The Solar Eclipse Marathon … and Other Ways to Make Running More Interesting

Event logo from the Solar Eclipse Marathon Facebook site.

What better way to endure a grueling 26.2 mile race than with the excitement of a total solar eclipse in the sky above?

That’s what the city of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia is planning with the first-ever Solar Eclipse Marathon.

The next total solar eclipse will occur on 13-14 November 2012, with the event crossing the International Date Line such that those in Australia will see it on very early on the 14th, while those in Chile will see a partial eclipse near sunset on the 13th. There is a very narrow strip on the planet that will be under a total eclipse. Of that very narrow strip, only a very small percentage will be on land, including Port Douglas.

The blue area shows the path of the planet that would see a total eclipse. Note that extreme northern Australia is the only significant land mass under the totality. Image by Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

The city of Port Douglas is a popular vacation location, with easy opportunities to take a tour of the Great Barrier Reef. The marathon website is full of information for how foreigners can turn the race trip into a full-fledged northern Australia vacation.

Are you up to the challenge? Well, get out your checkbooks along with your eclipse glasses and pinhole viewers: Simply running the race will cost folks AU 310 (US $316)! The website is set up such that tourists are asked to purchase a “holiday package” as well, which includes the lodging and a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

As we always do here among the GeekMoms, we thought about the many other “themed” races that are popular around the world. This fun list came out earlier this month. I was tickled to see the runDisney races on the list, as well as the Run for Your Lives races, the Warrior Dash, and the Krispy Kreme Challenge … all of which are on my bucket list.

How many of these races have you done?  Are you going to try to run in the Solar Eclipse Marathon?

Patricia Vollmer is the proud mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 12 & 15. She is a meteorologist with the Air Force Reserve and is currently assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's nomadic military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which is currently in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, despite no one chasing her, sharing her love for Disney and Star Wars, and exploring the world with her boys. Ask her why the sky is blue at your own risk.