San Fransisco

18 May. At 8am the world's largest foot race sets off, with more than 70,000 costume-clad runners participating in the "Bay to Breakers" race, otherwise known as the "Embarcadero to the Great Highway".


18 May. Continuing the sporting theme, the "Wonderful Copenhagen Marathon" takes place this day. Exercisers and professionals alike mingle on the 42km race through the streets of this most eco-friendly of cities. Start and finish is in Vester Voldgade.


15 May This bizarre festival takes place in the little town of Gubbio in Umbria and features a race run by big men carrying enormous wooden constructions called ceri, in honour of the town's patron saint Sant' Ubaldo.


17-20 May. The International Baroque Days take place on the Whitsun weekend at Melk Abbey in the Wachau Valley, one of Austria's finest monasteries. This year Bach will be the featured composer though French and Italian music from the Baroque period are also given prominence. Information from 00 43 1 8765182.


15 May sees the start of the San Isidro festival, a popular excuse for jollity in the streets of Madrid. More importantly though, 17 May sees the start of the Romera del Roci, a pilgrimage to the pretty town of El Roci near Huelva in southern Spain. The arrival is timed to coincide with Whit Sunday, and people come on horse back and in ox carts from all over Andalucia to participate.


17 May. Final of one of the world's most famous annual football knock- out competitions, the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium north London. Chesterfield may have missed out, but Chelsea and Middlesborough will be fielding a rare display of foreign talent by way of compensation.


18 May. Never mind the FA Cup Final: this is the World Dock Pudding Championship at Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Competitors aim to cook superior puddings out of dock leaves, nettles, oatmeal and onions. The tastiest pudding wins.