International Races to Put on Your Bucket List
Genghis Khan MTB Adventure and the Grassland MarathonJuly 1-3, 2016, Xiwuqi, Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia 1 of 13
A mountain bike race and off-road marathon rolled into one, this is the perfect opportunity to gather your active friends for an unforgettable experience. Taking place in the grasslands surrounding Xiwuqi, the marathon takes runners on sand trails over the lush green hills of Inner Mongolia.
The mountain bike race takes place in three stages over three days and follows the prints of famed Mongolian general, Genghis Khan. Runners also have the option of attending a Mongolian banquet dinner and outdoor bonfire party at the Mongolian Yurt City.
The PioneerJan. 31-Feb. 6, 2016, Southern Alps, New Zealand 2 of 13
Taking place over seven days, the Pioneer takes mountain biking to the next level. The race winds through the most remote parts of New Zealand's Southern Alps, linking together over 500 kilometers of farm tracks and double and single track trails. The course encourages riders to "find character" while pushing their comfort zones. Each day finishes in a different host town where you will find plenty of kiwi hospitality for your hard-earned miles.
Pedal to Paris 2016Sept. 1-5, 2016, London 3 of 13
The only cycling event besides the Tour de France that closes the iconic roads around the Arc de Triomphe, Pedal to Paris is one of Europe's flagship amateur cycling events. This five-day ride begins in London before winding through the beautiful English and French countrysides to the final destination: Paris. Fear not, novice cyclists. It may seem daunting, but this ride is far from the colossal Tour de France and includes speed groups for cyclists of all skill levels.
Women V Cancer Ride the Night 2016May 28-29, 2016, Windsor, United Kingdom 4 of 13
If jet lag from your trip across the Atlantic has you sleeping through the day, this ride is just for you. This women's only event is a 100km ride through some of London's most iconic landmarks, including Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. The kicker: you'll cycle through these enchanting streets at night. All proceeds from this event go toward caring for women with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or cervical cancer.
Alpine Challenge 2016June 1-5, 2016, Annecy, France 5 of 13
Ever pointed at the television screen in mid-July while watching the Tour de France, and said, "I can do that"? Well, here's your chance to tackle some of the Tour's most famous peaks. Not for the faint of heart, the Alpine Challenge is a four-stage race that includes more than 25,000 feet of climbing and is supported by lead vehicles and a professional crew. While the peloton is a mix of amateurs and professionals, we wouldn't recommend giving this a go unless you have several miles under your belt.
Bagheera fjallmaraton SalenAug. 26-27, 2016, S?len, SE, Sweden 6 of 13
Not sure what you're getting into with this race? The name translates to Bagheera Mountain Marathon, so get ready to experience trail running in a whole new way—by exploring the challenging mountain paths of Sweden. Choose from a marathon or half marathon distance and make your way across the mountain roads, trails and footbridges. Finish back at the Experium where you can take a shower and relax in the sauna.
WildrunVarying dates and locations, South Africa 7 of 13
With a name like Wildrun, this race is exactly what you might imagine it to be: three days of trail running through some of the most rugged, remote and beautiful wilderness in South Africa. Choose from three locations to get a variety of scenery, from the forest and beaches of Wildcoast, to the technical mountains of Lesotho, to the rocky desert of Richtersveld. Distances total up to 200 miles over a number of days, so this is no short jaunt, but it's one race you'll never forget.
Mongol RallyJuly 16-Sept. 10, 2016, Bristol, U.K. 8 of 13
Less of a personal endurance challenge and more of an insanely fun and semi-ridiculous adventure, the Mongol Rally is a 10,000-mile journey across Europe and Asia. You are only allowed one small car—and when we say small, we mean one so small it should be in the circus with twenty clowns inside—with an engine of 1 liter or less. You must make your way from the U.K. to a tiny Russian town of Ulan Ude, but the route you take to get there is completely up to you. Not only will you have an unforgettable trip, but race organizers also encourage you to raise money for charity along the way, so you can feel good and do good.
Laguna Phuket TriathlonNov. 2016, Phuket, Thailand 9 of 13
This late-season race is one of the most popular destination races in the triathlon scene, and there's a reason why. Even triathlon heavyweights Chris McCormack, Craig Alexander and Mark Allen have all competed here. Located in Phuket, Thailand, athletes complete a 1.8K swim through a lagoon and ocean, a 55K bike ride over hilly terrain and a 12K run on a flat course through tropical scenery. Plus, you can bring your family along for a post-race, tropical Asian vacation.
Abu Dhabi International TriathlonMarch 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE 10 of 13
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon features a tough course with dramatic views of surrounding desert. The field is often stacked with strong age-groupers and pros, so you'll be pushed to compete. Competitors will face hot, windy conditions as they swim in the sea, bike across two islands and run along the coast. With three different distances (sprint, half and full), there'' a race for everyone, and the surrounding area has great restaurants and attractions.
IRONMAN LanzaroteMay 21, 2016, Canarias, Spain 11 of 13
Considered one of the hardest IRONMAN events in the world, IRONMAN Lanzarote features the beautiful surroundings and tough conditions of the Canary Islands. The swim takes place on Playa Grande, the bike tours the island and includes 2,551 meters of climbing, and the run follows the Puerto del Carmen seafront. The area has several tourist resorts, so be sure to sit back after the race and enjoy the view.
DATEV Challenge RothJuly 17, 2016, Roth, Germany 12 of 13
With about 3,400 participants from more than 60 nations, Challenge Roth is the world's biggest long-distance triathlon. Even more impressive, over 260,000 spectators line the streets to cheer on athletes. This flat and fast course through the small German town always attracts some of the biggest names in the sport, and the family-friendly post-race festival is a can't-miss attraction. Both the men's and women's iron-distance world records were set at this race.