While running a 26.2-mile run intimidates many runners and is a terrifying idea to others, surprisingly, more runners today are taking on the challenge of a marathon. Many participate in marathons for a cause; others wish to accomplish running such a long distance.
Quad Cities Marathon (September)
Four cities, two states (Illinois and Iowa), and three bridges intersect the Mississippi River and make for an exciting marathon. This is an entirely flat but picturesque course. Known as a “very friendly” and well-organized run, the Race Director who has more than 20 years experience, Joe Moreno, still high-fives every runner who completes the race.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (November)
Because this Boston Marathon-Qualifier course in Indianapolis is flat and the weather is cold, it has grown in popularity. It starts and ends at the State Capital, affording the runner a tour of the city.
Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon (April)
At one point, this exciting marathon goes onto the track of Churchill Downs; then runners make one loop with broadcasts of past Derby calls. The rest of the race is through downtown Louisville.
Hartford Marathon (October)
A favorite in New England, this race that is in its 26th year, is so well-organized that it receives very high ratings. The route is an interesting one, stretching through urban, suburban, and rural areas and over the Connecticut River.
Savannah’s Rock & Roll Marathon (November)
Held in a port city with Southern charm, beautiful Savannah, Georgia, has the runners transported to the starting line on a ferry. The route goes through the charming historic district. The runners are entertained with music as they run along this course.
Louisiana Marathon, Baton Rouge (January)
Baton Rouge’s course is completely flat, taking runners through parks and oak tree tunnels. There are magnolias all along streets that contain beautiful antebellum homes. After the run, there are festivals to enjoy with cajun cuisine, local beers, and live music.
Missoula, Montana, Marathon (June)
As one of the most loved marathons in the country, this race has received great reviews on RaceRaves. A peaceful route to run, there are country roads with only one hill from Frenchtown to Missoula. Residents along the route offer their sprinklers and support. The race route reveals fantastic beauty as it goes between Glacier National Park in the northern part and Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Park in the southern end.
While most of these events have been put on hold due to the current pandemic, it’s never too early to start training for next year!