Mon 16 Oct 2023 • Nick Kershaw
A Bucket-List Marathon: Why Jordan Should Be Your Next Running Destination
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When it comes to selecting a marathon that offers more than just a run through city streets, Jordan stands out as a monumental, literally and metaphorically, running destination. The Jordan Impact Marathon isn't just a race; we have designed your entire time in Jordan to be a transformative journey that enriches you, tests your limits, and allows you to leave a lasting positive impact on the community. Here's why this race should be etched into your bucket list.
Imagine the sun rising across the desert, the sky gently shifting from the darkness of night, to the gradients of dawn, to the deep blue contrast so powerful with the sharp line of the sand on the horizon. Not a soul in sight save for your fellow runners, and the odd camel or five.. The Jordan Impact Marathon route takes you right through the middle of the jaw-dropping Wadi Rum desert. We eschew the northern section where most travellers enjoy the immense and accessible icons of the deserts and head south where the desert falls into the Saudi Arabian mountains, and solitude is your best friend. These settings offer a raw, natural challenge quite distinct from the city, and town routes you may be accustomed to.
Let's be candid. Marathons can generate a ton of waste and carbon footprint. We cannot ignore the impact running events have. So with all Impact Marathons, we consider every single element in how to reduce negative impact, and optimise for positive impact. Whether it's waste management or water conservation, to our choice of locally-owned accommodation, to our menu for the entire week being sourced from local ingredients that tell the story of the community and minimise wastage. We have also taken the punchy decision to lower our UK team, and increase the decentralisation so that more of our events are entirely run by the local team - meaning we minimise the need for lots of flights from our team, and increase employment, investing in the very communities we seek to serve. Of course, our races have the community impact side, but more on that later. Suffice to say, within the team there’s a persistent drive to minimise environmental damage, aligning with the tenets of regenerative
The Thrill of Adventure
Jordan is a land steeped in history and adventure. Apart from the marathon, the country offers a plethora of adventure sports and activities. Whether it's diving in the Red Sea or hiking through the valleys, lounging in the Dead Sea, visiting the ancient ruins of Jerash, or Salt, your trip can be a complete package if you want it to be. Our team in-country can put together extra bolt-ons specifically for you. If you are going to travel to run, maximise your time in-country to be a trip of a lifetime and not simply another notch on your marathon-running bedpost.
Authentic Community Impact
Here’s where the 'Impact' in Impact Marathon genuinely comes to life. Participants get involved in community projects that aim to make a sustainable difference. You're not just running a race; you're running to change lives. The community engagements are deeply rooted in the schedule of the week, ensuring that you're not just a tourist but a mindful traveller making a real difference. And we take this part super seriously, indeed, our founder holds a Masters in International Development from the esteemed SOAS, University of London, he obsesses on the finding most genuine long-term impact partners and not simply ‘tick the box’. This is our reason for existing, our purpose, our dream, our goal - each race must make a deep impact towards the achievement of the Global Goal. Each race must put the narrative of the local community at the forefront of our time in-country. Each race must transcend simply running a distance.
You probably already know that running can be a deeply meditative experience. Combine that with Jordan’s ethereal landscapes and you're looking at a holistic time with a group of people who are about to become friends for life. We cap our Impact Weeks at just 30 people because we know that this is the ultimate number to connect with, but not becoming lost within, or intimidated by. So whether you are an extravert or an introvert, you’ll find a place within the team, and it is the people who join our races who are the ultimate ambassadors for what we do: 35% of Impact Runners sign up for as second event within 18 months of their first race with us. That is a ridiculous statistic. Wellness isn't just an add-on; it's integrated into the fabric of the experience. Pre-run yoga sessions and post-run wellness activities add to the physical and mental benefits of your marathon experience.
Accessibility and Convenience
Contrary to perception, travelling to Jordan is more straightforward than you might think. Many global cities offer direct flights, and visa processes are generally uncomplicated. This makes it a feasible adventure trip that doesn't require endless planning or logistical nightmares. From within Europe, Amman is serviced by WizzAir, Ryanair, EasyJet, British Airways, Royal Jordanian and more. If you are happy to squeeze your packing, you can find flights under £50 - it is easily our most accessible Impact Marathon, and a perfect introduction to our unique brand of running: where all runners are encouraged to be who they are, to throw all their positive energy into a stunning week, and to make the world a better place.
Not Just a Medal
Finishing a marathon (by the way, every event has a 10km and 21km distance you can choose if the full marathon is a step too far this time)is a reward in itself, but here, you walk away with much more. Alongside the sense of accomplishment, there’s a deeper satisfaction knowing you’ve contributed to a community and an environment, going beyond the traditional marathon ethos.
Oh, and the Jordan medal is seriously stunning, locally made by a women’s co-operative, but we won’t spoil your surprise there! You’ll have to get to the finish of our week to find out more.
The Jordan Impact Marathon offers a unique blend of adventure, community engagement, and personal growth. It's not just about lacing up your running shoes; it's about strapping in for an unforgettable journey that enriches your life and leaves a lasting impact on the world.