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5 niche international sporting events

When it comes to international sporting events, the Olympic Games might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are so many amazing sporting events that you may not have heard of. Athletes from around the world come together to test their limits – competing against each other in sports like cycling, swimming, and even skateboarding. Whether you’d like to participate or join the roaring crowd, here are some of the coolest international sporting events:

Antarctic Ice Marathon

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Image credit:icemarathon.com

A marathon is a challenging feat on its own, but once you throw snow and ice into the mix, it’s a whole new ballgame. The Antarctic Ice Marathon is the only marathon run in the interior of the Antarctic. With -20°C weather and the chance of strong Katabatic winds, don’t expect to beat your personal best.

You’ll also only have the voice inside your head to cheer you on, as the indomitable surroundings don’t allow for crowds. For those looking for something even more extreme, you can join the exclusive 7 Continents Marathon Club by combining this race with marathons on the other six continents.

Cape Epic

The Cape Epic, held in Cape Town, South Africa, is probably the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race. The race typically covers more than 700 km and lasts eight days (a prologue and seven stages). Professional and amateur mountain bikers from around the world come together to compete in teams of two.

The 1300 entrants ride through 700 km of unspoilt scenery, 15 000 m of accumulated climbing, over some of the most beautiful mountain passes in the South Africa. The 14th edition of the Cape Epic will take place from 19 to 26 March 2017.

The X Games

The X Games is not a battle of the X-Men (as awesome as that would be), but an annual sports event that focuses on extreme sporting events such as skateboarding and snowboarding. At the summer X Games, skateboarders and BMX riders from around the world come together to perform gravity-defying jumps and tricks.

At the Winter X Games, athletes wow the crowds with skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk’s 900 in skateboarding, and Travis Pastrana’s double backflip in freestyle motocross.

Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo ocean Race is the world’s biggest yacht race, held every three years. It’s a nine-month, 72 000 km race that goes around the entire world. Each of the entries has a sailing team of 9 members who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time.

They’re all assigned a different task on board, these include two professionals with medical training, a sailmaker, an engineer, and a dedicated media crew member. This is one of the most dangerous international sporting events to participate in – the seas can be very rough, and the crew members suffer from sleep deprivation, hunger, and extreme temperatures.

Powerman Spain

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Powerman is one of the most recognised and demanding duathlons, and it summons some of the best duathlon athletes from around the world. The Powerman duathlon consists of a 10km run, 60km cycle, and a 10km run to end it off. In February 2017, Mallorca will host the Spanish edition of this international event, the World Series Powerman Mallorca Duathlon. If you’re going to put your fitness to the limit, it might as well be through scenic villages that offer incredible views.

Mallorca hosts many other international sporting events, and is the ultimate playground for athletes – with pristine waters, long sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, and amazing Mediterranean weather.

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