5. Rio de Janeiro Marathon

When it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it's winter in the Southern. Rio is the setting for perhaps the planet's most sensuous run July 17. The route -- which visually rivals any --sambas through city streets. It starts out in Reciero, and finishes up in Flamengo -- ocean to the left, and mountains to the right. Along the way runners weave through Praia da Reserva, Leblon, fabled Ipanema and Copacabana -- as on-lookers urge them on.<br>
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(A pack of runners make their way along Leblon Beach during the IAAF Caixa World Half Marathon Championships in October 2008 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.)

( Ryan Pierse/Getty Images )

When it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it's winter in the Southern. Rio is the setting for perhaps the planet's most sensuous run July 17. The route -- which visually rivals any --sambas through city streets. It starts out in Reciero, and finishes up in Flamengo -- ocean to the left, and mountains to the right. Along the way runners weave through Praia da Reserva, Leblon, fabled Ipanema and Copacabana -- as on-lookers urge them on.

(A pack of runners make their way along Leblon Beach during the IAAF Caixa World Half Marathon Championships in October 2008 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.)

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