Run350 (Apr 17, Singapore)
Thankfully, this isn’t the ultra-endurance event it sounds like. Rather, it’s a 10k run that promotes the notion of reducing the global carbon footprint to a more sustainable 350 parts per million, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the Garden City Fund’s Plant-A-Tree program. You’re quite literally running for the future of mankind. No pressure, though. Register for $25-35 at www.run350.com by Mar 20.
Borneo International Marathon (May 1, Malaysia)
Runaway to one of the region’s top holiday destinations, Kota Kinabalu. The scenic town makes the perfect backdrop for a half or full marathon and this world renowned race slots in between the famed Penang and Singapore Marathons to keep all you runners in top racing condition. Register for MYR15-110 (S$6-46) at www.borneomarathon.com by Apr 23.
The Great Wall Marathon (May 21, China)
Widely regarded as one of the world’s toughest regular marathons, this is your chance to put your training to the test by attempting to overcome the 5164 steps of the Great Wall. Plus points: The surrounding countryside is breathtakingly scenic. Negatives: You could run up and down Bukit Timah for weeks and still not be ready. For information on race & international tour packages, log on to www.great-wall-marathon.com. (Filling up fast)
Sundown Marathon 2011 (May 28, Singapore)
All of you that grumble about running in the heat of the day here just ran out of excuses. With 10k, half- and full marathon options (the latter doesn’t even start until 10pm), it’s also a great opportunity to see the city in a different light. What with after-dark running and an F1 night race, perhaps it’s time we forget about daylight hours altogether and embrace being nocturnal. Register for $55-85 at www.sundownmarathon.com by Apr 21. (Filling up fast)
Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2011 (June 26, Malaysia)
The Big Daddy of Malaysian races. As with other Standard Chartered marathons you can be assured of a professionally run event; though previous participants have complained of having to run alongside traffic, and bemoaned the absence of spectators. Still, it’s a great warm up for the Singapore event later in the year. Register for $35-60 at www.kl-marathon.com by May 31.
Gobi March (June 26, China)
The RacingThePlanet series consists of rough country footraces at some of the most remote and exotic locations in the world. The Gobi March is one of the world’s top 10 endurance events; and at 250km, spread over seven days it’s no wonder. You’ll need to carry your own equipment and food, and be prepared for tough conditions. Still, if 21 year old Chue Zheng Yang (this year’s youngest compeititor, and a Singaporean no less) is willing to sign up, so can you. Register for US$3,300 (S$4,200) at www.4deserts.com.
Grassland Extreme Marathon (July 2, Mongolia)
Runners of all ages and levels of fitness are welcome to participate in the scenic 10km, 21km and 42km races across the sweeping Mongolian hills surrounding the city of Xiwuqi. While you’re there for the race, don’t miss the chance to absorb the traditional local culture. Stay overnight in one of their yurts, go horse riding and wrestling as well as visit famous landmarks such as the Genghis Khan Imperial City. Register for 150-300RMB (S$29-59) at www.nordicways.com by June 24.
Fuji Mountain Race (July 22, Japan)
One for the super fit, or mentally unbalanced. Scaling one of the most beautiful snow-capped peaks in the world, Mount Fuji, is certainly a nice idea; but running the 21km to the summit takes a special sort of person. Temperatures will also be below freezing. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Register for the Summit or 5th Station Race for ¥8,000-10,000 (S124-155) at www.fujimountainrace.jp by Mar 28.