What’s on your bucket list of running races? Here are our top picks

My bucket list of races
My bucket list of races

Have you got a bucket list of running races you’d love to experience? Maybe they’re in the UK, or in some far-flung part of the world. In this article, our writer, Olivia, explores some of the races on her bucket list to inspire you to make your own list!

Over the years I’ve been inspired by races I’ve read about or countries I want to visit, which has influenced my bucket list of running races. This list has grown over the years, and I’m sure I’ll continue to add races to my bucket. Hopefully, one day, I’ll get to run some of the races below.

Polar Night/Midnight Sun Half Marathons

I’ve put these two half marathons together because they both take place in Tromso, Norway. The Polar Night Half is held in January when there is 24 hours of darkness. The Midnight Sun Half takes place in June when there is 24 hours of daylight and the race starts at 10:30pm. It would be great to experience the juxtaposition of both races, and with the Polar Night Half it might be a perfect chance to see the Aurora Borealis.

Bucket list of running races
Northern Lights over Norway

Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K

I was lucky enough to visit Tennessee in 2017 and experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains – I fell in love with the place. Since then, I’ve longed to go back and see more of the state. A good way to see a place is to run, and I love to run and race on holiday! Luckily, I can do the Black Bear Double, a 5K and half-marathon on the same weekend, as part of the Great Smoky Mountains run weekend.

[Smoky Mountains Image by Vicky Miller]

Bucket list of running races
Smoky Mountains

Pineapple Run

I’m slightly in love with pineapples, although my husband would say i’m obsessed. But no, it’s love. I have pineapple cushions, lamps, fairy lights and clothing. However, the thing that’s missing is a pineapple-themed medal.

I have two choices: the 10K Oahu Pineapple Run in Hawaii or the Run for the Pineapple 5K in Florida. Both of these races have pineapple-themed medals and merchandise.

Bucket list of running races
A gorgeous fruit – what’s not to love!

Disney Marathon Weekend

I’ve run two half-marathons over a weekend, but I would love to experience a full running weekend. Where better than at Disney World in Orlando or Disneyland in Paris. Having seen the medals up close, they’re truly stunning. Big, shiny, Disney-themed medals. What a great way to spend a weekend, running around Disney having fun!

Bucket list of running races
Disney World

Sydling Hill 10K

The Sydling Hill 10K (well, just over 10K actually!) runs alongside the Giant’s Head Marathon, and both are organised by White Star Running. The reason this is on my bucket list is because of the award-winning medal. The route takes runners past the Cerne Abbas Giant, which is a nude chalk man on a hill in Dorset. The medal has the same giant on it… as well as a spinning ‘appendage’!

I was lucky enough to get a place for 2019. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,the 2020 event was postponed until 2021. Both the 10K and the marathon sell out within minutes of being available every year. If it’s on your race wish list, keep an eye out on social media for booking the 2022 race!

Bucket list of running races
Sydling Hill 10K (ish) route

Tahiti Half Marathon

This is on my list because I really want to visit French Polynesia and especially Tahiti. I watched a program called Magnetic on Netflix* about extreme sports and they showed Tahiti. It looked incredible, with the tropical beaches and blue ocean. So I thought, ‘I’d love to go there; I wonder if they have a race’. I googled and, yes, Tahiti has a half-marathon as part of the Tahiti-Moorea marathon weekend. Perfect!

[*Read more inspiring sports films to watch online in our blog here]

Bucket list of running races

Alderney Half Marathon

This half-marathon has been on my list for years and years. I think I read about it in a running magazine, and it’s been in my brain since then. The Alderney half marathon takes place on Alderney (one of the Channel Islands), just off the French coast.

It caught my eye because you run around the entire island, and the photographs looked stunning. I like the fact that it’s a small race and it’s only known locally. Plus, it would be lovely to explore another Channel Island and do some island hopping.

Bucket list of running races

Great Eastern Run

The Great Eastern Run is a half-marathon up in Peterborough, in the north east of England. The main reason it’s on my bucket list is because I want to get the ‘Happy Families’ of ‘Great’ runs. I have run the Great West, Great South and Great North runs so far! So I just need to run the Great Eastern to complete the set.

Bucket list of running races
All the Great runs around the country

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the races on my bucket list. Maybe they’ve given you some inspiration for your own wish list. We’d love to hear what races are on your bucket list – let us know in the comments below!