5 Things on My Running Bucket List

Over the last couple of years I’ve been able to check off a few things on my LIFE bucket list that are running related — like “run a half marathon” (and soon, “run a marathon”).

Most of you know my big goal for the next couple of years is to run an ultra (hopefully more than one of them), but I have lots of other things on my Running Bucket List besides the 50-miler.

Here are five running related things I really want to do at some point in my life!

1. Run the Big 5 Marathon 

I learned about the Big 5 Marathon a few months ago when I was reading Forbes list of the Top 10 Marathons Worth Traveling For.

The Big 5 Marathon (and half marathon) is held in South Africa and earned it’s name because runners race through the habitat of the five most famous African game: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.


The race is held on the “Big Five” game reserves and there are no fences, rivers or anything that separates the runners from the wildlife!


According to the race’s website, the course is extremely tough and described by some as “harder than Comrades.” This is terrifying to a flat land runner like myself (especially since Comrades is not really just a marathon, it’s a 50-miler). The race finishes with a climb that most people crawl up on their hands and feet!


Despite its difficulty, I can’t help but think that if you really train hard, this would be one of the most amazing and rewarding marathons out there. It’s most definitely on my bucket list!

(Note: I have some concerns about the ethics of this type of race in regards to the way the animals are treated — but have yet to find anything negative in my light research.)

Photos are from the Big 5 Marathon Facebook Page.

2. Run in Many Other Countries 

I love travel and I love running, so it goes without saying that I want to run in as many countries as I can.


So far I’ve only been running in Jamaica ^ (a place somehow hotter and more humid than Fort Lauderdale), and now that I’m on my trip I’ll be running through Paris and London!

I really want to sign up for an international race within the next couple of years (not the Big 5 … that’s for “someday”)! Who wants to go with me? Which one should we sign up for?

3. Run / Hike the Pacific Crest Trail

I’ve heard such amazing things about the PCT and I would LOVE to run part of it someday.

Ideally, I’d like to run/hike the John Muir Trail as part of a fun camping trip. The JMT is 211 miles long and spans from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA.


Photo: Wikipedia

On the JMT you pass through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia National Park and the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses.

Doesn’t it just look incredible?

4. Run with a Dog 

I’m highly allergic to dogs and could never have one (unless it was a hypoallergenic Poodle, Bichon or something like that). However, I LOVE Golden Retrievers!

I am part of the Homeward Bound Generation, so it is probably no surprise that I would want to run with Shadow!


I’d love to go running with a Golden … or really any dog! I bet it makes the experience extra fun!

I’ve thought extensively about getting Cecil a jogging stroller for pets, but in the end I think this would just make me look crazy : ).

5. Meet Scott Jurek 

Scott is my running idol and though he’s going to retire from competitive ultrarunning this October (or so I’ve heard) he plans to continue running races for fun.


Plus I think Scott will continue doing appearances at popular race expos and running stores as part of his relationship with Brooks and his book publisher.

One of these days Scott will come to Florida and I will be first in line to shake his hand!

What’s on your Running Bucket List?? Anything you hope to tick off before the end of 2014?



  1. September 24, 2014 / 8:15 am

    I’m with you on #1, #3, and #4! My dream is to have a big dog to take trail running with me. 🙂 I don’t think I will cross any of these things off my bucket list in 2014, but maybe in the next 20 yrs I’ll get to South Africa!

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:03 pm

      Same here! I could never have a little dog, but I love the idea of having a big dog to go running with!

      The Big 5 Marathon just looks incredible — definitely a once in a lifetime experience!

  2. September 24, 2014 / 8:21 am

    OMG that Big 5 Marathon looks insane…but for some reason now I want to do it too!!

    On my Runner’s Bucket List is to run the Big Sur Marathon! The race entry sells out in minutes so it is so hard to get in!

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:04 pm

      I had no idea Big Sur sells out that fast! Wow!

      Just imagine running next to all of those beautiful animals in the Big 5 Marathon… it would be so crazy! Totally worth the arm and leg it would cost for the trip! haha

  3. September 24, 2014 / 9:40 am

    That climb at the end of Big 5 is insane!

    My running bucket list is mostly to run a race in every state with my husband. Also to keep training harder and improving my times.

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:09 pm

      What a great idea to run in every state with your husband! How many states have you completed so far?

      Training harder and improving my times is definitely on my list too – it’s GOT to happen!

  4. September 24, 2014 / 9:56 am

    I watched a documentary on Netflix not too long ago about the JMT. It does look amazing.

    Oh and you taking Cecil for runs with you in a stroller? Crazy cat lady for sure, but also super cute!

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:11 pm

      I need to look that JMT documentary up, I had no idea there was one on Netflix! Good material for the plane ride home 🙂

      I was SERIOUSLY contemplating it and then I saw a woman walking her cat in a stroller and even I had to admit she looked a bit crazy! haha Plus most pet strollers are made for dogs and apparently have areas where cats can wiggle out which scares me!

  5. September 24, 2014 / 10:12 am

    I don’t really have a running bucket list at this point. I don’t want to do anything crazy with running, just keep getting better at it. Sure I’d love to run a marathon in a different country or continent, and I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to be a 50-stater, but if neither of these things happen I won’t die with any regrets 🙂

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:13 pm

      Keep getting better at running should really be #1A on my list! I like that you just want to run because you enjoy it. I love it a lot but sometimes need the motivation of an “experience” — like training for a destination race!

  6. September 24, 2014 / 10:53 am

    There are some people in our neighborhood who occasionally push their cat in a stroller – it’s a pretty fancy stroller, too!!!
    Your running bucket list is incredible – I now that you will keep adding countries. That Big 5 marathon sound brutal!!!

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:14 pm

      I know! I think realistically I would probably only do the 1/2 marathon. I think the marathon would kill me off!

  7. September 24, 2014 / 11:15 am

    Great list! I’m still new to this running thing so my bucket list is still short term.

    But I’d love to meet Sage in person and in all honesty get to the point I can run beside him for a short bit lol.

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:16 pm

      I bet you could totally run with Sage now! He does most of his easy training I think at the 7-8 minute per mile pace!

  8. September 24, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    I’m totally with you on #2!! I want to run the London, Paris, Rome or Berlin Marathon within the next few years!!!

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:17 pm

      YES! I seriously can’t wait to go to sleep tonight so I can wake up to go running through Paris in the morning!!

  9. September 24, 2014 / 1:12 pm

    How exciting you get to put some new run dots on your world map 🙂 You have got quite a list! I just want to finish my next half running lol I have though about trying the marathon distance…do I do it before I turn 50 or the year of my birthday??

    • September 24, 2014 / 4:18 pm

      Yes! You should definitely go for it!! I bet after the half marathon you’ll be ready to sign up right away!

  10. September 24, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    I am with you–I would love to run the Champs Elysees in Paris! I am very jealous of your trip. I would like to run the TransRockies Run, racking up races in other countries sounds fun–The Big 5 seems amazing.
    I would also like to maybe race direct…
    I would like to PR in the 1/2, and 5K.
    I would like to run a race in each decade of my life!

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:22 am

      The Champs Elysees was amazing to walk down but really crowded! It was incredibly tempting to run to the Arc but sunrise wasn’t until 7:45am at which time the whole area was buzzing with people rushing to and from work — along with tourists meandering about. I could have run before sunrise, but I don’t like to run alone in an area I’m not familiar with… such a missed opportunity I am sure!

  11. Angie
    September 24, 2014 / 10:54 pm

    I want to run the Dublin Marathon someday. My easier to achieve bucket list marathons are the Columbia Gorge Marathon and I think I would like to do one in Vancouver Canada. I have never been out of the states and that’s not too far to talk my husband into taking me to within the next couple of years. 🙂
    I think running in lion country might encourage me to run faster. LOL

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:23 am

      Haha, good point Angie! I definitely think running near the lions would encourage me to go a bit faster, too 🙂

      The Vancouver Marathon sounds really nice! I’ve only been up there once but it was really pretty!

  12. September 24, 2014 / 11:03 pm

    I’d love to run wins dog too!!

    A good friend of mine ran a marathon in Kenya. There were all these elite racers there and she’s this little white girl competing with crazy Kenyans, and there were wild animals all over. (The animals aren’t brought in, they just live there!) I keep trying to get her to write a recap but she’s so busy it’s been hard to do.

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:24 am

      That’s so awesome! I would love to read a recap of that… or at least see a few pictures. It must have been an incredible experience!!

  13. September 24, 2014 / 11:31 pm

    Come and do the Bali marathon with me sometime in the future pretty please?!?
    Not sure when it is on, but with your training in hot and sunny Fort Lauderdale, I’m sure it’d be perfect for you! (plus, beautiful island holiday thrown in too: win)

    Love your bucket list Kristina! 🙂

  14. September 25, 2014 / 7:04 am

    Race lust for Forbes’ list of 10! I love the pic of the people crawling for the Big 5 Marathon. I would have to agree with you on #2 and never heard of PCT – looks beautiful! Hope you are enjoying Europa!

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:25 am

      Thanks Jenny, so far it’s been amazing! Definitely wish we had more time here as there are a million and one things to see in a short period of time!

  15. September 25, 2014 / 10:46 am

    I haven’t made up a running bucket list yet but I need to get on that!! There are still lots of races in the US that I would like to do — New York, Marine Corps, Disney just to name a few! I have a golden retriever and he is an awesome runner! I don’t take him on too long of runs because he’s only 1 so he’s still a bit of a puppy and can be unpredictable. But he’s a great warmup/cooldown buddy! If you ever decide to get a dog you should look into a Golden-doodle or Labra-doodle. They are adorable and I’m pretty sure they’re hypoallergenic.

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:27 am

      How fun!!! I bet he is the cutest little runner buddy!

      You’re right, I totally forgot about Goldendoodles! That would be a perfect running companion for me 🙂

  16. September 25, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    I’ve run on parts of the PCT in Oregon and hope to someday do a long-term hike with my husband. It is definitely a beautiful trail and adventure. The marathon in South Africa sounds amazing. I couldn’t image running out in the open with all of those wild animals. My bucket list is always a work in progress, but right now the two things on my list are to run the Boston Marathon in 2016 and run a marathon after a swim and bike in an Ironman.

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:29 am

      I have no doubt that you will cross those two items off your bucket list. You are the most dedicated person I “know”!

  17. September 25, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    That big five marathon looks amazing – going on my running bucket list! I agree, running whilst travelling is the best thing – there’s no way better to see a city than to run it. I have so many things on my running bucket-list – mainly I want to run a marathon next year!

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:30 am

      So true!

      I have no doubt that you will run a marathon next year! Once you’ve caught the running bug it just doesn’t go away! Soon you’ll be writing that you want to run an ultra, too! 😀

  18. September 26, 2014 / 5:19 am

    Wow! The big 5 looks amazing – I can definitely see why it’s on your bucket list.

    Props by the way for attacking your bucket list already – I can only imagine the wonderful things you will be adding to it over your life time.

    I live in London and every time the London Marathon is televised, I think, it might be fun to do that. And I am sure I will do one day. Ummm! I may just add that to my bucket list.

    Good luck with your running Kristina. 😀

    • September 27, 2014 / 4:31 am

      Thanks, Oretta!

      I am really enjoying my visit in your lovely city – it’s so beautiful! I definitely want to come back and run the London Marathon someday, too. Adding that to my bucket list right now 🙂