Extreme Travel

8 marathons worth a trip

Taking a big trip doesn't have to mean returning home with jeans that won't button. Sign up for a destination marathon (or a half), and you'll burn plenty of calories—and feel zero guilt when you eat them all back after crossing the finish line. The bragging rights don't hurt, either.

  • 1. Reykjavik Marathon, Reykjavik, Iceland

    Reykjavik Marathon, Reykjavik, Iceland

    Íþróttabandalag Reykjavíkur

    Runners get their fill of gorgeous scenery in this small race (only about 1,000 people run each year). The course starts in downtown Reykjavik before passing the ocean, the Esja mountain range, and the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Bonus: Temps that time of year average about 58 degrees, ideal marathoning weather.

  • 2. Antarctic Ice Marathon, Antarctica

    Antarctic Ice Marathon, Antarctica

    Antarctic Ice Marathon

    In addition to run-of-the-mill marathon woes (cramping muscles, blistering feet), runners in the annual Ice Marathon suffer through katabatic winds and temperatures dipping below zero degrees. At least you'll see penguins?

  • 3. Marathon des Sables, Morocco

    Marathon des Sables, Morocco

    Marathon des Sables

    Your mission: survive a six-stage trek across the Sahara desert in southern Morocco, where the temperature shoots up to 100 degrees by midday and sandstorms are a real threat. Oh, and you'll need to carry all of your food and supplies for the entire journey.

  • 4. Carlsbad Marathon, Carlsbad, California

    Carlsbad Marathon, Carlsbad, California

    Carlsbad Marathon

    If you can stand the hills, you'll be rewarded with 15 miles along the Pacific Coast—and average temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees.

    See more marathons at Conde Nast Traveler

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