Run in the World’s Wackiest and Most Unusual Marathons

Marathoners who desire to race in such far-flung places as Petra and Myanmar, and to run and recreate in France — with wine in hand, have the opportunity to do so with ease through UK-based Sports Tours International.

Sports Tours International organizes entry fees and accommodation packages for off-the-beaten path, mainstream and sometimes downright quirky international running events. The company assists with airport transfers, transport to and from race sites for both competitors and their companions, accommodations and more. Here are a few of the company’s favorites when it comes to exotic and unusual.

Marathon du Mont Blanc, France

July 1, 2018 Marathon du Mont Blanc, France takes place when the snow melts in Chamonix, ski capital of France and running mecca. Competitors and their guests may obtain a three or four-night vacation package to enjoy the events beginning June 29. With the travel package comes guaranteed entry into the 42km, Cross (23km), 90 km and the Vertical km events. 2018 entries are closed; however, interested runners can sign up to receive information regarding the 2019 event.

Petra Desert Marathon, Jordan

September 1, 2018 Petra Desert Marathon, Jordan is a four-night program (beginning Aug. 30) including a marathon or half-marathon in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This challenging desert marathon winds through Jordan’s red sandstone landscape, including past ancient monasteries carved into the mountains. Extras in this tour package are a starlit celebration dinner and awards ceremony, a guided walking tour of Petra, visa assistance, services of an English-speaking guide, entry pass for three days in Petra, a dip in the Red Sea and some meals. A tour of landmarks (including Bedouin music and lore), a cooking class and a visit to a spa or Turkish bath are optional.

Medoc Marathon, France

September 8, 2018 Medoc Marathon, France is a mix of costumed runners hoofing it through the vineyards, cheered on by equally colorful spectators in the wings. This year’s theme is “Amusement Park.” The field accommodates 8,500 runners. For this wackiest and booziest marathon, Sports Tours International offers two, three and four-night packages. Guests lodge in a 19th century mansion and explore the city of Bordeaux.

Bagan Temple Marathon, Myanmar

November 24, 2018 Bagan Temple Marathon, Myanmar includes running a full or half marathon or 10k across a flood plain surrounded by the ghostly stupas of an ancient civilization. Packages for six and eight days here also include guided tours of Yangon and Bagan, internal flights (round trip) to Bagan, and (8-day only) flight to Mandalay and (8-day only) day cruise from Mandalay to Bagan on the Irrawaddy River. Optional tours are offered.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra and Half Marathon, South Africa

April 20, 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans (South Africa) Ultra (56km) and Half Marathon (21km) qualifies as the world’s most beautiful marathon as it courses out of Cape Town on the Cape peninsula between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. A world class Expo, International Friendship Run, Fun Runs and Trail Runs complete the weekend of running activities for a maximum field of 26,000 athletes.

Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, Nepal

May 15-June 3, 2019 Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, Nepal, the 17th annual, is the world’s highest marathon, stretching from Everest Basecamp to Namche Bazaar. This adventure, first held for locals in 2003, has an international reputation with runners from over 20 nations. A three-week commitment through Sports Tours International includes four nights in Kathmandu, a 14-day trek to the Everest Basecamp where runners acclimatize, accompanied by expert local guides and a full support crew including doctors. The downhill route leads through rough tracks and trails, traveling through the homeland of the Sherpa people.

Great Wall Marathon, China

May 18, 2019 Great Wall (China) Marathon dating to 1998 is now one of the most popular adventure marathons, with runners conquering 5,164 steps on the Great Wall. Sport Tours International offers guaranteed entry to a choice of three events: marathon, half marathon or 8.5k fun run. This marathon takes place on a highly varied course including a narrow “goat” trail, small villages and, of course, the Great Wall itself.

Comrades Ultra Marathon, South Africa

June 9, 2019 Comrades (South Africa) Marathon 2019 is the world’s largest and oldest ultra marathon (56 miles). Sports Tours International plans the lodging and assistance for runners and companions over four days at the KwaZulu-Naral Province of South Africa between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The direction of the race changes every year. Finishing this marathon is a major achievement for even a highly accomplished runner.

Sports Tours International recommends booking race packages early. For more information, available packages, space availability and reservations please visit online: www.sportstoursinternational.com, email: sales@sportstoursinternational.co.uk, or call: (+44) 161 703 8161.

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