Charge up your GPS and grab your suitcase. Whether you're a jogger keen to step up your game, or a seasoned ultra-runner looking for a new challenge, RW has the running holiday for you.
With our travel partner, 2:09 Events, we've put together a stunning array of 30 training and racing trips all over the world, from the mango groves of Cuba to the midnight sun of Norway.
Our perennially popular spring training camp in the Algarve is the ideal place to fine-tune your running and meet over 100 like-minded people. Other exciting options are to run the Great Wall, or do the New York Marathon in style: our racing trips guarantee entry to some of the world's most famous - and over-subscribed - races. You could even leave running behind altogether for a week of Alpine cross-training in Switzerland.
When you join us on a trip, you'll benefit from a comprehensive training support package from the 2:09 Events director, Mike Gratton - winner of the 1983 London Marathon - and his seasoned staff. They'll also be on hand to answer all your questions and help you enjoy the trip!
Phrasebooks at the ready...
Stockholm Marathon, May
Stockholm Marathon, Sweden (May 30)
With stunning surroundings and fantastic PB potential, the Stockholm Marathon has been ranked as the number-one destination for a marathon in the world. Over 50 per cent of the runners in this race flock from overseas to test themselves at this superbly organised two-loop course through the streets, crossing the 14 islands that make up the Swedish capital and finishing on the track at the Olympic Stadium.
Midnight Sun Marathon, Norway (June 20)
Starting at 8:30pm, you’ll run this entire race in dazzling sunlight. Not something you’d ever experience in the UK – even in the height of summer! This is due to the 24-hour sunlight that northern Norway experiences during the summer months. The course itself is steep in places, with bridges connecting the scenic Tromsoya Island to the mainland.
Swiss Trail Week and Alpine Marathon, Switzerland (July 18 - 26)
Traditionally a winter-sports holiday destination, Davos, in the Swiss Alps, hosts this dazzling summer event, culminating in one of the world’s very best mountain marathons. Throughout the week you’ll be treated to a fantastic variety of activities; from hiking to trail running – and with plenty of socialising, it’s a family-friendly trip, too. In addition to the training and races on offer, you’ll be able to relax in the comfortable and welcoming surrounds of the Bunda Hotel, where residents of the RW Winter Sports Fitness Week also stay during the ski season in January.
Reykjavik Marathon, August
Reykjavik Marathon, Iceland (August 22)
It’s the 25th staging of the Icelandic capital’s marathon in 2009 and this great travel package is the perfect way to join in the celebrations. Reykjavik is a small city, and with only around 3,500 runners, the race has more of a low-key feel to it than some of the larger European city marathons. It was originally conceived as a means to attract more tourists to Iceland, and today over 500 foreign runners make the journey to run through the streets of this beautiful city. The three-day trip includes a day after the race to take in more of Reykjavik at your leisure before flying back to the UK.
Medoc Marathon, France (September 12)
The Medoc region of Bordeaux is famous for its many chateaux and vineyards and, of course, its world-class wine. For runners it’s also the location for one of the most popular races in France – no wonder, when there’s wine-tasting at every mile-marker! This year sees it celebrate its 25th staging, and to make sure you don’t miss out on celebrating this milestone book your place through 2:09 Events and you’ll get guaranteed entry.
Berlin Marathon, Germany (September 20)
The Berlin Marathon has been popular with international runners for many years now, and next year (2009) sees it celebrate its 35th staging. Even though it’s one of the largest big-city marathons, you can expect fast times and superb organisation. The course takes in the best of the city’s landmarks, including a spectacular finish at the famous Brandenburg Gate.
Summer Algarve Training Week, Portugal (September 20 - 28)
Head off to Portugal for a week of early-autumn training. The climate in the Algarve in September is ideal for running, and with all levels of runner being catered for, it’s the ideal opportunity to get some specialist coaching in before an autumn or winter marathon. The itinerary is packed with tuition from some of the country’s top coaches who’ll make sure you arrive back in the UK in prime condition to take on your next running challenge. And that's not all: it’s also a great opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow runners in a beautiful part of Europe.
Salomon Chianti Ecomarathon, Italy (October 18)
The Chianti region’s abundance of art, culture and beautiful countryside has made it a top tourist destination for many years. The course of this autumn marathon will take you along trails, up through the Chianti hills and the region’s ancient vineyards before descending through medieval villages and heading back along the trails to the town of Castelnuovo. You’ll also be able to relax and soak up the atmosphere in style as you enjoy the luxuries of two nights at the Hotel Montaperti located just 10K from Siena.
Dublin Marathon, Ireland (October 26)
It’s indicative of the appeal of Dublin as a travel destination that half of the 10,000 runners in this race come from overseas. The flat course is made up of a loop starting at Fitzwilliam Square East and is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin. Make sure you take time after the race to relax and toast your achievement with an evening taking in the never-ending party atmosphere that Dublin is famous for.
Tackle the fifth staging of this testing trail adventure in the dramatic setting of Paphos. With an inviting mix of road and trail running from coastal caves to the Avakas Gorge, the trip includes a 6K time trial, 11K hill run and a half-marathon, before culminating in the Paphos City 10K race on the final day.
With sea views, peaceful villages and balmy weather, it's the perfect escape from wintery Britain. More...
Great Wall of China Marathon and Half-Marathon (May 16)
Probably your only chance to run on one of the new Seven Wonders of the World! Taking in over seven miles of the Great Wall’s giant steps, you will also run along the mountain tracks and roads of China’s Tianjin Province. It’s a challenging course, but don’t let that put you off – it’s open to everyone who is willing to take on the challenge. This year sees the 10th staging of the race and the eight-day trip includes visits to Beijing and Jixian, as well as an option of five varied tour extensions. It really is a must-do for travellers, runners and adventurers alike!
Comrades Marathon, South Africa (May 24)
Not for the faint-hearted, this 56-mile ultra-marathon offers a challenge for even the most hardened runner. Starting at Pietermaritzburg and finishing at the Sahara Stadium in Durban (in 2009 - the race alternates direction each year) it’s the largest ultra event in the world, attracting around 12,000 runners. It’s a hilly course and forms the centrepiece of the South African road-racing calendar. Qualifying times are required for entry and entrants must be 20 years or older. More...
Now aptly falling on Patriot's Day, the Los Angeles Marathon is an all-American explosion of fun, music and celeb-spotting. With a real carnival atmosphere, the Finish Line Festival draws more than 100,000 people annually to enjoy music, food and hundreds of sponsor exhibits.
The marathon puts on a stunning show with its course entertainment. Ten major entertainment centres, which have included everything from samba to gospel in the past, are located throughout the course to invigorate your pace and keep you moving to the finish line. More...
Himalayan Kingdom Marathon (and Half), August
Himalayan Kingdom Marathon and Half-Marathon, Bhutan (August 21)
Only the second trail race to take place in the mysterious and unspoilt Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan following last year’s inaugural event. The course has been improved for 2009 by avoiding the highest altitudes and taking in more of the country's fascinating cultural landmarks. The 10-day package includes plenty of time before and after the race to acclimatise and explore the delights of the capital city Thimphu.
Chicago Marathon, USA (October 11)
The Americans always like doing things bigger and better, and the Windy City marathon is no exception. Known for fast times and its colossal size (more than 40,000 participants), expect plenty of on-course entertainment and a staggering 1.5 million spectators lining the course to cheer you on to the finish. Book your package as soon as possible to avoid missing out on what has been described as one of the ultimate marathon experiences.
Beijing Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K (October 18)
Athletics in Beijing really needs no introduction, after 2008's Olympic Games. The course of the Beijing Marathon takes you through the West City District, the Haidian District and Chaoyang district after starting in the famous Tiananmen Square. The trip leaves a good amount of time to take in some of the city’s sights before the race, such as the Forbidden City and the 'Bird's Nest' Olympic Stadium, where you can take inspiration from the exploits of so many Olympians.
New York City Marathon (November 1)
The ultimate big-city marathon: New York has got it all - a testing course, fanatical supporters lining the route and a cityscape unlike any other. The course makes its way through the city’s five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, crossing some of the city’s most famous bridges as it does so. Booking your place through 2:09 Events gives you guaranteed entry to the race, as well as some other incredible benefits, including a pre-race training day in London in September and Runner’s World staff on hand in the hotel in New York to answer any last-minute questions. Also new for 2009: you’ll get your own private bus to the start of the race, helping to make your race experience as special as possible.