For something completely different, how about running a marathon on a bridge, with only the start and finish on land?
For the first time this year, Penang Bridge International Marathon will be held on the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, also called Penang Second Bridge. At 24km, it is the longest bridge in South East Asia and was officially opened earlier this year.
Since 1985, the marathon has run on Penang First Bridge.
Organisers expect up to 65,000 runners in the marathon, half marathon, 10km and 7km fun run and will be attempting the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest bridge marathon
Runners start and finish near the Penang Island approach roads and simply turn on the bridge at the half way point for their distance. For marathoners, that means the toll plaza on the Bandar Cassia side before returning to Penang Island.
This is the only day of the year that the bridge is closed to traffic for a number of hours. Start times from 1.30am mean it’s not too busy or too hot – and runners can watch the sun rise over the “Pearl of the Orient”.
Head for south China's clean, green Nanjing County and enjoy an exciting new running experience - the Great Hakka Marathon.
The inaugural race will include a marathon, half marathon and 8km Fun Run amongst centuries- old Hakka roundhouses, close to the city of Xiamen in Fujian Province.
Situated 2-3 hours by car from Xiamen, runners will experience perfect air quality, centuries-old folk traditions and unspoiled landscapes, making it an ideal location for a marathon.
The marathon route will take place among the famous Hakka roundhouses (Tulou), follow ancient mountain paths and pass through romantic village lanes and winding roads.
The roundhouses – recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site – are large multi-family communal living structures designed to be easily defensible. The building style is unique to the Hakka people in southern China.
Walled villages were typically designed for defence and consist of one entrance and no windows at the ground level. The Hakka were originally immigrants from northern China who settled in the southern provinces.
For runners who want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for the cosy life of the countryside with its rice paddies, tea plantations and water buffalos, the Great Hakka Marathon makes a unique weekend getaway. Entry must be purchased in a travel package.