Running through it is one of the best ways to see the world. Almost no other endeavor provides the ground-level engagement, scenic beauty and sense of immersion in nature and the natural world as running, which is why running-based fitness adventures are fast becoming one of the more popular ways to vacation. More than ever, runners are flying around the world to run marathons, weekend-long team relays and obstacle races.
Trail racing has become an especially viable worldwide phenomenon, beckoning runners to all corners of the globe to cut courses through forests, down volcanoes, past natural wonders and straight up the side of mountains.
Recently, the crew over at Red Bull did a bunch of research leg work for us, listing the eleven best trail races on Earth.
From stunning Nordic vistas to brutal vertical kilometers, these eleven races, ranging from half-marathons to ultra runs, provide some of the world’s most intense running challenges in, through and around some of our planets most awe-inspiring locales. With most taking place over a few days, these are the perfect excuse to get your ass to the French Alps, British Columbia, Scotland and even New South Wales.
Some, like the Olympus Marathon, have historical meaning. Some, like Norway’s Tromsø Skyrace, have a sense of danger. All have an overwhelming amount of natural beauty, ensuring that keeping your eyes on the trail will be just one more obstacle between you and the finish line.