is no hustle and bustle at the start line. There is no human traffic jam. You will be greeted by stunning views. The underfoot might go soft at certain sports, say hello to red earth. Instead of running with a sea of runners, you will experience an unfamiliar silence. It will be just you, and the big rocks. Even at the finishing line, you will be treated like a champion. Thanks to the small number of runners, everyone’s finish will be announced, every person will have their own personal finish photo, and everyone will be treated like a winner.

August-Angkor Empire Marathon, Cambodia

Angkor Empire Marathon. Photo Credits: angkorempiremarathon.org/
Angkor Empire Marathon. Photo Credits: angkorempiremarathon.org/

This provides you with the exceptional opportunity to run though the ancient temples of the Angkor Wat Empire. Running through the enchanting temples will definitely be a once in a life time experience. The course is as flat as a pancake, which some people might find boring, however, it makes up with its remarkably interesting landscapes. You would be so captivated by the landscapes, before you know it, you would be standing at the finishing line.

September-Marathon Du Medoc, France

Marathon du Medoc, France. Photo credit: travellingfit.com
Marathon du Medoc, France. Photo credit: travellingfit.com

The French have reigned the title of ‘land of the gourmet’ for as long as we can remember. So it is only fitting that the French has a marathon that has 23 wine stops, servers you oysters, steak and ice cream. You run through 59 vineyards, served red or white at the water stations, it truly is an out of the ordinary experience.

October-Dublin Marathon, Ireland

Dublin Marathon. Photo Credits: dublinmarathon.ie
Dublin Marathon. Photo Credits: dublinmarathon.ie

Have you met anyone friendlier than the Irish? This Marathon is also known as the friendly marathon due to the overwhelming warm support from the fellow Irishmen. They do it the Irish way, and it cannot get better. The route takes runners past historic points of the city and gives you scenic vantage points.

November-NYC Marathon, USA

New York Marathon.  Photo Credits: tcsnycmarathon.org
New York Marathon.
Photo Credits: tcsnycmarathon.org

Dubbed The Biggest Marathon, the NYC Marathon certainly lives up to its title. It has won the hearts of many racers, being People’s Choice of Favourite Marathon Spot. Perhaps it is seeing and experiencing the Big Apple in a different light? Or it could be the enthusiasm of the cheering NYC Crowd? It is the one day where the hustle and bustle of the city stops for these runners.

December-Reggae Marathon, Jamaica

Reggae Marathon, Jamaica. Photo Credits: reggaemarathon.com
Reggae Marathon, Jamaica. Photo Credits: reggaemarathon.com

Start point – the shore of Negril’s 7 mile beach. Imagine starting with a view of pristine white beaches, and being served coconut water. But, what would a reggae marathon be without reggae music. From the starting line, back to the finishing point, reggae bands are lined up, cheering you on. Live Bands singing for you and cheering you on, can it get any better?

So next time you don’t know where to travel, fear not. July? Australia. October? Ireland.

Written by: Melissa Lim

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