Hundreds of marathons are run all over the world every year, and each one varies in its difficulty. Some may be for beginner runners or kids, and are only a few kilometres long, allowing participants to enjoy the exercise rather than run for a trophy. Others are far more difficult, requiring many months of training before being ready to hit the circuit. But some marathons are so arduous that they’re known collectively as ‘ultra marathons’, runs so long and so exhausting that only the fittest among us could have a chance at completing them.
The Jungle Marathon
Often considered one of the most beautiful marathons in the world, the Jungle Marathon is a massive 200km stretch that takes place in the dense jungles of the Brazil. Runners are given six days to get through the rough terrain, which includes traversing swamps and crossing rivers, often teeming with crocodiles, insects, snakes, and other dangerous creatures. It’s a tough event that only the bravest can hope to see to the end.
Hardrock Endurance Run 100
Seen by many as the toughest run in the United States, the Hardrock Endurance Run 100 is a total of 160km long and takes place at an altitude of 3500m above sea level. The terrain is rough and rocky, and runners are often caught in large thunderstorms up in the mountains. Not only do participants need plenty of stamina, but they also need some wilderness and navigational skills so that they don’t fall victim to the race’s many trials, and for many, it’s easier to stay at home and enjoy playing at real money blackjack tables.
Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
This 692km behemoth of a marathon takes place in the frozen wastelands of northern Canada, and sees runners needing to deal with temperatures that range from -12 to -25 degrees Celsius. Those taking part in the event need to bring their own food and equipment, and need to know how to properly work a sled. It’s not just about getting to the finish line, but also about survival against all odds.
Tor Des Geants
Commonly referred to as the TDG, it’s among the most feared endurance events in the world, and aimed at only the most seasoned ultra marathon runners. Taking place over 330km and with an ascent of 24000m, including 25 different mountain passes across 2000m it’s an event that sees only around half of its participants make it to the end. Runners have to deal with freezing temperatures, rain, lightning, hail, and much. Sleep deprivation and hallucinations are common every season.
Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race
The Berghaus Dragon’s Back event was first held in 1992, and although it took almost two decades for the event to be held again in 2012, it quickly became a favourite among veterans. It’s one of the toughest that the UK has to offer, and includes a 15000m climb that sees runners having to endure 300km worth of some of the toughest terrain in Wales. Poor visibility, cold weather, and steep inclines are just some of the obstacles that those taking part have to contend with.