Can you recall your geography and history class days and your teachers' insistence that you study (and perhaps memorise) the 7 Wonders of the World? Don't worry if you can't remember each of them, because we came up with a new list in 2007, so if you're looking for a grand marathon plan for the year ahead, how about putting together your dream list of events that cover all of these locations?
You don’t have to do all seven in the same year. After all, you’ve got a job. A family. A life. But your mates would love receiving postcards from the following destinations, so don’t look elsewhere for exotic ideas as you invest in athletic shoes fitted with wings like the ones the Roman god Mercury used to get everywhere he longed to go!
1. Great Wall of China Marathon
On 19th May 2018, run where warlords and legends have gone before during the Great Wall of China Marathon. Launched in 1999 and called one of the world’s most challenging, you’ll join around 2,500 competitors from 50 nations at this wonder of the world.
You’ll tackle 5,164 steps if you run the longest event, but if you’re not quite ready to go the distance, an 8.5km Fun Run and half marathon make a great first step in your 7 wonders tour.
2. The Petra Desert Marathon
The last race was on 26th August 2017, but organisers are already looking to 1st September 2018 to host what’s been referred to as the desert race of a lifetime. The terrain can be as harsh as the weather but you may not notice either once you glimpse ancient tombs, caves and mountainside carvings dotting the landscape of this Jordanian desert, a natural pick for your 7-wonders tour.
Swim in the Dead Sea and tour Petra ruins if you make the Petra Desert marathon or half-marathon your next truncation.
3. The Rio De Janeiro Marathon
This marathon gives you an opportunity see how the other half of the world competes outside your home hemisphere. Scheduled for 2nd - 3rd June 2018, the weather will be cool and the scenery stunning.
Choose between the full, half and 6km Family Run, but prepare to be dazzled no matter which category you pick because the route offers breathtaking vistas of oceans and mountains that prove Rio deserves to be on the new 7 Wonders list. Once you've conquered the challenge, reward yourself with recovery time at Rio’s world-famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches before you go home.
4. Inca Trail Marathon
"The Most Difficult Marathon in the World" has set two dates for 2018: from 2nd to 10th June and from 4th to 12th August. But neither of these marathons are "official." Confused? Don't be. Peru doesn’t sanction marathons within its natural parks system so these popular marathons are unofficial.
Staged since 1996, runners choose between 30km and 26.2km categories and run through massive ruins that include the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu (the official 7 Wonders site). Slots fill up fast for both Inca Trail dates, so if you want to compete in either, decide soon.
5. Maratona di Roma
This marathon will give you a chance to practice your Italian on some of Europe’s most competitive runners on 8th April 2018. The venue is impressive; the Maratona is staged at Rome’s wonder of the world: The Colosseum.
Sanctioned by respected federations, the 24th annual run requires participants to hold a membership in an IAAF-recognised federation to sign up for this 7th Wonder race. If that describes you, meet document deadlines by 15th March 2018, choose your distance and move this Roman adventure off your wish list and onto your list of accomplishments before summer.
6. Taj Mahal Marathon
When asked to name a wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal in India is usually picked first. The stunning palace was the site of the 2017 Taj Mahal Ultra Marathon and while no 2018 event has been announced, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the Taj when you sign up for other marathons currently listed on India’s national race schedule.
7. Egyptian Marathon
The Giza pyramids and other ancient Egyptian wonders headline that nation’s annual marathon calendar which includes the most popular ones of all: the Egyptian Marathon, 100KM Pharaonic Race and Sharm Half Marathon.
Pick one or more to finish your 7 Wonders marathons bucket list. The 25th Egyptian Marathon will be held on 12 January 2018.
Out of this world? You bet your running shoes! How about accepting our invitation to create your own 7 Wonders of the World marathon calendar?