World Road Races
Why not broaden your horizons and run a road race in another country? Obviously it is impossible to list every single road race in the world, but below is a selection of races that prove to be popular with UK runners and users of this website, and that feature special deals and arrangements for athletes who like to travel.
Race: Run Barbados Series
Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
What it is: The Run Barbados Series takes place over a weekend (from Friday
to Saturday) and involves, in chronological order: a fun run mile, a 5km race,
a 10km race, a marathon, a marathon relay, a half marathon, and a 5km walk for
charity. Each of the events features prize money for the first 3 male and female international,
Barbadian and Caribbean runners, as well as a medal for everyone who competes. There
is also a chance to win a special medal for competing in 3 events during the weekend.
With a trademark Caribbean party after each event and some of the most beautiful
scenery you will ever see, the Run Barbados series is definitely one event that should be
tried out by any athlete.
Recommended for: Runners of all abilities.
Race: BMW Berlin Marathon
Location: Berlin, Germany
What it is: Traditionally taking place on the last weekend of September, the Berlin Marathon is one of the most popular city marathons in the world - easily attracting over 30,000 competitors each year since 2005. Though more or less every major world city will have its own marathon, the German capital is particularly renowned in that the most marathon world records have been set on its course's flat, even surface. The marathon begins and ends near the Brandenburg Gate, and the course passes through many of the 20th Century's most historic and notable locations.
Recommended for: Marathon runners who want to achieve a fast time.
Race: Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
What it is: With the Middle East growing in prosperity and influence in the 21st
Century, it wouldn't seem right not to include the marathon of one of the world's
most amazing cities. Held in January and beginning at 6.30am to avoid the extreme heat,
the marathon starts and ends at the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and
runs alongside much of the city's financial sector and the seafront. As well as the
individual competition, there are prizes on offer for the best 'corporate' and 'normal' team,
and the race program includes a 4km fun run and 10km road race as well as the
main marathon event. Similarly to the Berlin Marathon, the race features virtually no inclines,
making it a good choice for anyone who wants a good chance at running a Personal Best.
Recommended for: Those who want to achieve a fast time and see one of the most influential cities in the world.
Race: Great Ethiopian Run
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
What it is: Attracting well over 30,000 competitors in 2010, the Great Ethiopian Run is a very popular international 10k run that takes place in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. A wide range of abilities compete every year, with some of the world's best long-distance runners competing on the same course as thousands of fun runners (albeit separated to not get caught in the crowds). As with many international competitions, medals are handed out to everyone who completes the 10k, and a free T-Shirt (which must be worn during the race) is given out as part of the registration pack. Fun runners can also take part in the costume contest, with the most original costume winning a prize. Serious runners may find that good results are hard to come by, however, as Addis Ababa has an altitude of 8000ft, which is not conducive towards fast times.
Recommended for: Runners who are acclimatised to high-altitude running, or who want to try it out in a fun environment.
Race: Midnight Sun Marathon
Location: Tromso, Norway
What it is: Named for its location in a region of Scandinavia where the sun can go months without setting, the Midnight Sun Marathon takes place in Tromso, northern Norway, every year in June. As the name suggests, it takes place late in the evening - but in broad daylight! Runners from 63 countries participated in the event - which includes a half-marathon, Adidas 10k race, mini-marathon and a children's race as well as the marathon itself - in 2011, and it is always a popular competition with its unique characteristic and beautiful surroundings. The race itself starts and finishes in the city centre, and features two crossings of the 1km-long Tromso Bridge throughout the duration of the run.
Recommended for: Runners of all abilities who want to experience a natural phenomenon never seen in the UK.
Race: Comrades Marathon
Location: Durban or Pietermartizburg, South Africa
What it is:Put simply, the Comrades Marathon is the oldest and largest 'ultramarathon' race, taking place on a 90km route between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa - the starting point alternates between the two cities each year. Athletes have 12 hours to complete the marathon, and there are a number of cut-off points along the route that competitors have to reach by a certain time or be forced to drop out. Medals are awarded to everyone who completes the course in less than 12 hours - varying from gold to copper depending on the result. Of course, even more preparation and caution should be taken than for everyday marathons, so potential competitors should be certain that they can run 90km without harming themselves.
Recommended for: Extremely fit runners who are somehow tired of marathons!