What is your favorite Fall Marathon?

As the Summer scorches on heading into July, my thoughts are on Fall racing.  I think many of us train hard during the Summer months in hopes of at least one awesome race in the Fall.

I love race planning.  Planning though, for runners, often is months in advance of a race.  My Fall schedule is already in place and includes several first time races, and some old favorites.  It gets the heart pumping just thinking about toeing the line at some of my choices this Fall.  Big Cottonwood Marathon in September, Chicago Marathon in October, City of Oaks in November.  I have a great line up.

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I recently looked up some info on the best Fall marathons, and I have to tell you, there are some amazing races to run.  A few that made the list of the top 15 Fall marathons are- Anthem Richmond, Chicago, Steamtown, Jackson Hole, NYC, and Las Vegas.  The only race on the list that I have run is Rock ~n~ Roll Las Vegas.

My question for you today is this…..  Do you have a favorite Fall Marathon or race that is a must run?  I ask because it’s never too early to start planning.  My race calendar is full this Fall, but I need a few suggestions to start looking at for next year.  Which ones are your favorites?

Big Cottonwood Marathon and Fall Race Planning

Image I’ve done my research.  I’ve looked at the pictures, and runner comments, and course.  This race looks absolutely incredible!  I must sign up, and fast! This race, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, is mainly a downhill course.  I have never been to Utah, and this seems like a pretty great opportunity to check out the area and its beauty. Looking at Fall races, and trying to put together a good schedule, a few things have occurred.  First off, I really enjoyed the Asheville City Marathon I ran last September.  I planned on going back, spending race weekend in the mountains and enjoying the Fall foliage.  A few months ago, even though they had already started the registration process for this coming year, they cancelled the event completely, and gave refunds to all that had registered.  This left me with a hole in my Fall schedule.  I also decided (since it’s free to enter) to put my name in the hat for the Chicago Marathon, in October. Distance race planning can be tough.  Making sure you have to funds, travel, new races versus old races, rest time, etc., a lot goes in to the planning schedule.  Summer here is too hot for racing, so I generally get a lot of training miles in.  These training miles in the tough summer heat always leave me well prepared for a great Fall racing season. So…. Options….   Big Cottonwood Full in Utah, mid September. image A week later the Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon in Tennessee put on by Vacation Races.  These two races, on back to back weekends lead me to think of just taking the entire 12 day stretch off as vacation time from work. October…. Rock ‘n’ Rebellion Half on the 5th, here in Raleigh. Depending on the lottery, maybe Chicago mid month.  Not sure I could afford a trip to both Utah and Chicago in the Fall.  Fun to think about though. Greensboro Marathon on the 18th, followed by the Bull City Race Fest Half on the 19th. ( both of which I am already registered for) November… City of Oaks Half Marathon on the 2nd, with my son.  (Registered already) Not sure if the season will continue after that race.  I have the opportunity to head to Spacecoast Marathon in December, or have always wanted to run Kiawah Marathon, which is also in December.  We’ll have to see how it all pans out.  Race planning is fun, isn’t it?

Do you have any big plans for the Fall this year?