Best International Winter Running Destinations

Best International Winter Running Destinations

There are two types of runners: those who like running in the cold and those who don't. The winter, in particular, leaves us with decreased daylight and colder days, so it is no wonder a majority of people become less motivated to run outside. However, running races hold no seasonal discrimination. In fact, destination runs can occasionally offer a change in climate so the idea of combining a race and a vacation, or a “race-cation”, isn't such a bad idea. So, instead of hiding away inside for the winter months until the cold weather is finished, we at World's Marathons provide you with a list of some of the best winter running destinations, both cold and warm throughout the world, to keep you motivated to run and train during the winter.

Let's clarify the details of a winter race. Although cold weather can begin in November, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere winter officially starts the 22nd of December and goes through until the 20th of March, whereas the seasons are opposite in countries that rest in the Southern Hemisphere. Because of contrasting seasons, depending on where you are in the world, you have the ability to find a race in non-cold climates helping to reduce the fear of a cold, winter race. Yet, some of us are brave enough to withstand the freezing temps and find our paces hold better while also giving us an excuse to buy multiple layers of state of the art warm running wear. 

We have chosen 20 winter races for you and have divvied them up into lists: 1) early December races, 2) warm races, 3) cold races, and 4) the ideal running race temperature destinations. No matter what type of runner you are, you have a destination and a climate that is right for you. 

Early December Races

Here are some early December race destinations if you are already looking to get a warmer-climate fix as soon as possible.

1. Marathon Comar de Tunis – Carthage 

Tunis, Tunisia

1 December, 2019

Average temps: 17C/63F

In it's 34th edition, the Marathon Comar de Tunis offers over 2500 athletes a picturesque course, while the marathon also plays host to the Tunisian championships. 

2. Reggae Marathon 

Negril, Jamaica

8 December, 2019

Average temps: 28C/83F

This international marathon, half marathon and 10km event keeps runners entertained with ongoing Reggae music throughout the course and an epic finish line beach party bash.

3. Cetilar Pisa Marathon 

Pisa, Italy

15 December, 2019

Average temps: 12C/54F

Besides having ideal running temperatures, the Cetilar Pisa Marathon and Half Marathon bring you along the seaside and, of course, past the monumental Leaning Tower of Pisa.

4. Thailand International Half Marathon 

Bangkok, Thailand

15 December, 2019

Average temps: 32C/89F

The Thailand International Half Marathon, 10km, and 5km event hosts athletes from over 45 different nations while promoting exercise and sport within Thailand.

5. Zurich Marathon Malaga

Malaga, Spain

15 December, 2019

Average temps: 17C/63F

This IAAF Bronze Label race takes you next to the Alboran sea and through streets  of Malaga, Spain in either the full or half marathon distance.

Warm Winter Race Destinations

If you prefer warm weather, look no further. Many of these locations rarely fall below 16C/60F.

6. Sea of Galilee Tiberias Marathon

Tiberias, Isreal

3 January, 2020

Average temps: 16C/60F

The Tiberias Marathon takes you along the beautiful beach-lined coasts of the Sea of Galilee with options for the full, half marathon, or 10km events.

7. Funchal Marathon

Funchal, Portugal

19 January, 2020

Average temps: 18C/64F

Located on Madeira Island, the Funchal Marathon also hosts the full marathon, half marathon, and mini-marathon distances.

8. Marathon Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

19 January, 2020

Average temps: 26C/78F

Noted as a flat, fast course, the Marathon Bahamas covers many fantastic miles of Atlantic Ocean views in both the half and full marathon distances.

9. Yoma Yangon International Marathon

Yangon, Myanmar

19 January, 2020

Average temps: 31C/88F

The largest running event in Myanmar offers you a 10.5km, half marathon, or full marathon race, which weaves you into and out of the old and new towns of Yangon.

10. International Marathon of Marrakech

Marrakesh, Morocco

26 January, 2020

Average temps: 19C/66F

With over 8000 runners from all over the world, the half or full marathon takes you along a fast, palm-tree-lined course. 

11. Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon

Ile-Ife, Nigeria

2 February, 2020

Average temps: 36C/96F

A fairly new marathon in its 3rd year, the Ile-Ife Heritage Marathon takes you through the historic town of Ife, where the Yoruba people believe their civilization began. 

12. Dead Sea Marathon

Ein Bokek, Isreal

7 February, 2020

Average temps: 23C/73F

You can challenge yourself with a half marathon, full marathon, or ultra-marathon of 50km by running on the lowest point on Earth on a flat, fast course next to the Dead Sea.


13. Cancun Half Marathon

Cancun, Mexico

8 March, 2020

Average temps: 29C/84F

Celebrate International Women's Day while running the Cancun Half Marathon, or your choice of 5km or 10km race. 

14. Logicom Cyprus Marathon

Pafos, Cyprus

15 March, 2020

Average temps: 18C/64F

Enjoy views of the Mediterranean Sea and the hospitality of the Cypriot people while participating in the 10km, half marathon, or full marathon race.  

15. Zurich Marato Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

15 March, 2020

Average temps: 17C/62F

Explore one of the most beautiful European cities while racing past the amazing landmarks that Barcelona has to offer. 

Cold Winter Race Destinations

For those who fear no cold and want to brave the freezing extremes, these races are for you.

16. Polar Night Half Marathon

Tromso, Norway

4 January, 2020

Average temps: -1C/30F

Tromso is known for being a party city and this transfers over to its midnight-sun race by offering a torch-lit half marathon course with options for also a 5km and 10km distance.        

17. Siberian Ice Half Marathon

Omsk, Russia

7 January, 2020

Average temps: -13C/8F

Known for being the only major long-distance race held in Russia during the winter, the Siberian Ice Half Marathon, 10.5km, 3km race will bring out only those who can brave the extreme winter conditions.

Ideal Temperature Winter Race Destinations 

If you are looking for a destination that provides you with suggested ideal marathon temps of about 9-15C/49-59F, check out these winter race destinations. 

18. Split Marathon

Split, Croatia

23 February, 2020

Average temps: 11C/52F

A family featured event which includes this year's inaugural full marathon & marathon relay, and more commonly known half marathon, 5km, and kids mile, the Split Marathon will provide you with a  beautiful Mediterranean atmosphere. 

19. Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris

Paris, France

1 March, 2020

Average temps: 13C/55F

This growing half marathon is popular amongst locals and tourists alike with over 40,000 participants who weave their way through the Bois de Vincennes park and through Paris proper. 

With 20 fantastic winter race options, you should be able to find the right opportunity for you. Are you inspired now to ignore the cold winter months and properly plan or add to your winter race bucket-list? Head over to our Instagram or Facebook page to let us know which winter race you will run!