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6 of the Most Beautiful Marathon Routes

Running a marathon is a serious undertaking. But it can also be a beautiful one.

When preparing for a marathon, you have to take your time. You need to give yourself a proper amount of training time, rest time, work on your fluid and calorie intake and even figure out what clothing and accessories are most comfortable and necessary. You're running for hours so these things are critical. After all of this, the race itself is almost secondary. People focus on places close to home and on a convenient date that gives them adequate prep time. But what if it could also stimulate your senses? Here are some of the most beautiful marathon routes around the world — and maybe your next running vacation.

Big Sur International Marathon

This race takes place in Big Sur, California all the way to Carmel along Highway 1. Run along the scenic California coast and enjoy seaside views as well as ranches. But be prepared for some serious hills and possible winds as it is along the ocean.

Paris Marathon

Want a completely different experience where you can run with others from around the world? Try the Paris Marathon in France. This is run through the city streets of Paris, and think of it as running through history. You'll see many famous landmarks along the route, including the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Missoula Marathon

Montana isn't just plains, but breathtaking mountains as well. This will be your view if you make the trek out to run this marathon. However, it isn't just the scenery, but the people of Missoula that make this race so enjoyable. While enjoying those amazing views, you will be cheered on and supported by thousands of people.

Martona di Roma

When in Italy, right? This marathon in Rome, Italy is another that happens within the city itself and is a historical education. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish steps are just a few of the sites you'll pass along this route.

Kauai Marathon

What isn't fantastic about Hawaii? Maybe an international race isn't in your budget for the family, but Hawaii might be. Not an easy route by any means, but you will see volcanoes, the Pacific ocean, and foliage that is bright and tropical.

Midnight Sun Marathon

Head to Tromso, Norway and experience a race unlike any other. From May to July, the sun does not set which allows this race to be run at midnight. Pretty cool, right? But it's also a scenic wonder. No Northern Lights to view, but you do see the Norwegian Sea, a backdrop of mountains and the Arctic Cathedral to name a few.

[Image via gumbao /]

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