Destinations Marathons

CNN’s Calendar of Exotic Marathons

I love the lists of running events that media outlets put together. All running events are subjective in different terms, but the different lists can definitely add perspective and insight to different events. Another good thing about these lists is that brings different marathons to the forefront that people may not have thought of running otherwise. There are some good races on this list that I will highlight in future posts, but here is the list for now. If you want to see the list from the source, check it out here.

Exotic Marathons


Dubai Marathon

  • Date: January 24, 2014
  • Place: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Highlights: Huge prize purse, beautiful scenery and architecture, very proud marathon city
  • Website: Dubai Marathon
  • Additional: See my review of the Dubai Marathon from 2013 here


Hong Kong Marathon

  • Date: February 23, 2014
  • Place: Hong Kong
  • Highlights: 65,000 Participants in the event! Great route through a modern city
  • Website: Hong Kong Marathon


Los Angeles Marathon

  • Date: March 9, 2014
  • Place: Los Angeles, California
  • Highlights: Many classic sights along the race route, over 1 million spectators, finish line in beautiful Santa Monica
  • Website: Los Angeles Marathon


Dead Sea Marathon

  • Date: April 14, 2014
  • Place: Dead Sea, Jordan
  • Highlights: How about running to the lowest place in the world? Not a lot of crowds, but something memorable to be sure!
  • Website: Dead Sea Marathon


Vancouver Marathon

  • Date: May 4, 2014
  • Place: Vancouver, British Colombia
  • Highlights: Vancouver is one of the beautiful cities in the Pacific Northwest area and was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Website: Vancouver Marathon


Big Five Marathon

  • Date: June 22, 2013
  • Place: Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa
  • Highlights: Running a marathon in the midst of wild animals on a game preserve? Can a nature run get any better than that?
  • Website: Big Five Marathon


Australian Outback Marathon

  • Date: July 27, 2013
  • Place: The Outback in Australia
  • Highlights: People think deserts are void of anything interesting but they are really fascinating. The Outback is one such place. In addition to getting to enjoy the beauty (and heat!) of the Outback, you can also enjoy the sights of Ayers Rock (also know as the Red Rock).
  • Website: Australian Outback Marathon


Mongolian Sunrise to Sunset Marathon

  • Date: August 7, 2013
  • Place: Hovsgol National Park, Mongolia
  • Highlights: This event is packed with beautiful views of the northern part of Mongolia. In addition to the marathon, there is also a 100KM option.
  • Website: Mongolian Sunrise to Sunset Marathon


Marathon du Medoc

  • Date: September 7, 2013
  • Place: Southwestern, France
  • Highlights: This race is becoming more popular with runners from around the world as it finds its way on different must-run lists. This is a great way to experience the beautiful French countryside.
  • Website: Marathon du Medoc


Budapest Marathon

  • Date: October 13, 2013
  • Place, Budepest, Hungary
  • Highlights: Budapest is climbing the ladder on travel hotspot lists and this marathon is a beautiful way to enjoy the city!
  • Website: Budapest Marathon


Great Barrier Reef Marathon

  • Date: November 9, 2013
  • Place: Port Douglas, Australia
  • Highlights: Again, Australia is a sweet spot for me, so this one definitely gets my interest. The marathon can be just one of your activities during your visit here, but the marathon will be one of the most scenic filled activities as you make your way around a rainforest.
  • Website: Great Barrier Reef Marathon


Honolulu Marathon

  • December 8, 2013
  • Place: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Highlights: Honolulu doesn’t need that much of a talking up to make it a place that you must visit. Of all the marathons on this list, the Honolulu Marathon can be one of the most exotic while also being one of the easiest access marathons. It doesn’t take that much more in mileage for an award than a traditional continental US award, so it is easier to redeem for.
  • Website: Honolulu Marathon

That is a pretty decent list! There are at least four marathons on it that I will be highlighting in the coming weeks to help show you how you can reach them and how you can earn the miles to do it for free!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.