November is another banner month for marathons in the U.S. With crisp temps and the changing of the season, many phenomenal race times are turned in during the month of November. Here are just a few of the excellent marathons taking place in November 2011.
1. ING New York City Marathon, November 6, 2011
Another member of the World Marathon Majors, New York’s marathon is an elite experience. Drawing in over 100,000 applicants each year, this historic race is huge and exciting. Elite and amateurs alike share the streets as the 26.2 miles course traverses the five boroughs that make up New York. Over 2 million fans line the course while over 315 million watch the world-wide televised event. It goes without saying that NYC is a must-run for any marathoner, however, the race fills up months in advance. Be on the look out as the lottery opens each winter for the following year.
2. Williams Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa, OK. November 20, 2011
The Route 66 Marathon is a great race ran on many portions of the original Route 66 highway. The race offers a distance for every type, even a great kid’s marathon event. While the course is in Oklahoma, a place not known for hills, there are some decent hills in this course. The event also hosts a classic car show at the finish line along with a great after party complete with a concert. The Route 66 Marathon may have the best finishers medals in the sport. Every year they seem to top the design from the previous year.
3. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio, November 13, 2011
When a race bears the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” name, runners are guaranteed a great event. San Antonio is no exception. San Antonio promises a flat and fast course that can be run while enjoying miles of entertainment. The course routes around the great sites of the city while also providing live local bands throughout the course. All runner’s get to party at the finish line festival and the post race concert. This year they’ve confirmed Vince Neil as the headliner. If you’re going to run that long and that hard, why not run a course that is a 26.2 mile party?!
4. Philadelphia Marathon, November 20, 2011
The Philly Marathon is among the top ten in the U.S. due to its good terrain, calm weather, and great atmosphere. The course runs past many markers in American history. Betsy Ross’s house and the Liberty Bell are just a few of the great sights during this event. The promise of crowds is a big draw as well. Philadelphia is a city where the “go the distance” spirit is embraced as all runner’s tap into their “inner Rocky.” This is a great course to race like a champion.
5. Malibu Marathon, November 13, 2011
Sandy beaches and perfect temps are on the menu for this coastal marathon. Runners in this race run a large portion of the Pacific Coast Highway as they make their way down the coast in the point to point marathon. There are some significant elevation changes on the race route, but the views have to be a great distraction! Some of those views include Brad Pitt’s house and other celebrity mansions. Where else do you get those views in a marathon? After the finish, runners are at the beautiful beach and can relax in the water as they just entered “paradise.”
6. Marshall University Marathon, Huntington, WV. November 6, 2011
Running through the uncluttered roads of Huntington and finishing at the historic football field of Marshall University, the young race is a great event. The race has the perks of a big marathon and the feel of a small race. Runners can enjoy a great course that promises fast times and a fun finish at the goal line of the Marshall Stadium. Runners are offered a football to carry across the goal line for their finishing picture. 2011 brings about the 8th year for this race and each year it grows more and more popular. No doubt will the fans carry runners home with the famous, “We Are Marshall” cheer.
7. Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, Fort Oglethorpe, GA. November 12, 2011
The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, is in its 32nd year. This marathon is run through the nation’s oldest military park. In the January 2010 issue of Runner’s World, readers selected it as the “most family-friendly” marathon, the runner-up for “most scenic” marathon, and third for best overall marathon. The race starts and finishes at the 6th Cavalry museum as it makes two loops in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The course is mostly paved and not billed as too difficult. The race also features unique medals. Each year a different state monument from the battlefield is used as the commemorative medal, this year the medal will feature Pennsylvania. There seem to be few reason to miss this race, other than it fills up fast each year due to its popularity.
8. Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, November 5, 2011
Another great “Rock ‘n’ Roll” event! A 26.2 mile course through the historic southern town of Savannah. As with all R’n’R events, a lively course is promised. Making certain to hit all the great highlights of the city and keeping the live tunes upbeat for an unforgettable race. Savannah has booked Carolina Liar as the post race headliner. Like all great races, this one fills fast, too. If you’re wanting to rock the race in Savannah, you have to be quick with the registration!
9. Grand Canyon Marathon, November 12, 2011
With a tag line like “Run on the Edge,” this race promises unbelievable sites. As a way to raise money for the Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center, the Grand Canyon Marathon was born in 2008. It would be hard to dispute their claims that they offer a race experience at one of the world’s most beautiful places. The course follows several amazing paths, allowing the runner to view scenic overlooks and experience several elevation changes. This race is off road for many miles and all racers are requested to carry 20 oz. water bottles as the water stations are more spaced out than typical road races. If a runner wants a unique race, this has to be it!
10. Bass Pro Conservation Marathon, Springfield, MO. November 6, 2011
The Bass Pro Conservation Marathon is billed as a great race for first-time competitors looking for an event with a great course and first class amenities. The course is described as scenic as it starts at the flagship Bass Pro Shop store in Springfield, Missouri. Runners will run on a couple beautiful trails in addition to running through some historic neighborhoods. Racers will run by Route 66 as they move through the downtown area of Springfield and past Missouri State University. This young race is a nice change of pace from the typical road race and is growing in popularity every year.