June 8, 2013
Marathon Tours & Travel is pleased to announce that it is organizing the Madagascar Marathon & Half-Marathon on this exotic African island.
Often referred to as "The 8th Continent", Madagascar, the earth’s 4th largest island, separated from the African continent about 165 million years ago. Since then its animals and plants have evolved in this forgotten land in the Indian Ocean into the world’s most concentrated bio-diverse environment. It contains over 10,000 endemic species.
The event will be held in Isalo in the south central highlands with most of the marathon course routed through Isalo National Park, Madagascar's most visited area where the world's oldest dinosaur bones have been discovered. The start and finish will be in the village of Bedaba with its 200 inhabitants. Proceeds from the race will be dedicated to building them a school that specializes in eco-tourism and hospitality within 2 years.
Our 2008 Madagascar Marathon & Half-marathon trip sold out in 15 days with 53 adventurous travelers signing on for our first journey to this exotic destination. The package was initially offered only to members of the Seven Continents Club and never opened to our regular clientele.
Madagascar is undeveloped, unspoiled and undiscovered. Even scientists find new insects, reptiles and plants each year. Taxonomists are still categorizing subspecies on the iconic lemur which is a category of primates. This 4th world destination is not for the uninformed traveler. Schedule delays and itinerary changes are expected. Most roads have corroded asphalt and large potholes. Yet Madagascar offers attractions and adventures not found anywhere else. Searching for lemurs in the wild is an unforgettable experience. There are 57 species of these lovable and fascinating primates, considered by the Malagasy as the Father of Man and found only in Madagascar.
The discovery of sapphires in the mid-80s have created a boom town in Isalo. A tour of the mines owned by French and Swiss gem speculators who have employed 100 laborers to manually dig for these light-blue precious stones is included. Aquamarines, garnets and rubies have also spiked local economies.
The Satrana Lodge, race headquarters, blends into the surrounding hills overlooking the valley below. The 40 bungalows offer comfort, style and many amenities. The main lodge has a very good restaurant, bar, sitting areas, pool and library with cable TV. Wi-fi is even offered complimentary during the morning and evening. Additional packages will also be available at Relais de la Reine and Jardin du Roy.
A variety of packages for the events and extensions are available on the packages page. Please join us in 2013 if you want to run a marathon on the 8th continent.