Last updated: 11:44 AM ET, Fri August 14 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | August 14, 2015 11:44 AM ET

    Five Of The World's Most Epic Races

    Five Of The World's Most Epic Races

    Photo via Flickr/pennstatelive

    The Amazing Race isn't the only race that pits competitors against one another through some of the most beautiful and inspiring places on Earth. There are countless races around the world that promise physical, mental and emotional challenges of all levels. And while these races may not be for the faint of heart, they are bound to result in awesome travel memories.

    If you’re ready to take adventure travel to the next level, then here are five of the most epic races from all corners of the globe:

    The Mongol Rally

    Who’s up for a road trip? In this race, competitors have one dilapidated car and a task to journey 10,000 miles across Europe and Asia. The rally starts at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in the UK, and the finish line is in Ulan Ude in Russia, just north of the Mongolian Border. While traveling from mountains to deserts to everything in between, you'll need to navigate your way with nothing but intuition and goodwill as your guides. If this is your kind of adventure, the only requirement is that you raise 1,000 pounds for charity.



    Photo by A Cruising Couple

    One of our favorite experiences of living in Taiwan was participating in the Taipei Marathon. Running and training for the 42-kilometer race allowed us to get out and explore areas of the island we would never have otherwise.

    More than 500 marathon races are held all over the world each year. However, the original marathon comes from the story of the fabled Greek soldier Pheidippides who ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. What better way to run a marathon than where it originated? The Athens Marathon is slated for this November.



    Photo via Flickr/dma hawaii

    Just running a marathon not enough for you? How about adding a swim and some cycling into the mix? The test of pure strength that is required to be crowned the title of Ironman is no easy task. While Ironman hosts races across the globe, the World Championship Ironman Race takes place in beautiful Hawaii. The race combines a 2.7-mile swim, 112 miles of cycling and a marathon run to finish things off. It is widely considered one of the most challenging single-day sporting events in the world.

    Jungle Ultra Marathon

    River in Southern Amazon

    Photo by A Cruising Couple

    How would you like to run through 254 kilometers of Brazilian Rainforest? That's exactly what you'll get during Brazil's Jungle Marathon. The race comes in three sizes, the largest taking place over six stages and including river crossings with caiman and piranha, all while dashing through anacondas-infested trails.

    After convening in the Amazonian village of Alter do Chao, you'll need to board a boat just to get to the start of the race. The moment you step on the boat, you're completely on your own in the wild.


    Dog Sledding

    Photo by A Cruising Couple

    After mushing our own dog sled in Lapland, we can see where the Iditarod gets its appeal. Claiming to be the "Last Great Race On Earth," the Iditarod challenges mushers and their 16 dog teams to race nearly 1,000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness from Anchorage to Nome.

    Dogsledding has always been a large part of the Alaskan culture; dog sleds used to be the main way of transporting everything from delivering mail to hauling gold. The race starts in March and doesn't finish until the last sled has crossed the finish line. If you have patience and stamina, then this race is for you!

    Which one of these epic races would you be most willing to try?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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