The Great World Marathon Series Will Let You Run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents In 7 Days… For $50,000

Would you want to take part in this race for an extravagant trip with no sightseeing and a digital finisher certificate?

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One niche area of marathon running that may begin booming in 2024 is extravagant yet exhausting international trips, with a bit of running sprinkled in between flights.

Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, alongside physician and former athlete David Kelly, athletics coach Dermot McDermott, and luxury brand entrepreneur Alvaro Nunez, have launched the second-ever week-long multi-continent multi-marathon series, The Great World Race.

The Great World Marathon Series Will Let You Run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents In 7 Days... For $50,000 1

Ryan Hall is a former professional marathon runner and Olympian who ran for the U.S. at the 2008 and 2012 Games. Following his career as a professional runner, he turned his focus to bodybuilding, putting on over 40 pounds of muscle. 

He continues to stay connected to the running world through this new endeavour and by coaching his wife and professional runner, Sara Hall.

He told TrainingPeaks, “My goal is to get as big and strong as I can possibly get. So I’m just on this crazy experiment of someone who has all the wrong genetics.”

The Great World Race follows the same concept as the long-standing World Marathon Challenge: complete seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. 

The Great World Race will take place from October 22, 2024, until October 28, 2024.

Participants will depart from Cape Town, South Africa, and travel to Novo (Antarctica) for the first marathon.

The rest of the marathons will take place in Cape Town (Africa), Perth (Australia), Istanbul (Asia), Istanbul (Europe), Cartagena (South America), and Miami (North America).

The event travels to four of the same cities as the already-established World Marathon Challenge, as they both have marathons in Novo, Cape Town, Perth, and Miami.

Is This As Glamorous As It Sounds?

Before getting too excited, let’s dive into the nuances of The Great World Race.

Although traveling around the world to race a marathon in each continent may sound like the adventure of a lifetime, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Firstly, running one marathon alone is already incredibly taxing on the body and mind. Seven marathons in a row, especially if you haven’t adequately prepared, can be incredibly challenging and even put you at risk for injury.

On top of running seven consecutive marathons, another consideration is the amount of travel.

Based on The Great World Race itinerary, there would be only one day that wouldn’t include substantial travel, with the Europe and Asia marathons both being in Istanbul, where you’ve just got to cross a bridge.

However, each other day would involve hours of flight time, upwards of 15 hours on some days.

This doesn’t include travel time from home to the initial meeting point in Cape Town and from the final marathon in Miami back to your home.

Additionally, despite all of this travel time and going to all these exotic destinations, you won’t be doing any sightseeing.

Along with a tight schedule to get from one destination to the next, don’t expect an elaborate marathon taking you through all the major tourist attractions in the cities.

What happens at these events is that the organizers shuttle participants to a pre-determined loop or track, which they will run laps of to complete the marathon distance, with no picture-worthy sights to be seen. 

Paying Through The Nose

Despite its drawbacks, you might be wondering what an experience like this might cost you.

The simple answer: an arm and a leg, well, maybe two.

The entry fee per person will set you back $50,000 USD (€45,000). So if you and your partner or running buddy plan on taking this on, you can expect to drop $100,000 (€90,000) on the entry fees alone.

Your entry fee includes all flights from the initial meeting point in Cape Town to all seven of the marathons, with drinks and meals on flights as well. The cost will also cover the logistics of transportation to and from the airports and events.

The steep price tag will also cover accommodation in Istanbul for the Asian and European marathons, entry into each of the seven marathons (which include aid stations, medical support, and official timing), and professional photos from each race.

Finally, your entry fee will include some post-marathon rewards such as a digital certificate of completion, a medal for completing each marathon and the overall event, branded merchandise such as T-shirts and singlets, and inclusion into the Global Marathon Club.

According to their website, a visit to Antarctica alone can cost up to $22,000, leveraging their steep price tag.

What your entry fee won’t cost is your flights from home to the Cape Town meeting point and from the final marathon in Miami back home, your meals and food outside of flights and race aid stations, and accommodation in Cape Town prior to the flight to Antarctica.

Although it would be an extravagant experience, The Great World Race comes with some major drawbacks and has a steep price tag. Would you consider taking part in this race, or do you not think it’s worth it?

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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