Love to travel? Love to race? How about both!
Even if you go to enter an organized race/event just to finish (not necessarily win it) you will get kick out of these. Most of these events pride themselves on being more geared towards the team and fun aspect, rather than winning championships or getting PR's.
However, if you want to go on an extraordinary expedition where you can be active and adventurous, these are for you!
Disclaimer: I am partners with some of these companies that host these events and know the event coordinators and race directors for all of them, which is why I'm recommending them. I can personally vouch for how incredibly unique, fun, and organized these trips are and would NOT recommend anything I don't love or support wholeheartedly!
N60 Norway (IGO ADVENTURES)
This is simply amazing. The purpose of IGO trips is to allow someone to not be gone more than one week but have the experience of a lifetime. They organize three stage races around the world (Norway, Montana, and Morocco), with Norway being their flagship event. You will traverse over 100 miles of wilderness over four days by running, biking, skiing, and even dog-sledding a little! Here, they pay attention to the details and are team-focused, where everyone is cheered across the finish lines each day, sit around campfires under the Northern Lights, race along pros, world-records holders, and amateurs alike, and have the best media coverage on any trip - National Geographic and Travel Channel photographers and videographers!
White Continent Marathon
You won't find a more fun or better-organized trip to Antarctica for an active event. The race director is a blast to travel with and gets repeat clients on every one of his trips year after year, which says alot! He is completely customer-service focused and would go out of his way to make sure your experience is top-notch. If you would love to trip over penguins, run through, and over, snowbanks, run around an other-worldly bay full of icebergs...then this marathon, half-marathon, or 50k is for you. The groups that go on these trips form strong communities that travel all over the world together. You also get to camp on Antarctica, explore the global science bases, go to penguin colonies, and then explore Patagonia on your way back home. This is also the home of the world-famous Triple 7 Quest (7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents)!
Machu Picchu & the Amazon - Multiple trips available!
Paragon is run by a few guys who do not organize anything close to the typical Peruvian trips you see run by bigger companies. These passionate guys are embedded in the culture personally and make it a point to give back to the local communities that help make these trips spectacular. It hardly gets more customized than this and they make sure you meet, learn from, stay with, race with, and travel with locals who help you experience Peru like you never could unless you had insider connections. You can be athletic, adventurous, and travel in luxury at the same time, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more fun, and accommodating company to travel with!
NOTE: They also have incredible trips going deep into the Amazon and Patagonia, so if you want adventure, look no further!
The Race Across America
This is not a race for the faint of heart. The Race Across America is famous for being one of the most challenging cycling events in the world. Cyclists race 24 hours a day over 3000 miles to see who gets to Annapolis first in each catagory (Men, women, and teams of two, four, and eight). You brave the elements and must bring your own crew for support. Pros, celebrities, and teams come from all over the world to test their limits and finish the race, which is an accomplishment in itself. It's an amazing way to see the U.S. and really fun to do in teams!
Isklar Norseman Triathlon
Like to swim, run, and cycle like me? Done and Ironman or two (or more?). Then it's time to level up. Athletes from all over the world come to Norway to race for the coveted black shirt at the end of the this extreme triathlon. Ironman champions, amateurs, and everything in between come here with their own support crews to test their limits in this chilly and challenging event. Start by jumping off the back of a ferry for the 2.4 mile swim, then jump on your bike for 112 miles and traverse some of the most beautiful landscapes known to man before hitting T2 and starting your marathon, which is where the fun really begins. Only the first 160 athletes will receive the black shirt at the top of the mountain, while others get the white shirt for finishing. It's a huge accomplishment to finish and a wonderful community cheering everyone through the line. The hardest part? Getting in. You must enter via lottery!
Interested in one of these? I'd be happy to point you in the right direction!
There are COUNTLESS more events I could talk about and will do another edition of this. If you like to travel and race, I cannot personally recommend these events enough, not only because they are all run by just a few people that are passionate about their events, but because they are GOOD people that will make sure you have a safe, fun, memorable experience.
Have another favorite that you want to see more about or get involved in? LET ME KNOW! Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.