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25 Destination Marathons That Are Totally Worth Training For

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Werk for that vacation.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Where: Orlando, FL When: Early January Course Info: Great for beginners, though it gets a little hot. Entry Fee: $175-205 Why it’s worth it: Run the park ~where dreams come true~! You get to go through all four parks, and all your favorite characters are spread along the race, cheering you on and posing for pictures. Runners agree that if you love you some Disney, this is a bucket list MUST.

Honolulu Marathon

A lot of energy after 26.2 #honolumarathon #hawaii #finishline #kapiolani park #Honolulu #happy #marathon #running

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Where: Honolulu, HI When: Second weekend in December Course Info: Beginner-friendly, flat and pretty hot, but plenty of water! Entry Fee: $185 Why it’s worth it: You get to run around Hawaii! There’s volcanos and sun and leis and plenty of water to keep your cool. And there’s so many international runners from Asia that the race has been deemed the “Little Tokyo” Marathon.

Jungfrau Marathon

Jungfraumarathon 2014 #jungfraumarathon #goodlife

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Where: Interlaken, Switzerland When: Mid-September Course Info: Fairly advanced; you’re running THE ALPS. Entry Fee: $165 Why it’s worth it: Sure you’ve mastered hills, but how about mountains? This breathtakingly beautiful race will take you through the most famous peaks in the Swiss Alps. And seriously, runners can’t stop raving about the scenery.

Marathon du Medoc

Marathon du Medoc 2014 Philippe Croizon and tram #marathondumedoc #marathonmedoc #selfiemedoc30

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Where: Pauillac, Bordeaux, France When: Beginning of September Course Info: Beginner-friendly and fun! Runners make frequent stops for wine and snacks. Entry Fee: $88-177 (Depends on how many festivities you want to attend.) Why it’s worth it: Not only do you run through gorgeous vineyards, but there’s WINE at every aid station! Every year has a theme too, so get ready for some impressive costumes.

Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the inaugural @airnz #QueenstownMarathon this weekend! A fabulous event despite the weather!

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Where: Arrowtown, New Zealand When: Mid-November Course Info: Super chill, mostly flat course, with a few hills to keep it interesting. Entry Fee: $149 Why it’s worth it: Besides the beauty, this is a pretty new race, so you get to feel like a real trailblazer. And since it’s New Zealand, you can pretend you’re a frolicking hobbit!

Patagonian International Marathon

Where: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile When: End of September Course Info: Intermediate; pretty hilly terrain and limited number of runners. Entry Fee: $110-170 Why it’s worth it: The stunning views of waterfalls and rolling mountains will make you feel like you’re running in a postcard. And for each of the 1,000 runners who finish, the race plants a tree as part of the Corre y Reforesta Campaign.

Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon

Amazing shot of #FredsTeam runner, Lynn, with baby Benjamin, after the #CaymanIslandsMarathon!

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Where: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands When: First week of December Course Info: It’s flat but very hot, starts at 5 A.M., and consists of two loops. Entry Fee: $75-120 Why it’s worth it: Two words: Cayman. Islands. You get to relax on the beach when you’ve finished! And folks love that they announce every runner’s names as they finish.

The Great Wall Marathon

#greatwallmarathon #countdown

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Where: Beijing, China When: The third Saturday in May. Course Info: Pretty advanced; that’s a lot of steps. Entry Fee: $1,150 for a seven-day package. Why it’s worth it: You get to run the Great Wall of China! Folks have called this the toughest and “most unbelievable marathon experience” they’ve ever had.

Niagara Falls International Marathon

Where: Buffalo, NY to Ontario, Canada When: Mid-October Course Info: Flat and scenic, but tends to be chilly. Entry Fee: $100-125 Why it’s worth it: You get to run from one country to another: How many times will you do that in your life? Runners have been impressed with the organization, the swag, and general beauty of the course.

Athens Authentic Marathon

Where: Athens, Greece When: First week of November Course Info: Beginner-friendly and flat, though the weather is slightly humid. Entry Fee: $106 Why it’s worth it: You get to run the OG of marathons: It’s the route that the legendary Greek messenger Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. And runner’s rave about the fans: “The greek people love their race and are so proud of anyone participating.

Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon start! #tokyomarathon #tomtomrunners #teamspartansitalia

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Where: Tokyo, Japan When: Mid-February Course Info: Flat and fast with super manageable hills. Entry Fee: $107 Why it’s worth it: Runners say this is one of the friendliest races out there, and what a way to see the city. One runner raves that “the crowds were amazing the whole route!

Kilimanjaro Marathon

Where: Mkomazi National Park, Tanzania When: End of February Course Info: Intermediate; the first 10k are tough, but the terrain evens out after that. Entry Fee: $348 for a four-day package Why it’s worth it: No, don’t actually climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but you get to run among its lush, green surroundings and be cheered on by enthusiastic of locals on your downhill to the finish. Said one runner: “Watching the sun start to touch the snowy peak of Mt Kili…is a memory I will treasure forever.”

Big Sur International Marathon

Where: Monterey, CA When: Third weekend of April Course Info: Intermediate to advanced; there’s lots of rolling hills and elite runners. Entry Fee: $150 Why it’s worth it: This runner sums it up pretty well: “You run through the redwoods, then rolling green hills with cows, then have gorgeous ocean views, then more rolling hills.” Also, the weather is near-perfect every year.

Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel

Where: Normandy, France When: End of May Course Info: Beginner-friendly, flat, and nice sea-breezes. Entry Fee: $50-60 Why it’s worth it: If you like to visualize your goals, this race is for you. You can see the gorgeous abbey on Mont Saint-Michel island ahead of you the whole 26 miles through cute villages and countryside.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Where: Chicago, IL When: Early October Course Info: Very beginner-friendly; super flat, easy course and tons of fans! Entry Fee: $150 Why it’s worth it: Runner’s come back year after year for the incredible fans. One runner says that “the spectators make it a kind of carnival with each neighborhood being different.”

Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

Where: Cusco, Peru When: Mid-June or Early August Course Info: Best for experienced trail runners. Entry Fee: $2,995 for nine-day package Why it’s worth it: This marathon is actually part of a greater, week-long adventure travel plan including guided tours and exploration leading up to the race along the original pilgrimage trail that leads into the capital of the Inca Empire. No spectators, no bibs: Just running.

Midnight Sun Marathon

Where: Tromsø, Norway When: Mid-June Course Info: Beginner to intermediate; gently rolling hills, but there’s a lot of them. Entry Fee: $121 Why it’s worth it: Since during the summer, the sun never sets in Norway, so you don’t start running until 10:30 PM, which is pretty wild. Runners love the views and the crowds, and keep coming back year after year.

The New York City Marathon

Where: New York, NY When: First week of November Course Info: Beginner-friendly, rolling hills as you go through all five boroughs. Entry Fee: $255 Why it’s worth it: It’s THE biggest race in the world, and the whole city turns out to cheer you on! Plus you may ~run into~ a few celebrities on your way to the finish.

Great Ocean Road Marathon

Where: Victoria, Australia When: Mid-May Course Info: Intermediate; pretty hilly and not a lot of spectators to cheer you on. Entry Fee: $125 Why it’s worth it: A gorgeous road race along Australia’s most beautiful highway, runners say “the ocean views [are] to die for.” Many even take a dip in the ocean as a post-race reward!

Reykjavik Marathon

During today's #halfmarathon in #Reykjavik 🏃

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Where: Reykjavik, Iceland When: End of August Course Info: Beginner-friendly; not entirely flat but nothing crazy Entry Fee: $62-90 Why it’s worth it: The crisp air and flat course make for ideal running conditions, and you get to recover in some the luxurious natural hot springs. It also coincides with the city’s annual Cultural Night, so there’s lots of street vendors, food, and even fireworks!

Virgin Money London Marathon

Superhumans #londonmarathon #inspirational #wheelchairracers #peloton

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Where: London, England When: Mid-April Course Info: Beginner-friendly, pretty flat city course. Entry Fee: $37 Why it’s worth it: This race is known for crazy costumes, so prepare to be entertained. One runner said “I would give spectators 6 out of 5 if I could.” And you get to see some iconic British landmarks along the way!

Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon

#EverestMarathon start. Stunna shades required #altitudewithattitude #snowblind

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Where: Kathmandu, Nepal When: End of May Course Info: Super advanced; requires training at high elevations and experience with steep trails. Entry Fee: $2,500 for a two-week package Why it’s worth it: Starting at Everest Base Camp, this marathon is actually mostly downhill. The only catch is the 10 day trek to base camp beforehand. But to say you raced across Mount Everest? Totally worth it.

Boston Marathon

Pro wheelers ready to go! #tatyanamcfadden @bostonmarathon #nyrr

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Where: Boston, MA When: Third Monday in April Course Info: Intermediate to advanced; city course with a notorious hill, and you gotta qualify. Entry Fee: $175 Why it’s worth it: As the oldest, most prestigious marathon in America, this race is on pretty much every runner’s bucket list. If that’s not enough, the town pride and amazing fans (aka drunk college kids) make this one more than worth it.

Sparkasse Marathon

Where: Lindau, Germany When: First week of October Course Info: Beginner-friendly, super flat road race. Entry Fee: $53-70 Why it’s worth it: Here’s the chance to check THREE countries off your list: the race starts in Germany, goes through Austria, veers into Switzerland, and finishes back in Austria. And if you decide to head back to Germany after, you’ve got Oktoberfest waiting for you!

The Big Five Marathon

Big Five Marathon in Africa #bigfive #bigfivemarathon #run #race #running #lauf #landscape #nature #natur

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Where: Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa When: End of June Course Info: Intermediate to advanced; dusty terrain and hot, with some killer hills. Entry Fee: $1,475 for a six-day package Why it’s worth it: This race is named for the five animals’ habitats you’ll be running through: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. It’s all a pretty unique, challenging experience: One runner said, “I felt like I had not only completed another marathon but that I had really acheived something.”