While many look forward to holidays as a time to disconnect and recharge, others want to use their time off to try something new and push themselves: that’s where these sports challenges around the world come in. Whether you prefer to cycle, sprint or hike your way across the finish line, here are some of the top trials to try out on your next active break.

Haute Route Alps

Haute Route AlpsThe ultimate cycling challenge with the world’s best views to match, Haute Route Alps sees cyclists pushed to their limits as they scale some of Europe’s toughest mountains. Travelling from Nice to Megeve in just 7 days, this brutal, leg-shredding feat is the flagship event of the Haute Route Cycling Series – and only for the most experienced amateurs. However, it’s not all work and no play, as each evening will see you unwinding in some of the finest French ski resorts: delicious food and daily massages await.


Walt Disney WorldWant to make sure that every mile you run is magical? We’d suggest heading across the pond to participate in one of many RunDisney events held throughout the year. Whether you opt in for a carefree 5k, more challenging half, or take on the baffling Dopey challenge – an event that sees participants race in the 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon races across 4 days – you’ll get the unique experience of running around Walt Disney World, meeting favourite characters along the way.

Everyone receives a highly themed medal as they cross the finish line, and from there, we’d suggest heading to one of the resort’s many breakfast spots – what could be more rewarding than Mickey-shaped waffles? However, if you choose to stay at one of our villas in Florida, you’ll have the place to yourself as you unwind and put your feet up.

Three Peaks Challenge

Ben NevisHave you ever thought about climbing Mount Snowdon? Ben Nevis? Or perhaps Scafell Pike? With the Three Peaks Challenge, you’ll scale all three in just 24 hours, allowing you to see England, Wales and Scotland from their highest points. Covering 23 miles in distance and ascending over 10,000 feet, it can be attempted at any time of year as part of a self-guided trip or professionally organised event. This means you can keep costs to a minimum if you’re bold enough to go it alone.

Empire State Building Run-Up (ESBRU)

Empire State BuildingMore than 4 million tourists visit the Empire State Building each year, reaching the top via elevator in less than 60 seconds, but only a small number participate in the world’s first and most famous tower race. You’ll run up 86 flights – or 1576 stairs – in the ultimate endurance test, with winning times coming in at under 10 minutes. However, no matter how long it takes, you’ll be rewarded with truly stunning views across the Big Apple by the end – perfect for planning where you’ll head afterwards for a much-deserved post-challenge meal.


Scotch whiskyIf you need a little extra motivation to get you across the finish line, this could be the event for you. The Dramathon takes place along the Speyside Way, passing some of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries as runners take on a 10k, half marathon or full 26.2 miles. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with a glass of single malt scotch and the chance to sample other local varieties. 

Fancy more of a group challenge? The We Dram relay event allows you to tackle the full marathon route as a a team of four, making your “cheers” to success taste even sweeter by the end.

Looking for somewhere to stay and perhaps host a celebratory dinner – Scotch included? Check out our holiday homes in Scotland.

Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k

Running in the snowAs if running a marathon wasn’t hard enough, the Antarctic Ice Marathon sees you tackle the sporting challenge in temperatures as low as -20 degrees. Designed for the toughest athletes, this formidable feat will see you run over snow and ice while fighting off freezing windchills. Want to go even further? The 100K Ultra Race is one last option to satisfy your endless thirst for adventure. 

Be warned though: this event comes with a hefty price tag, charging a registration fee of around £13,000 to fly you from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Union Glacier camp, as well as providing food and accommodation once there.


While those are some of the top sports challenges around the world to try, at Oliver’s Travels we like to take all the stress out of planning a trip. That’s why we have a dedicated concierge team to assist in booking your break. And if simply reading about these events has you in need of a little rest and relaxation, we’ve got something for you too: check out our villas with hot tubs or perhaps the wellness collection, both of which are guaranteed to get you feeling your best.

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