No matter how much you love big-city marathons, counting cracks in the sidewalk will never quite measure up to racing through canyons and streams out in the wilderness. There's something about running in nature—the scenery, the variety of terrain—that just breeds camaraderie. Add in a dose of healthy competition, and you have a recipe for Zen. Maybe that's why participation in trail running has surged over the past decade, bringing with it a slew of new events that run the gamut from the casual to the positively epic.
We went through this year's calendar to pick our ten favorite trail races; the results span three continents and vary from five to one hundred miles in length. Start training today and tick one off your life list in 2013.
Safaricom Marathon, Kenya
Mont-Blanc Marathon, France
Loon Mountain Race, New Hampshire
Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs, Nevada
Bridger Ridge Run, Montana
Imogene Pass Run, Colorado
Jungle Marathon, Brazil
Moab Trail Marathon, Utah
X-Terra Trail Run World Championship, Hawaii
Hellgate 100K, Virginia