I started running to lose weight. I ran to burn calories, to be able to eat a little more with less guilt and to feel better about myself. When I accomplished that, I started running toward finish lines. I ran a 5K and that led to running a 10K which inspired me to run a half marathon. In time, I found myself toeing the line at a number of marathons. Every finish line was a feather in my confidence cap. Life was good. I was healthier, happier, and I had all the medals to prove it.
At some point, I ran my fastest race time. I didn't know it then, but I do now. And having that clarity has opened a whole new chapter in my life. My running life list is chock-full of hidden gems and faraway places. I run to connect, to explore and to evolve. And with every adventure, running continues to unveil life lessons. Here are three adventures guaranteed to intrigue, inspire, and evolve your running life.
Run Through Untraveled Lands
The Havana Marathon November
For the first time in history, American marathoners can legally run a marathon in Cuba. Several hundred runners will be crossing the border to toe the line in the race, connect with the community and discover the mysteries of the Cuban culture.
More: 11 Reasons to Run the Havana Marathon
Run Through Lost Cities
The Inca Trail Marathon
Strap on your expedition hat tight for this 26-mile trail adventure. It is ranked in the top five treks in the world and runs from Cusco up into beautiful mountain scenery passing through Inca ruins, lush loud-forest and subtropical jungle with a finish line that can't be beaten: Machu Picchu, the mysterious Lost City of the Incas. You won't see mile markers on this marathon, but you will pass by a memorable mix of ruins, tunnels and Inca paving stones.
Run Through the Rockies
GORE-TEX TransRockies Run
Camp, run, and become an ultrarunner during three nights at this camp-like, 60-mile staged race that runs through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. You'll run 14 to 24 miles each day through scenic mountain trails, and recover every night singing songs in front of the fire. You'll receive gold star treatment from the TransRockies staff so all you have to focus on is running and taking in the beauty. They prepare healthy meals, warm showers, set up, and transport your tent to each of the three base camps. This is a must-do event for anyone who loves running off the beaten path.
More: 11 Keys for a Successful Marathon
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