The World’s Toughest Races

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Over hill and dale and ice: You can keep your 26.2-mile strolls.

© Photo: Getty Images


THE HOTTEST: Marathon des Sables

Where: In the Moroccan Sahara desert, route changing annually 
How long: About 155 miles over six days 
Terrain: Desert sand 
Temperature: At night 32°F, by day 104°F 
Record: 16h 27m 
Water required: 2.3 gallons daily 
Risks: Disorientation

In 1994, one lost entrant was found alive —nine days later.

© Photo: Getty Images


THE HIGHEST: Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon


Where: Up and up from Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal 
How long: 26.2 miles 
Terrain: Himalayan 
Temperature: 50°F 
Record: 3h 28m 27s 
Highest point: 17,600 ft.
Risks: Yeti sightings brought on by severe lack of oxygen

© Photo: Getty Images


THE WILDEST: Jungle Marathon

Where: Amazonian Brazil 
How long: 157 miles 
Terrain: Jungle 
Temperature: 104°F 
Record: 32h 18m 
Humidity: 99 percent 
Risks: Leeches, anacondas, piranhas

© Photo: Getty Images


THE COLDEST: Polar Race


Where: Canada, from Nunavut to the magnetic North Pole 
How long: 403 miles 
Terrain: Snow and ice 
Temperature: -58°F 
Record: 10d 9h 45m 
Risks: At 50 below, it’s not just the liquids you bring that freeze

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10 2014 The Red Bulletin

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