“The great thing about running is that
there’s always a running community that you can get involved in.”
Sarah Brown, elite runner
Most running festivals are multiday events of one or more races combined with all kinds of social and cultural entertainment.
The oldest form of competitive running origins from religious festivals.
The first festival is said to be held around 1829 BC, to honor the Goddess Tailtiu and to celebrate the beginning of harvest. These sports fairs were contests of strength and skill, and of competitive running, combined with social entertainment like drama, art and storytelling.
The Tailteann Games in Ireland are one of the precedents of the Olympic Games.
The ancient Olympic Games date from a religious festival in 776 BC to honor God Zeus.
According to the story, the dactyl Herakles and four of his brothers, raced at Olympia to entertain the newborn Zeus.
He crowned the victor with an olive tree wreath, which became a symbol of peace.
The other Gods that lived on Mount Olympus, also engaged in running, wrestling and jumping contests.
The modern Olympic Games started in Athens in summer 1896, with 241 athletes from 14 countries.
It has now grown into a worldwide event, with ca. 10.500 competing professionals, representing 204 nations and 35 different sports.
18 March 2018: LOCH KATRINE RUNNING FESTIVAL, UK
Originally organized in 2013 to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland.
A no-frills event with marathon, half marathon and 10K, open to runners of all abilities, with the emphasis on minimizing costs and passing the majority of the entry fee money to the charity.
The races are run along a quiet private road on the shores of Loch Katrine (starting and finishing at the Trossachs Pier) in the Trossachs. It is a challenging route, but runners will be rewarded with some excellent scenery and views.
The Triple Crown title is awarded to any runner who has completed each of the 3 races/distances in order of distance over 3 consecutive years.
Loch Katrine has an Eco Camp of lochside lodges.
More info: #LochKatrine
7 April 2018: ROTORUA FESTIVAL, NEW ZEALAND
Get out and be active in New Zealand’s great outdoors. Since its inception 15 years ago, the XTERRA Rotorua Festival has a variety of nine multisport events in and around Rotorua’s Blue Lake and Whakarewarewa Forest, amongst the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand.
People of all abilities can participate and walk or run 5.5km, 11km, 21km on trails in stunning forest scenery.
The Duathlon Long Course includes 26km MTB and 11km run.
There’s also a 26km mountain bike event for general fitness athletes with some mountain bike experience.
The Individuals Short Course is 500m swim, 12km MTB and 5.5km run for those who want a less-demanding experience. The mountain bike course has been designed so it is not technical and 90% on open dirt roads.
The Individuals Long Course includes 1km swim, 26km MTB and 11km run for multisport, triathlon, mountain biking and general fitness athletes of all abilities. The course is not for novice mountain bikers. You can enter as an individual or as a team.
More info: #RotoruaFestival
12-14 April 2018: COASTAL REDWOODS TRAILFEST, CALIFORNIA, USA
a 3-day social and sustainable celebration of meeting friends who want to share the love for trailrunning and the outdoors.
Run a race on beautiful trails, explore parks, views, beaches, restaurants, and then sit back and relax to enjoy delicious food, expert presenters and motivational speakers, live bands, bonfires, a trail running film festival, yoga clinics, gear demonstrations, and more!
More info: #CoastalRedwoodsTrailfest
14-15 April 2018: CONQUER CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Marathon is a yearly held race in the capital of Australia since 1976. It is Australia’s most historic city marathon. The festival is held on a circuit around old Parliament house and beautiful Lake Burley Griffin.
A jam-packed weekend with a range of five one-lap courses for all kind of runners, starting from 5K.
The Australian Running Festival gives participants the opportunity to go ‘beyond the marathon’ and compete in a 50K Ultra Marathon. This option is popular with ultra runners seeking a fast course, marathon runners seeking to step up to ultra race and participants training for events like the Comrades Marathon.
The Ultra Marathon has been internationally recognized again in 2018 and is the AURA Australian Championship event for 50km. Competitors from this event will be selected to represent Australia at the World Ultra Marathon Championships.
More info: #AustralianRunningFestival
15 April 2018: SAMSUNG RUNNING FESTIVAL, PARAGUAY, SOUTH-AMERICA
A running and fitness event with music and entertainment, including a 10K and 5K road race through the city of Paraguay.
More info: #RunningFestivalParaguay
17-20 May 2018: ULTRA-TRAIL AUSTRALIA
An energetic and dynamic festival style expo celebrating the world of ultra trail running and adventure.
The biggest trail running party in Australia (Katoomba) lasts 5 days and includes races for runners of all abilities. You can also learn about trails, gear, nutrition, training and race strategy during the expo workshops and presentations.
A running festival for the whole family.
There’s the amazing and challenging 100K running course with spectacular views of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. The tough and remote course with very little support, lots of stairs and an elevation gain of 4,300m, makes this race accessible for experienced trail runners only.
For less experienced ultra runners there’s a 50K race with 2,300m of elevation gain.
The Pace UTA22 with 1,200m of elevation gain over a distance of 22K is a good start for new runners who’re curious about trail and ultra running.
Looking for a shorter distance? Enjoy the 2.5K dash through Katoomba town.
The Scenic World UTA951 is a 1K vertical race on the 951 Furber Stairs. A great challenge for your quads.
And last but not least there’s the Injinji 1km-4-Kids fun run. Each kid up to 12 years can take part and receives a medal and pair of Injinji socks.
Ultra-Trail Australia is a qualifier for The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.
Finishers of the Ultra-Trail Australia will gain 5 qualifying ITRA-points for the 100K and 3 qualifying points for the 50K.
More than 15,000 visitors descend upon Katoomba each May for the spectacle of Australia’s largest trail race.
Part of the event is pre-event buffet dinner and the Trails In Motion Film Festival. This annual international film tour brings a collection of the finest trail and ultra running films to passionate audiences around the world.
More info: #UltraTrailAustralia
22 April 2018: MARATHON BLUE RIDGE, VIRGINIA, USA
The race made it onto the “World’s 15 Toughest Marathons” list by the Weather Channel, was featured in Runner’s World Magazine, Ranked #1 on “Toughest Half Marathons in the World” by halfmarathons.net and too many more accolades to list in one spot.
The race earned a 100% satisfaction rating on marathonguide.com with hundreds of five-star reviews like this:
“My favorite race year in and year out because of the organization, scenery, volunteers, and the fans. The mountains are worth the climb as the views are spectacular. The festival that follows with music, food, and drinks is very well done.”
There are several races to choose from: a double marathon, full marathon, half marathon, Star 10K and Family 1 Miler.
More info: #BlueRidgeMarathon
28 April 2018: SUNSHINE COAST TRAIL RUN FESTIVAL, AUSTRALIA
An action-packed weekend with off-road events for the entire family including a 21k, 11k, 5k and FREE Kids Mud Rats Run.
Some of the most spectacular hinterland trails in Australia take you in and around beautiful Beerwah State Forest on the shores of Ewen Maddock Dam with the majority of the running through the rainforest. It includes rocky trails, creek crossings and single track to challenge and inspire trail runners of all ages and abilities.
Whether you’re a hardcore trail runner, a weekend warrior, someone who just loves getting outdoors, there’s something for everyone.
More info: #SunshineCoastTrailRunFestival
5 May 2018: 500 FESTIVAL, INDIANA, USA
One of the nation’s largest festivals, preceding the Indianapolis 500-Mile car Race which is nationally-televised on NBC Sports Network. The Parade attracts an estimated 300,000 curbside spectators, locals and tourists.
With over 30,000 participants, The Mini is one of the US largest half-marathons, even larger than the famed Boston Marathon. The flat fast course attracts all levels of runners including Olympians Frank Shorter and Meb Keflezighi. The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon alone draws more than 20,000 participants from outside greater Indianapolis, becoming more and more of a valuable tourism and economic impact driver. By getting nearly 35,000 moving…the Mini and 5k are very likely the state’s largest health initiatives…getting people focused on their health and well-being.
The month-long celebration culminates a year of planning by 3000 volunteers guided by the 500 Festival, a not-for-profit organization.
More info: #500Festival
19-20 May 2018: GREAT WALL FESTIVAL, CHINA
If you love techno music then this festival with a 5K Run on the Great Wall might be for you.
The Great Wall was built along the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese empires and the essential trade caravans on the Silk Road against invasion.
Headliners of the festival: Nina Kraviz, Dixon, Chris Liebing; Carl Craig, Recondite.
If you look for more of a running adventure there are several other options to explore the Great Wall.
20 May 2018: BAY TO BREAKERS, CALIFORNIA, USA
Oldest consecutively run annual road race in the world
To revive the local spirit after San Francisco’s devastating earthquake and big fire in 1906, the San Francisco Bay to Breakers event was initiated in May 1912.
In 1986 it was noted as the biggest road race by Guinness Book of Records.
The race is famous for its party atmosphere with music and crazy costumes, and the Finish Line Festival.
Although the police had to arrest some drunk people the last few years, it’s still one of the most popular races.
The 12K course from the bay to ta ocean breakers on the other side of town includes the infamous Hayes Hill with a max incline of 11%.
More info: #BayToBreakers
20 May 2018: BANK OF MARIN RUNNING FESTIVAL, CALIFORNIA, USA
The Bank of Marin Running Festival will bring together runners of all ages and abilities along with a scenic, rolling hill course on the back country roads of Novato. Run the Half-Marathon or opt for the shorter but still challenging 10K or 5K. There is the Run Like a Girl with the 1 mile for girls 12 or younger. It is all about promoting healthy lifestyles, team-building, and community engagement!
With yoga sessions and attendance of Olympian guest Alysia Montano.
More info: #MarinRunningFestival
26-27 May 2018: EDINBURGH MARATHON FESTIVAL, UK
Edinburgh was voted the World’s fourth most beautiful city in 2015.
The festival with 6 individual and relay races from 5K to marathon distance has something to offer for everyone.
Voted the fastest marathon in the UK by Runner’s World in 2008. Enjoy a fantastic all-encompassing route which takes in some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks as well as offering picturesque views along the East Lothian coastline.
More info: #EdinburghMarathon
27 MAY-4 JUNE 2018: UGANDA MARATHON, AFRICA
A week-long challenge, holiday & festival of adventure, running, volunteering and making a difference.
Come and volunteer, meet the community, make life-long friends, camp under the African sky and run in the birthplace of running.
Support grassroots projects lead by local organizations and make a powerful impact on the community. Organise a sports day for local disadvantaged kids and run with Uganda in the biggest international race in East Africa.
You will stay in a beautiful woodland campsite overlooking stunning scenery with a bar, campfire and open-air mess hall. During the week you’ll party with the locals, eat the food, visit the community and experience African hospitality at its finest!
“I am struggling to find the words to describe how amazing the Uganda Marathon adventure was. Over the last week, I have met some wonderful people, volunteered at some incredible charity projects, had a life-changing adventure and raced the race of a lifetime,” Leah, Uganda International Marathon runner
The race takes place on 2 June 2018 and distances you can choose from are the full marathon, half marathon and 10K.
More info: #UgandaMarathon
DISCOVER THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE FESTIVALS ON EACH CONTINENT
Whether you like to run solo or together, in mountains or forest, race or relax…
you’ll find it in
THE WORLD ADVENTURE GUIDE!
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