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The World’s 26.2 Most Awesome Marathons Will Inspire You to Start Training

The World’s 26.2 Most Awesome Marathons Will Inspire You to Start Training

Whether running a marathon is something you’re itching to check off your bucket list or you’re already an accomplished runner, these amazing races will make you want to lace up and start putting in some miles. There are races nearly everywhere these days – here are some of the world’s best marathons.

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              1. The Boston Marathon, Boston, MA (April)

              Despite tragedy and heartbreak, this marathon remains beloved by runners. You’ve got to be quick, though – to get a lottery spot to enter the Boston Marathon, you’ve got to complete an approved marathon within a specified amount of time, calculated based on your age (these races are known as “BQs,” for “Boston Qualifiers”). If you’re only hoping to run a marathon once, Boston’s out of your league – but it’s still an amazing spot to stand and cheer. Experienced racer? Well then you already know all about this one!

              2. Athens Classic Marathon, Athens, Greece (November)

              This is as close to the original marathon as you’re likely to get, because you’re literally running the 26.2 miles from Marathon (hence the name!) to Athens traced by the soldier Pheidippides back in 490 BC as he delivered the message that the Greeks had defeated the Persians.

              3. The Great Wall Marathon, Huangyaguan, China (May)

              Running a marathon is no easy feat. Running a marathon during which you climb more than 5,000 steps? Okay, it might be crazy. But running a race atop the Great Wall of China, one of the 7 Manmade Wonders of the World, is definitely going to get you serious bragging rights. In addition to running the Great Wall, racers also make their way through rural villages.

              4. Wineglass Marathon, Corning, NY (October)

              If you’re looking for a flat and fast BQ, the Wineglass Marathon is definitely one to look up. Run through beautiful fall foliage as you wind your way through the Finger Lakes from Bath to Corning, NY. America’s “Crystal City” is home to the historic Corning glass factory, hence the unique medal for this race – handmade glass. Plus you get to toast yourself at the finish line with a commemorative wine glass and mini bottle of bubbly!

              5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (November)

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                  All of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events are organized and well-run, but Vegas is special for four little words: The Strip at night. Yup, one side of Las Vegas Boulevard actually gets shut down, and you get to see Sin City at its gaudiest. There’s also entertainment throughout the course (Snoop Dogg is the headliner at this year’s race). Another bonus: It’s possibly the one marathon you’ll find that you don’t have to get up super-early to run!

                  6. Big Sur International Marathon, Big Sur, CA (April)

                  If the headwinds and hill climbs don’t take your breath away, the scenery will. This marathon travels along Highway 1 from Big Sur to Carmel, passing through redwood forests, across gorges, and past astonishing views of the Pacific Ocean. Though the marathon is capped at 4,500 runners, there are also several shorter races held the same day.

                  7. Asics LA Marathon, Los Angeles, CA (March)

                  They say nobody walks in LA, but every year thousands run it, on a scenic course that goes from from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica. Angelenos turn out in full force to cheer them on, too – spectators are known to outnumber participants at a ratio of 40 to 1!

                  8. Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Chicago, IL (October)

                  This supersize marathon hosts a whopping 45,000 runners, but the Windy City is at its most hospitable cheering them on. The fast and flat course winds through pretty much every Chicago neighborhood, with fantastic architecture and historic landmarks abounding. Plus, you can motivate yourself to keep going by promising yourself a post-run slice of deep-dish pizza.

                  9. Marathon Du Medoc, Bordeaux, France (September)

                  It’s the marathon equivalent of a fun run – well, the fanciest fun run you can imagine. Each year, the Marathon Du Medoc has a theme, and nearly all runners dress in appropriate costumes as they traverse the scenic course, which includes stops along the way for 20+ wine tastings and just as many food stands. You won’t run a PR here (the race’s logo is a wine-besotted runner), but that’s not the idea, anyway.

                  10. Virgin Money London Marathon, London, England (April)

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                              Part of the World Marathon Majors Series, this flat, fast course is a tour of London. You’ll run over London Bridge, past Big Ben and Parliament, and finish at Buckingham Palace.

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                              11. Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, Pittsburgh, PA (May)

                              This BQ takes you all around the Steel City, traversing five bridges as you cross all three rivers and tour its historic neighborhoods. Though the course is a bit hilly, the last 5 miles are all downhill – and the city’s sports fans line the streets, encouraging you to finish strong.

                              12. Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (January)

                              If you’re looking for a destination marathon, Dubai is definitely a spot to go big. The fast and flat course starts and ends at the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa), and if a runner breaks a world record, he or she wins a million dollars (it’s also the “world’s richest race”).

                              13. Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon, Denver, CO (May)

                              Looking for an altitude challenge? The Mile-High City has got you covered. Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous commercial street in the U.S., so you’re on the same road for almost the entire race (except when the course takes awesome detours, like running through Mile High Stadium) with locals cheering you the whole way.

                              14. Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, Napa, CA (March)

                              This race could be described as an intimate, romantic marathon – just you and 2,299 other runners, winding your way through the vineyards of California Wine Country. After the first few miles of rolling hills, it’s a mainly downhill course, making it a great choice for marathon newbies.

                              15. TCS New York City Marathon, New York, NY (November)

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                                          Why run this marathon? Because it’s New Yawk, fuhgeddaboutit! But seriously, the largest marathon in the U.S. is a pretty amazing way to see all five boroughs of the Big Apple. Racing with a charity-focused team ups your chances of getting picked in the lottery.

                                          16. Big Five Marathon, Limpopo, South Africa (June)

                                          Destination marathons don’t get much more exotic than this. Named for the “big five” game species in South Africa (lions, leopards, Rhinos, Cape buffalo, and African elephants), the race goes through the privately-owned Entabeni Game Reserve. The start time and the exact route depend on the location of the animals, making the race a safari on foot.

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                                          17. Missoula Marathon, Missoula, MT (July)

                                          Another small town BQ, this point-to-point race was developed by the organization Run Wild Montana, who wanted to share the state’s beauty with other runners. It worked! This race has racked up accolades from runners around the world and become a favorite community event.

                                          18.Utah Valley Marathon, Provo, UT (June)

                                          Looking to add another state to your list? Don’t overlook Utah! This BQ course takes you downhill from Wallsburg to Provo, past spectacular views of waterfalls, rolling hills, and canyons. It’s capped at 2,000 runners, so register early (it’s also worth mentioning that registration is quite inexpensive as marathons go – under $100 until 2 months before the event).

                                          19. Cane Growers Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia (November)

                                          Don’t get too excited for cool temperatures – remember, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Still, starting on a beach, racing through sugar cane plantations, and running alongside rainforest make this run Down Under a fantastic destination marathon.

                                          20. Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris, Paris, France (April)

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                                                      If you want a less wine-filled way to run France, the Paris International Marathon takes runners along the Seine and past the Bastille, the Louvre, and the Place de la Concorde, with the course finishing (naturally) at the Arc de Triomphe. It’s a huge field (as many as 40,000 entrants), but it’s an amazing way to see one of the world’s greatest cities.

                                                      21. SPAR Budapest Marathon, Budapest, Hungary (October)

                                                      Want to run a European marathon that’s a little bit off the beaten path, but still in a major city? Don’t overlook the Budapest Marathon, which features a fast, flat course that takes you along the Danube River.

                                                      22. Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, FL (January)

                                                      If you’ve got kids or you’re a kid at heart, you’ll love this destination race which takes you through the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios… you’ll even run through Cinderella’s castle! This race offers nonstop visual wonders (think parade floats and circus acts), not to mention all your favorite Disney characters and princesses cheering you on. The marathon starts and ends at Epcot – it really is a small world, after all.

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                                                      23. Mississippi Blues Marathon, Jackson, MS (January)

                                                      This sweet little marathon (less than 1,000 runners) boasts enormous charm, with live blues musicians entertaining runners throughout the course. Plenty of locals come out to share some Southern hospitality and cheer on the runners, too!

                                                      24. Mount Desert Island Marathon, Bar Harbor, ME (October)

                                                      Spectacular coastal views can be found on the east coast, too. This BQ takes runners through quaint New England villages, and you’ll also run on the Atlantic Coast’s only true fjord. The rocky trails do slow things down, but they also make this marathon more about camaraderie than competition.

                                                      25. Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, HI (December)

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                                                                  And speaking of spectacular views! This Oahu marathon starts in Ala Moana Beach Park, then takes you through Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Hawaii Kai, and more. Though the race has an extra-early start time (5 am), it does help runners avoid the heat and humidity – and leaves plenty of time to kick back and relax at the post-race luau.

                                                                  26. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH (May)

                                                                  Said you’ll run a marathon “when pigs fly”? Cincinnati’s calling your bluff! The perfect event for newbies, the Flying Pig is designed to be a fun, laid-back race. Spectators are encouraged to do everything they can – from cheering to making fun signs to juggling – to boost runners’ spirits and keep everyone smiling.

                                                                  26.2. The Color Run

                                                                  It’s not a marathon, but that’s why it’s the “.2” in this marathon list! “The Happiest 5K on the Planet” takes place in more than 30 countries, with over 170 different events. Runners begin the race wearing white, and end up doused in multi-colored paint. See www.thecolorrun.com to find a race near you.

                                                                  Featured photo credit: soozed via flickr.com

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                                                                  Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                                                                  50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                                  50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                                  If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                                                                  That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                                                                  Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                                                                  1. Believe It to See It

                                                                  Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                                                                  2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                                                                  While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                                                                  3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                                                                  Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                                                                  4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                                                                  Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                                                                  5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                                                                  There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                                                                  6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                                                                  It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                                                                  7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                                                                  Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                                                                  8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                                                                  Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                                                                  9. Maximize Your Strengths

                                                                  Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                                                                  10. Be in It to Win It

                                                                  Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                                                                  11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                                                                  People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                                                                  12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                                                                  Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                                                                  13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                                                                  You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                                                                  14. Be a One-Off Original

                                                                  Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                                                                  15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                                                                  Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                                                                  16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                                                                  Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                                                                  17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                                                                  Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                                                                  18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                                                                  We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                                                                  19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                                                                  Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                                                                  20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                                                                  Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                                                                  21. Make Your Own Luck

                                                                  In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                                                                  22. Ignite Your Initiative

                                                                  While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                                                                  23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                                                                  Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                                                                  24. Champion in Communication

                                                                  Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                                                                  25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                                                                  Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                                                                  26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                                                                  To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                                                                  27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                                                                  While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                                                                  28. Live by Core Values

                                                                  Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                                                                  29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                                                                  Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                                                                  30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                                                                  Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                                                                  31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                                                                  Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                                                                  32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                                                                  Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                                                                  33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                                                                  Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                                                                  34. Change Opens New Doors

                                                                  People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                                                                  35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                                                                  It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                                                                  36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                                                                  Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                                                                  37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                                                                  When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                                                                  38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                                                                  How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                                                                  39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                                                                  If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                                                                  40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                                                                  Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                                                                  41. Swim Against the Tide

                                                                  Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                                                                  42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                                                                  More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                                                                  43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                                                                  Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                                                                  44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                                                                  While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                                                                  45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                                                                  Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                                                  46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                                                                  Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                                                                  47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                                                                  While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                                                                  48. Follow Through

                                                                  Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                                                                  49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                                                                  We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                                                                  50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                                                                  To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                                                                  So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                                                                  Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                                                                  More About Success

                                                                  Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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