If you think the Comrades Marathon is tough, try these 5 bizarre races you might not know about!

Image: Thulani Mbele

Yesterday, thousands of runners did what most of us would never even consider, running close on 90 kilometers from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

As usual, the gruelling race came with all the emotions, including jubilation, tears, but ultimately jubilation.

The annual marathon is dubbed the World’s Greatest Ultra Marathon, but there are other marathons that give it a run for its money.

Across the world, there are a number of other tough, crazy and life-threatening marathons.

From running for your life among lions to speeding through foothills butt-naked and drunk, here are other crazy marathons you might not have heard about.

1. The Big Five Marathon

Are you a lover of wildlife...but also incredibly daring? Then The Big Five Marathon is just the thing for you. Held at Entabeni Game Reserve in Limpopo every June, this 25.5 kilometers marathon has participants potentially running for their lives through lions and leopards. 

2. The Munga Trail

The Munga Trail is definitely not your average Sunday jog. The 400 kilometer race starts in Belfast, Mpumalanga and ends at The Blyde River Canyon. Runners navigate through forestry roads and nature reserves for 120 hours using GPS. 

3. The Barkley Marathons

The Barkley Marathons are considered one of the toughest races in the world. Only 15 people have ever finished in over three decades. Held in Tennessee, the marathon has five loops, each with a distance of about 32 kilometers. As if running a total of 160 kilometers isn’t gruelling enough, the total altitude of this race is about 18 meters, making the race similar to climbing Mount Everest twice! Incase you are considering this one, it is held every year on the first weekend of April. 

4. The Naked Beer Mile Fun Run

Beer lovers and nudists, this one is for you. Held in Southern California every April, this marathon has naked runners boozing and speeding through foothills and panoramic views. Each participant drinks a can of beer at every stop through a 1.5 kilometer trail.  

5. Walt Disney World Marathon

This one may be held at what is supposedly the happiest place in the world, Disneyland, but at 42 kilometers through one of the franchise's theme parks, this still sounds like a lot to us. The race which is held annually sees runners sweating it out through the theme park with some of their favourite characters in tow.

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