An Around The World Runner's Bucket List

I started running on a whim in 2005. I figured I’d challenge myself to a 10K and then pat myself on the back and be done with it. But I sort of got hooked on running and ended up doing several 10Ks, a bunch of shorter races, and three half marathons. While I’m certainly not a running fanatic, I do enjoy it, and signing up for a race now and then keeps me going.

Most recently – also on a whim – I registered with Team Diabetes to do the run in Reykjavik next August. I’ve always done local races, both near Calgary and in Victoria before we moved, but something about a destination race (and one with a charitable element) has always appealed to me. That got me thinking about my runner’s bucket list and the top five races I’d like to do.
Rock n Roll marathon series

1. Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series

A Rock ‘n’ Roll race has been on my list for a while, because these ones just sound so fun with the music and entertainment offered along the course. The list of location options is long and I don’t have my heart set on a particular one yet. Maybe Madrid, New Orleans, or Dublin. (Ooh, I bet they’d have Irish music.) What do you think?


2. Hood to CoastHood to Coast relay

Hood to Coast is one event I hadn’t heard of until I started talking to runner friends about the runs they want to do, but this one sounds fantastic. It’s 199 miles and is run as a relay in teams of 12 runners, starting at Mt. Hood (southeast of Portland) and finishing at the Oregon coast. The logistics of this seem almost totally overwhelming, but I bet it would be an experience I wouldn’t soon forget.


3. Any of the Disney events.runDisney

We haven’t done Disney as a family yet, but I think adding a race would be a great way to take a vacation up a notch (not to mention that doing 13.1 miles would make for a good chunk of me-time… As would 26.2 if you’re brave enough to do it!). Disney could never be accused of being short on choice, and their runDisney events are no different. Want to be a princess for a day? Do the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. If something tougher-sounding is more your thing, go for the Avengers Super Heroes or Star Wars races. Or you could do the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, which features Disney villains and sounds awesome to me, but the one on my list is the Tinker Bell half. Earning my wings and a fairytale finish? Sign me up!

Great Wall marathon


4. The Great Wall Marathon

A race along the Great Wall of China? How could you not want to do this one? Of course, nothing about it looks easy, and some of it looks more like a climb than a run, but I bet this would be a cultural experience few other races can offer.


5. Nike Women’s Half MarathonNike women's half marathon

The last one on my list is one of the big ones. The Nike race appeals to me because I think it would be a true event. This is not just finding a race that sounds appealing and registering for it; you have to enter a random draw to get a chance to run with 25,000 others in a beautiful setting (this fall’s race is in San Francisco). You might also get a pretty sweet finisher’s award—this race has been known in the past to hand out Tiffany necklaces—but to me the appeal is feeling like I’ve been part of something. Plus, this event has raised more than $143 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and contributing to that would be the cherry on the Gatorade (so to speak).

Runners, what races are on your bucket list?