Stunning scenery, challenging terrain, or maybe a nice glass of wine (or two) might be your top motivators for your next marathon. Perhaps you have qualified for Boston, or are looking to do so. Or maybe you're excited about traveling somewhere beautiful or exciting that you've never been before. Whatever your reasons, there's a marathon for that. Here are the top ten U.S. marathon destinations that fit every desire from that nice glass of wine to spectacular scenery.
10 U.S. Destination Marathons To Put On Your List
10. Jackson Hole Marathon (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)
If you are all about running and enjoying the view, this is the race for you. Jackson Hole has long been a vacation spot for many during the winter months because of its skiing and snowboarding resorts, but every year in September runners come for the beautiful fall colors. A unique part of this marathon is that it is cup-free, meaning runners must carry their own hydration packs, in order to reduce waste and keep crowds to a minimum at aid stations.
9.Wineglass Marathon (Corning, New York)
This qualifier for Boston Marathon is more than just that. The race starts in Bath, NY but finishes in Corning, NY where a special wine tasting for runners is offered at the Rockwell Museum and a “Wine Down” party is held at the Radisson Hotel Corning. The marathon gift bag also has includes with a wineglass and bottle of wine from Pleasant Valley, the oldest vineyard estate in the Finger Lakes region. If you’re a wine-o who loves to run, this marathon is for you!
8.Catalina Island Eco Marathon (Catalina Island, California)
Another cup-free course, the Catalina Eco Marathon is perhaps one of the most remote-feeling marathons in the U.S. Catalina Island, which can be accessed only by boat or air, is one of California’s Channel Islands. THe course runs through the inner roads and trails of the interior part of the island. Great views of the ocean can be see for many miles of the race, so bring your sunglasses and keep your eyes peeled throughout the marathon.
7.The TCS New York Marathon (New York City, New York)
Ranking as the world’s largest marathon, this is not a marathon to be missed. Registering for this race is notoriously difficult, so consider running with a charity group to get into the race.Last year alone, 50,000 runners finished the marathon. What started out as a 127-person race within Central Park is now on of the world’s most popular marathons.
6. Nike Women’s Marathon (San Francisco, California)
The world’s largest women’s marathon, the Nike Women’s Marathon has been around for 13 years. If you can traverse the steep hills of San Francisco, you can potentially qualify for the Boston Marathon since this is also a USATF-certified course.
5. Marine Corps Marathon (Washington D.C.)
Referred to by many as “The People’s Marathon”, this race brings in runners from all 50 states and about just as many countries. Aside from the huge turnout, the marathon has also been voted “Best for Families” and “Best for Beginners”. It is organized by the men and women of the Marine Corps Base Quantico, so for all you who watch ABC’s “Quantico“, here’s your chance to see the place in real life.
4.Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Listed as the only private event to shut down the Las Vegas Strip, this marathon gives runners a truly unique Vegas experience. With a 4:30 p.m. start time, runners will be wrapping up the race when the sun has set and the lights of Las Vegas are beckoning. Each participant also receives admission to the three-day Health and Fitness Expo, and the course includes live entertainment throughout the marathon. This is a great way to romp around the Strip in a different way.
3.Big Sur Marathon (Big Sur, California)
Ever wanted to run down the scenic Highway 1 on California’s coast? Here’s your chance! The Big Sur Marathon follows Highway 1, the nation’s first nationally-designated Scenic Highway, from Big Sur to Carmel. Breathtaking views of the crashing waves of the Pacific and rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Mountains are among the many scenic perks of running this marathon.
2. Chicago Marathon (Chicago, Illinois)
In 1977, Mayor Bilandic of Chicago decided he was going to make Chicago “the running capital of the world”. In doing so, he was also showing his support for the newly conceived Bank of America Chicago Marathon, as it is called today. It is known internationally as one of the largest in the world, as over 45,000 participants now race in it annually.
1. Boston Marathon (Boston, Massachusetts)
Perhaps the most iconic and renowned marathon in the U.S.,the Boston Marathon has a rich history. The city just wrapped up its 120th marathon, which explains why it is the world’s oldest marathon and consistently ranks as one of the most prestigious road racing events in the world. This marathon isn’t just for traditional runners, though, because Marathon Monday, as race day is called, plays host to wheelchair racers, handcycle racers, and mobility-impaired racers, as well. The city comes alive during Marathon Monday, and runners onlookers alike can be found partying long after the marathon has finished.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.