15 Beautiful Marathons to Cross Off Your Running Bucket List

POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock
POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock

If your idea of the perfect vacation happens only after you log hours of running, allow us to help you plan your next destination race. These beautiful, scenic courses are motivation enough to get training — or, if you've already signed up for your own race, may just be the perfect way to daydream through your next long run. Fuel your runner's wanderlust with these picturesque courses.


Big Five Marathon

Where: South Africa

When: June

Why you should go: The challenging Big Five course winds its way through beautiful African scenery — there's nothing between you and wildlife during your run.

Register here.


Big Sur International Marathon

Where: Big Sur, CA

When: April

Why you should go: The Big Sur International Marathon is known as one of the most beautiful courses in the world — one look at this winding road and it's not hard to see why.

Register here.


Marathon Bahamas

Where: Nassau, Bahamas

When: January

Why you should go: The flat course keeps you close to the ocean, and there's nothing like a warm-weather runcation in the middle of Winter.

Register here.


Boston Marathon

Where: Boston

When: April

Why you should go: The historic marathon winds its way through classic American towns from Hopkinton to Boston, but it's the thousands of spectators who line the streets that are the real draw.

Find out how to register here.


Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Where: Instanbul, Turkey

When: November

Why you should sign up: When else can you run from Asia to Europe in one go? Runners cross the Bosphorus Bridge during the marathon, which connects Istanbul's European and Asian sides.

Register here.


Great Ocean Road Marathon

Where: Lorne, Australia

When: May

Why you should go: In Victoria, Australia's Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal roads in the world.

Register here.


Great Wall Marathon

Where: Great Wall, Tianjin Province, China

When: May

Why you should go: Go for the challenge, the view, and the bragging rights.

Register here.


Honolulu Marathon

Where: Honolulu

When: December

Why you should go: Because afterward you can spend your hard-earned R&R on a Hawaiian beach, of course.

Register here.


Jungfrau Marathon

Where: Interlaken, Switzerland

When: September

Why you should go: Regular race courses not cutting it for you anymore? This steep race winds its way around the famous Swiss Alps.

Register here.


Virgin Money London Marathon

Where: London

When: April

Why you should go: Besides being able to run on and through historic sights, the London Marathon is one of the largest charity fundraising events in the world, making for a fun, celebratory atmosphere.

Find out how to register here.


TCS New York City Marathon

Where: New York City

When: November

Why you should go: The course goes through each of New York City's five boroughs so you can see many of the city's iconic sights.

Find out how to register here.


Schneider Electric Paris Marathon

Where: Paris

When: September
Why you should go: The course passes by some of the most beautiful and famous landmarks in the world, like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs Elysées.

Register here.


Reykjavik Marathon

Where: Reykjavik, Iceland

When: August

Why you should go: The crisp air and flat course make for ideal running conditions, and the race coincides with the popular Icelandic national event called Culture Night, held in the capital every year.

Register here.


Tokyo Marathon

Where: Tokyo

When: February

Why you should go: Traveling through 26 miles of Tokyo by foot is one of the best ways to take in many of its unique, densely populated neighborhoods.

Register here.


Venice Marathon

Where: Venice

When: October

Why you should go: If you want a flat, fast, and scenic route, this is your race.

Register here.