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Updated on July 18, 2011
Running in your hometown marathon is rewarding and comfortable. Year in and year out, it’s the same friendly faces at the finish line. Perhaps it’s time to change things up a bit. Why not try competing in a different state? Or if you really want to go the distance, why not check out a marathon in another country?
For those who want to broaden their horizons, Renato, editor of RunAbroad.com, offers information on international marathons. With a tagline that reads “101 races to run before you die,” the site features marathons from Cyprus to Liechtenstein to the Channel Islands.
Renato launched RunAbroad.com in 2009 with a few friends who wanted to write about their marathon and travel experiences. And now? They’ve documented nearly 84 different marathons that circle the globe — well on their way to 101.
What inspired you to create RunAbroad.com?
I think there are many internationally known events like the marathons in NYC or London that need no introduction. But there are literally thousands of smaller races in amazing places where you can combine a lovely holiday and a wonderful run. We like the idea to suggest a new race every week, or interview a runner who suggests a new destination or event in a European city or beyond.
What does it take to run 101 races before you die?
A few pairs of running shoes. Some time off.
Can you tell us your top five race picks out of 101?
My favorite runs have been the Swissalpine in Davos, the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes in France, the North Downs Run in the UK, the Hark the Herald Angels Run 25K in San Francisco and the Fim da Europa in Portugal.
What are the characteristics of a great race or marathon?
The ones where at least 50 percent of the course I would have walked nevertheless as a tourist. And as a runner, I have a chance to run with no cars and buses around. No ballots, many local runners, friendly organizers, less than 15,000 participants, not too many loops and a sunny day are all great extras.
What country would you suggest not running in and why?
Countries you are not willing to travel to in the first place. And the ones where the only races available are booking through tour operators with no or very minimal local involvement. I find them somehow artificial events.
Where is your favorite place to run?
Trail running in Corsica.
What has been your most challenging run?
Looking at the few I run in the past, I should say the Swissalpine in Davos. But somehow I found it easier than other city runs.
What’s your favorite brand of running shoes and why?
Salomon. I guess not many runners can say that they have run a trail marathon with their wedding shoes. But maybe I just have to thank a very understanding wife who let me buy a pair of Salomon Speedcross 2 for the wedding day.