When you ask a runner to name her dream race, you often hear a listing of the old guard–Boston, New York, Chicago. Don’t get us wrong, they’re all fantastic marathons—but it’s a wide world out there, so why not dream outside the box?
For runners who live for the journey more than the destination, there are thousands of races around the globe rich with culture. We polled Women’s Running’s editors, asked our readers and stalked message boards to narrow down our list to 10 ridiculously rad races, sure to satisfy your running wanderlust. Go forth and be adventurous. No need to thank us, but a postcard would be nice!
INCA TRAIL MARATHON
If you’ve ever considered hiking the epic ruins of Machu Picchu, why not run them instead? Racers travel the same footpath used by the Incas thousands of years ago. On race day, the route is outfitted with modern comforts like aid stations stocked with fresh water, a medical team and even a staffed campground for those who don’t meet the 11-hour cutoff and need to spend the night on-trail before finishing the next day. Take-your-breath-away vistas, welcoming locals and a rich culture deliver an epic race experience.