Races are run everywhere nowadays. From small local 5km fun runs to multi-day ultra races in some of the worlds remotest places. My first ever organised race was the Jane Tomlinson Run For All 10k in Hull, way back in 2012 and from them on I’ve done a few races. I run for the fun of it, the challenge and the feeling it gives me. I don’t think I’ll ever be challenging for a top 3 finish. But, I do love it and there are many races out there that I would like to do in my lifetime, should I get the chance. So, I’ve created this race bucket list.
There’s no particular order to this list, it’s more a brain dump of the races I am aware, know a bit about and still want to do them.
The London Marathon
First, run in 1981, the London Marathon is iconic. Often, the word marathon to non-runners means the London marathon and they aren’t aware there are others in the world, let alone this country.
I’ve entered the ballot quote a few times and never been successful. Although I’ve contemplated a charity place I am not convinced I’ve got the capacity to raise the required funds and that would be an added stress I don’t need.
Actually, the crowded nature of the run is something I’d tend to shy away from. If I run a race I want to do my best and challenge myself. But, from what I’ve heard from people that have done the London Marathon, it’s very crowded and you end up dodging people and thus doesn’t make for a fast time. This is the main reason the Great North Run isn’t on this list, however, London makes it is because, well, it’s London!
I’m sure one day I will do it.
Race to the Stones
A 100km (or 62-mile) trail race along The Ridgeway, which is often described as Britain’s oldest road and runs from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire to the North Wessex Downs. And why is it called Race to the Stones? Because the finish line is next to the 5,000-year-old stone circle at Avebury.
You can opt to run the whole thing in one go or split it into two days and camp overnight with everyone else choosing that option. My preference, for the challenge, would be to go for it in one go.
In terms of this list, Race to the Stones is likely to be the first one I tick off. I’ve actually told Helen I want to run this in 2020 to celebrate my 40th birthday!
The Boston Marathon
The worlds oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon was established in 1897, only a year after the modern Olympics began. It’s iconic and that’s the reason I want to do it.
However, getting a place at the Boston Marathon is notoriously tough. 80% of the 30,000 runners are qualifiers and recently they made that qualification even tougher.
But, the Boston Marathon is still one I would love to do should I get the chance.
Marathon de Sables
You could be forgiven for thinking I am crazy for even suggesting the MdS on this list. But, even since I saw a documentary about this insane race in the Moroccan desert I have had a fascination with completing it.
The Marathon de Sables, or Sahara Marathon as it’s also known, is a 156-mile ultramarathon. It winds its way across the Sahara Desert over 6 stages. It’s roughly the equivalent of running 6 regular marathons over 6 consecutive days in some of the harshest conditions you could imagine. Running challenges don’t come much tougher than this, if at all.
The Jungle Marathon
This one came to my attention in the book of the same name by Mark Hines. The Jungle Marathon charts Mark’s journey to Brazil to undertake this transfixing yet terrifying adventure.
I’ve always had a fascination with the Amazon rain forest and Brazil in general. So, couple that with a running challenge and I’m all in!
The Jungle Marathon is tough. Very, very tough. I don’t suppose there’s an awful lot of running involved really when you are facing thick jungle, swamp, rivers and steep sided gullies. On top of that is the heat and humidity. This is all before the array of deadly creatures in the jungle that could get you; spider, snakes, and those cute pussy cats – jaguars! Like I said – it’s touhgh!
The Western States 100
I first read (yes, another from a book) about the WS100 when I read Scott Jurek’s book Eat & Run and happens to be the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race. Scott won the race 7 years running from 1999-2005 – a men’s record that still stands. This is surpassed my Ann Trason for the women though as she has won the race 14 times. That includes 10 years in a row from 1989-1998, then a further 4 years in a row from 2000-2003. That is phenomenal!
Just a few on the race bucket list, maybe more?
This is just a small list. But it’s a small list of some of the worlds most epic races. Will I do them all? Who knows, but I start with Race to the Stones in 2020 and take it from there. Right now raising our girls is the priority, not swanning off to Brazil to run through the jungle. Of course, they all cost lots of money to do, and not just the entry fees either, so some serious saving would be required.
What’s on your running bucket list?
Thanks for reading.