Trade in your walking shoes for some trainers next time you go see one of the world's most awesome wonders. Great adventures give you a lot to remember, but the greatest give you something to train for.
Adventure marathons and ultra marathons aren't just for lifelong runners; they're for anyone looking to put a challenge back into places that have become all too easy to see. Why walk the Inca Trail when you can run it? Who needs a walking safari when you can marathon right though one. And what's the big deal about hiking one of the most dangerous mountain trails in the world when there's a race that dashes right up it?
The running events that follow all have one thing in common — they reconfigure the stage for the world's most amazing destinations from being mere adventures, into the footraces of a lifetime. You don't have to be a professional runner to enter, though some here would be challenging to the most adept athlete. You just need to channel the tireless spirit of Shackleton, a good pair of sneakers and, as Christopher McDougall writes in Born to Run, "you'd better be fearless."
Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon, Turkey
Who: 120 runners
When: July 25, 2015
Why it's unique: This race turns sight-seeing into a test of survival as you run though Cappadocia, Turkey's adventure wonderland of alien rock formations, sun drenched canyons, and ancient cave dwellings, on a six-day, 150-mile marathon that passes though must-see attractions like Pigeon Valley, Damsa Lake, Ihlara Valley, and Göreme Valley, camping the entire length of the way. [runfirecappadocia.com]