Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Mon March 30 2015

Marathon Tourism: How The Travel Industry is Embracing 'Runcations'

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | March 30, 2015

Marathon Tourism: How The Travel Industry is Embracing 'Runcations'

For many casual exercise enthusiasts, running a 26.2 mile marathon is a dream, but the idea of competing in a complete race on all seven continents is a craze sweeping the sport of long-distance running.

According to a report from Mike Plunkett of The Washington Post, one of the biggest sensations enveloping marathon running over the last several years are vacations that feature a long-distance race during the time away from home.

Plunkett has dubbed the trips “runcations.”

Many of the runners who venture internationally to take part in marathons have grown tired of the massive entry lists for the events in the United States and want a little more adventure in their sports.

Albatros Adventure press manager Steen Albrechtsen told The Washington Post about how the sport has evolved and why people are trying unique races more often:

“In the beginning, running was enough. The classic marathon was the ultimate goal, then came the mega-marathons, like London and New York. But when 90,000 people a year can take that challenge, it is no longer exciting and adventurous. Hence, the search for new adventures began.”

The most popular concept for these runcations is completing a marathon on all seven continents, including on Antarctica. Running a marathon on the six other continents doesn’t feel like an incredibly difficult task if you’re physically able to run the 26.2 miles and have the money to burn, but completing the same course in the desolate land of Antarctica is much more unique.

On one hand, tour operators are doing their best to give people the vacation they are looking for in exotic locations, but they are also incorporating a marathon into the itinerary in order to satisfy everyone’s requests.

From running a marathon on Antarctica to running a marathon through Disneyland, there are many vacations being offered in today’s market geared toward runners and their obsession with the 26.2 mile marker.


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