Destination Marathons USA


The January 2014 Runner’s World came out this week, and I just had to check out the Top 10 list they published on fun filled, recently launched marathons across the US.  I have only been running the marathon distance for two years, so I haven’t really delved into big time destination racing.  Yet!

Looking at their picks, a few really stand out, and already have been on a wish list of mine for race travel.  I have a top 3 based on the list of top 10.

#1. Utah Valley Marathon. –  I have never been to Utah, so this would be a great reason to visit.  The Provo Canyon Scenic Byway is supposed to be beautiful, and it’s always nice to have scenery on a long 26.2 mile journey.  The main attraction though?  The course is mostly a gentle descent.  A net elevation change of 1,700 feet down from the start.  What a great way to try for a BQ time!


#2.  Vancouver USA Marathon. –  Any trip to the pacific northwest is ok in my book, and even better if running a marathon.  I spent a fair amount of time vacationing to Washington State mostly, when I was younger.  I have spent some time along the Columbia River, and Portland, with a trip or two to Mt. Hood.  The area is just beautiful, so for that reason alone I want to run this marathon one day.  The course is flat and scenic, two more good reasons to run it.


#3.  Santa Barbara Marathon. –  Ah… A trip to California to run a marathon?  Yes, please.  I have had my eye on this one the past two years, and have even looked into flights.  Hasn’t worked out the past two years, but this one will be on my calendar soon.  A November race, great temperatures, and running along the Pacific Coastline.  All sounds great to me.


If only my wallet were bigger, or I were to come across a small fortune!  So many wonderful races across America that I want to run someday.  Not to mention those abroad.  I would love to travel to Australia for a marathon.  Paris perhaps…  How about the Athens Marathon, or a marathon in South Africa.  Would love to do them all one day.

For now I will remain focused on getting to some interesting and highly rated races closer to home.

I have run one marathon that did make the Runner’s World top 10 already.  In 2012, I ran the Tobacco Road Marathon, which is in Cary, NC.  It’s about 20 miles from my home.  Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with the race at all.  It is mostly flat, but extremely boring.

Have you run any of the races that made the top 10 list?  Here is a full listing…

The Louisiana Marathon

Tobacco Road

Illinois Marathon

Pittsburgh Marathon

Minneapolis Marathon

Utah Valley

Vancouver USA Marathon

Rockfest Marathon

Indianapolis Monumental

Santa Barbara Marathon

If you’ve run any of these marathons, please comment and let me know what you thought about your experience.

Happy running!

10 thoughts on “Destination Marathons USA

  1. I have been wanting to do the Pittsburgh Marathon because I have relatives who live there, but it is just too close to the Blue Ridge for me to run competitively at both. I refuse to give up the Blue Ridge race…and I won’t pay for a race just to run it, a PR always has to be at least a good possibility. Maybe someday I will be strong enough to race both…

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