My goals for 2016 include marathons in Asia, Scandinavia/Russia, Africa and South America. My biggest limitations are: free time, actual race dates and not expediting my passport renewal. I can’t do all of these races and there are many more I’m interested in. I really need a winter marathon in the Caribbean. Why aren’t there more in the winter?
January 10th and January 22nd: Philippines on January 10th and Dubai on January 22nd — a long shot just from a passport standpoint. A great way to escape some winter weather and gives me my first round the world (transpacific and transatlantic). My first round the world itinerary was stolen from me when I get sick in Chiang Mai (Thailand) in August (2015).
March 5th and March 20th: Bhutan on March 5th and Taiwan or South Korea on March 20th. This pairing looks really good! However, Bhutan is far from Taiwan AND is ridiculous to get to. There are four airports in the country and only one is operational? A one way from Taiwan (to Paro – PBH) is $4,000 and it’s a 19 hour itinerary? Not sure about this one.
April 8th: Galapagos Marathon on April 8th. This one has lots of potential as a quick one week trip to the Galapagos (Ecuador). I can only imagine standing on the shores of the Galapagos at sunrise, closing my eyes and opening them to see the world Darwin saw. Darwin spent five weeks on these islands and realized we may not have it all right. I hear the islands are borderline dumpy now. Too significant to miss.
April 10th and April 24th: Montevideo, Uruguay on April 10th and Sao Paolo, Brazil on April 24th w/ a stop in Paraguay/Buenos. I also really want to visit my friend Silvio in Belo! I’ve heard Brazilian visas are a pain… we’ll see about that.
I have a Paraguayan Visa until July 2016 (can you believe it’s been ten years?). Obviously, visiting family/friends/trees there would be awesome. The Asuncion marathon is not until August.
May 28th and June 5th: Stockholm (best city ever) on June 4th and St Petersburg (white nights round 2) on June 26th is the dream. Unfortunately, these dates are too far apart. I will most likely pair Stockholm with Luxembourg (May 28th) just to shorten the trip. Fly from Luxembourg to Copenhagen and train to Stockholm through Malmö. Fly or ferry to Russia depending on Visa costs.
The most annoying thing here is that there is a direct flight from Copenhagen to Washington DC and I would love to get in on that. The timing of the marathons means I will probably end up flying Stockholm-CPH-IAD to get home (boo SAS).
July 9th and July 17th: Knysna, South Africa on July 9th and Le Morne, Mauritius on July 17th. Le Morne was recommended to me by an architect who I shared a Lyft line with in LA earlier this year – he ran it a long time ago. Also, one of my friends from UVa (hey Danny!) is Mauritian and there’s always a possibility he will be there.
I have lots of family friends in Africa right now so there are a lot of options. Cape Town is frustrating to get to (must connect in Jo-burg). Still, South Africa and Mauritius lead the pack for me in Africa. Both bucket-list destinations from the start of this obsession.
Late August: A favorable pairing of Indonesia and Vietnam (Da Nang) in late August would be awesome. Still waiting on the official date for the Bali marathon. Vietnam is the country in Asia I want to visit right now. Seeing Nick’s new eco hotel in Bali would be amazing. Maybe the dates will work out. I’m not holding out hope here.
Realistically, I want to pop down to the Caribbean in early February for a long weekend marathon. Next, I’ll probably take a break until pairing Stockholm with another marathon in Europe (Luxembourg). In theory, there’s also enough time for to squeeze in the one weeker to the Galapagos. Nothing really jumps out at me after that. It’s all a dream.