There’s no better way to get a glimpse of what a city has to offer than by running all the way around it. I’m running the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend, so in honor of that, here are the races on my bucket list – the marathons with the best scenery and the world’s best views!
San Francisco Marathon
The San Francisco Marathon course hits all of the city’s tourist hot spots, as well as the most lively and energetic neighborhoods that our locals haunt. Starting at The Ferry Building, it winds down the Embarcadero, past Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Golden Gate Park, Haight/Ashbury, the Mission District, and passes by AT&T Park before returning to the Ferry Building.
The New York City Marathon
Despite being iconic in it’s own right, if you’ve never seen NYC, there’s no better way to kick off a trip than by running the New York City Marathon. You’ll run through Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Long Island before crossing the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan. The finale? A scenic finish in iconic Central Park.
Photo credit: http://bsim.org/
Big Sur International Marathon
Be one with nature with the Big Sur International Marathon. The course winds through redwoods, alongside ranches, crosses the iconic Bixby Bridge, and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Be part of history by running the course that Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens when he brought news of victory at the Battle of Marathon – the famous run that gave the marathon its name! The beauty of running through Greece in the Athens Marathon is just an added bonus.
The Honolulu Marathon
If you’re looking for tropical beach views, look no further than the Honolulu Marathon! Starting at Ala Moana Beach Park, this course winds through 26.2 miles of coastline, past resorts, Honolulu Harbor, and Waikiki.
Photo credit: Jungfrau Marathon via Flickr
Imagine yourself conquering the Swiss Alps on foot. Runners of the Jungfrau Marathon in Interlaken, Switzerland, can do just that. Just looking at the elevation map will make you faint on the spot, but those who hike their way to the finish line are rewarded with mountaintop views and alphorn serenades.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon
Ready to up the ante? Try a nighttime run down the iconic Las Vegas Strip. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon closes down the Strip for this energy-packed event, featuring the bright Vegas lights and live music to keep you going for 26.2 miles.
Great Wall Marathon
If you’re ready for a challenge, look no further than the Great Wall Marathon at the Great Wall of China. Experience insane elevation climbs as you hike the wall, and some of the most incredible views of your life – all while becoming one with this wonder of the world.
Which races are on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!