Running a marathon is all about pushing your limits and learning what your body is capable of — what do you think you could do if you were running with lions? (Okay, to be fair, there are guards and it’s totally safe, but still — there are lions). South Africa’s Big Five Marathon has got to be on every runner’s bucket list as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Named for the “big five” species of African game — African elephants, rhinos, water buffalo, lions and leopards — this race takes runners through the private Entabeni game reserve in the Limpopo province of South Africa. There aren’t any fences, so it’s just you, the other competitors and the animals (which can also include zebras, cheetahs, hippos, crocs, antelope and more). The course can actually change at the last minute depending on the animals’ movements, but it’s a mix of trail and road, including an extremely steep descent that leads straight into (gulp!) lion country.
The race is definitely a commitment and it’s also an amazing vacation. Runners choose either a six- or eight-day package, which includes lodging and safari tours of the reserve. Registration is currently available for both the 2015 race (June 20) and 2016 (June 25). For more information and registration details, check out albatros-adventure.com.
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