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Image courtesy of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism 

Imagine a marathon that winds through thousands of temples and pagodas, alternating with pristine views of the countryside. That’s what you get when you undertake the Bagan Temple Marathon – a destination race set in Central Myanmar’s most breathtakingly scenic city.

Using historic Htilominlo Temple as the start and finish point, runners proceed through paved roads and dirt trails, touring much of Bagan and surrounding towns in the process. The contrast between Bagan and better-established marathons like the one in Singapore couldn’t be more stark – where Singapore has you running among thousands of competitors in a hyper-modern city, Bagan’s dirt roads wind through a countryside littered with 13th-century pagodas and stupas.

The humidity and heat of Bagan in November should not be underestimated – from the 6am start, the heat builds up fast to about 32°C on average – runners who lack proper hydration will not make it to the finish line.

The Bagan Temple Marathon next takes place on November 15, 2014. Marathon entrants can choose to run the full 42K marathon, or a shorter 21K half marathon.

Elsewhere on the web: For details on the marathon and to sign up for a slot, visit their official site: bagan-temple-marathon.com