' Runner's Wishlist 3: Top 10 Destination Races | Adventures with FitNyx

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Runner's Wishlist 3: Top 10 Destination Races

This past weekend, Disney ran their first ever Star Wars race weekend.  My Instagram feed was blowing up with pictures of costumes and excitement, and I spent about 90% of my Sunday feeling super jealous.  I know it'll be difficult to

Most of these locations are known for holding full marathons - I can't yet foresee myself running actual marathons, but many of these destinations seem to have other distance options from 5k to half marathon, so I'm sure I could find something to suit my abilities.  Here's a list of some of the top places in the world I'd like to run, because wishful thinking never hurt anyone...

Walt Disney World, Florida USA
Yup, I'm a sucker for Disney, just like so many others.  But that's why the RunDisney franchise has so much success - they know we were raised on classic animations, and that we'll eat it all up even if they serve it to us raw.  Most specifically, I'm super excited about the new Rebel Challenge: a 10k on Saturday, followed by a half marathon on Sunday.  I know I'm up for those distances, and it would be a great excuse to get the nerdy hubby involved, because Star Wars.

***Update!  Apparently I didn't pay attention and this race is at Disney LAND in California.  I'm down either way, Cali is awesome too!***

Clearly they all know to let the Wookie win.

Machu Pichu, Peru
How awesome would it be to run the Inca Trail and see one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in the world while you're at it?  I've had a soft spot in my heart for Machu Pichu for decades, and this would be somewhat of a dream come true.  Unfortunately, the race options are marathon or 30k - but I guess that 30k wouldn't be TOO bad if I can manage half marathons...  At the very least, I'd push myself just for the chance to visit Peru!

The Andes are breathtaking - but the trail can be dangerous.

Great Wall, China
I've been to the Great Wall, but I've never run it.  In fact, I took so long walking the section I visited that my bus almost returned to Beijing without me!  I was determined to make the most of the trip, since I did not anticipate a return trip in the near future.  Now that I know they hold a half marathon along the Wall, I'm moving "return to China" higher up on my to-do list.  Plus, bonus - I already speak the language!  Sorta.  I'm out of practice...

Can't WAIT to go back!

London, England UK
Maybe it's the Dr Who fan in me, but I really want to get to London some day.  There's not much of a specific appeal to which I could point, though the British Museum's vast collection of interesting treasures certainly ranks high on my list of "things I want to see"; maybe it has something to do with feeling like this is a cool city I might actually be able to convince my husband to visit with me (he's not a huge travel fan).  Something like the Royal Parks Half Marathon might be just right for someone like me.

Gorgeous.  Even better when David Tennant is running around, eh?

Rome, Italy
I'm an archaeologist and an art historian who specializes in Central Asian art - which is heavily influenced by Greco-Roman styles.  OF COURSE I want to visit Rome, and see all the art and architecture I spent years studying!  A Rome-Ostia half marathon?  I'm essentially already there.  At least in spirit.  The body will catch up someday!

An archaeologist's vision of heaven.

Athens, Greece
I might as well just copy the Rome paragraph - but I'd have to add the very personal reason I've always had such a fascination with Greek mythology: my name.  Nyx was a Greek goddess, somewhat obscure to be sure, but with a large cult following.  She has an entire page in Hesiod's Theogony describing all the divine beings she brought into the world, including Brightness, Friendship, Dreams, and... a bunch of other less positive-sounding things that I shall choose to exclude to save my reputation, lest I be associated too closely with my namesake!  As far as running is concerned, the Poseidonios Half Marathon would be an ideal choice to start, but there are so many other areas of Greece that host enticing race events, I'm not entirely sure I could pick my favorite!

Plus it's like, where the marathon was invented, or something...

Bangkok, Thailand
As a scholar of Buddhism, I've had a lot of time to learn about Thailand and the breathtaking art produced in its religious community.  To witness these treasures firsthand at the Bangkok races would be an honor.  Plus, it's the perfect excuse to listen to One Night in Bangkok on repeat - not than anyone really needs a reason to play such a fun song...

So lavish and bright...  Seriously stunning artwork and architecture.

Cayman Islands, UK territory
Do I really have to elaborate on this one?  Have you SEEN the pictures of this place?  In fact, why bother waiting for a running excuse, just take me there already!

Should I even bother with words?

Niagara Falls, Canada/US
I chose to end the list on my most likely to happen destination to make me feel better about all the amazing places I can't afford to visit (yet, let's hope).  My family regularly took Niagara Falls vacations, and my parents still drive up for a long weekend when they feel the urge.  I'm sure it would be easy to convince my dad to run one of the shorter distance races with me in the next couple years.  I might even get my husband out there, with minimal objections!

So magical!  And close enough to be practical!

Anytown, USA
That's right, I'm being vague.  That's because I want to run in EVERY state in our great nation!  So far I've raced in Illinois and Ohio - this year I will definitely add Wisconsin, Run Disney will get me Florida, and we'll go from there!  Have a great race in your area that you recommend?  I'll add it to the list!

Where in the world have you run?  Do you have a favorite destination race?  Is there one place you MUST run before you retire your shoes?  Is there ANY chance you want to sponsor me on a trip to one of these amazing places?!  Please?  Pretty please?!?!


  1. I love One Night in Bangkok! LOL! You are right? who needs an excuse?! I didn't know there was a half Marathon Great Wall option. Intriguing!

  2. How awesome would that be to run the Great Wall of China? I live not too far from Niagara Falls and would definitely love to take a trip and run there too- probably on the Canadian side though :)

    1. Pick a race in Niagara and I'll come run with you!

  3. Would be awesome to run the Great Wall, I've walked it as well, but never run it!

    1. Apparently it's kinda dangerous, because there is no 13+ mile section of wall that is fully reconstructed. Big sections are crumbling, and a bunch of people running on it probably doesn't help... I'm really big into preservation of history but I think this is one case where I'd let the fitness get the better of me!

  4. The Seven Mile Bridge run in the Keys, Florida. they say it sells out two years in advance. The Earnest Hemingway 5k, on Key West in July .A hot one. The New Orleans half in November.

    1. I vacationed in the Keys this past summer and heard about those! It'd be a great run down the causeway! I missed the Hemingway by one week :(

      NOLA is a great place to visit for ANYthing :D

  5. Those all look like amazing places to run! Im going to have to start looking into some destination races!

    1. We can road trip together if you find some good ones :D

  6. I hate to break it to you but the Rebel Challenge is actually at Disneyland in California. I'm looking at doing it next year myself. I just finished the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld and it was pretty amazing.

    1. For real?! Either way, I'm down - I just can't believe I missed that! I'd have been hanging around in FL in my costume, very confused...

  7. Great list! I'm a sucker for runDisney races. Can't wait to be able to run another!

  8. I haven't run any destination races, but I did love running outside when I was in Puerto Rico!