Bucket list marathons around the world

Fancy an endurance run with a difference? Try these for size.

As a runner I've noticed that marathons and endurance runs have become increasingly popular in the past few years.

The reasons athletes compete in them can vary from runner to runner. Sometimes it's for philanthropic reasons, to raise money for a cause. Other runners do it for the personal satisfaction of being able to complete. And some people have winning a marathon on their bucket list. There are many different marathons around the world, some of which go far beyond the conventional race or zombie run.

Rock n roll running

Rock 'n roll marathons seem to be springing up all over the world, but the biggest showstopper of these is held in Las Vegas. The city hosts a marathon every year known as the Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas Marathon, attended by tens of thousands of runners. Runners run along the famous Vegas strip with a backdrop of neon-lit casinos and pyrotechnics, while being serenaded by live rock bands.

Outrun a lion

Kenya provides another crazy marathon, the Safaricom. This marathon initially began in 2000 strictly as a fundraiser but has since evolved into one of the world’s wildest and most gruelling marathons. Runners blaze through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy which offers extremely harsh terrain solely on dirt roads. While running the race, runners can take in the picturesque landscape as they trudge through the race – occasionally, Africa’s big game animals have been known to make an appearance.

Sprint through salt mines

Some marathons can occur in very unique locations. This is definitely true for the Crystal Mine Marathon which is run every February, underground, through old salt mines. In the town of Sonderhausen, Germany, the marathon includes not only a marathon but a half marathon and a 10K. The conditions within the mine are rather moderate at 70 degrees and low humidity and the terrain does vary and can include rock, encrusted salt, steel and other matters.