December is possibly one of the most hectic months of the year. Perhaps that’s why the country offers fewer marathons in December than any other month of the year. However, what the offering lacks in quantity, it more than makes up in quality. Some of the best and most popular marathons of the entire year take place in December. What a fantastic way to kick off the month of non-stop celebrating than by running 26.2 miles?!
1. The Las Vegas Marathon “Strip at Night” December 4, 2011.
The Las Vegas Marathon is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. This race has had instant popularity as the course is noted for being flat and festive. A recent change has really upped the ante, though. The race starts at 4:00 pm so that runners will take on the famous lights of the Las Vegas Strip at night.
The race time adds some unique changes to traditional marathon weekends. There’s a race day brunch in addition to a pasta dinner the night before. Instead of a post-race concert, Cheap Trick will be headlining the pre-race party. And since the runners will be finishing at night, the post-race party will be at Vegas’s premiere hot spots: XS Nightclub at Encore and LAVO at the Palazzo.
2. Dallas White Rock Marathon December 4, 2011.
Voted the “best running event in Texas,” The Metro PCS Dallas White Rock Marathon is a long standing great event. A fantastic flat course with nearly perfect running weather combine to create a sell out crowd every year. The fast course is also lined with over 40 bands and 28 water stops to keep runners moving to the finish line. Due to the great route, Dallas is also recommended for first time marathoners.
In addition to being a high quality race, proceeds go to benefit The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. TSRHC treats Texas children with orthopaedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia.
As with all these great December marathons, they fill fast. Sign up today and “Run the Rock!”
3. St. Jude Memphis Marathon December 3, 2011.
The Memphis Marathon has been benefiting the amazing work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 2002. This coupled with the great weather and course make it clear why they bring in the crowds every year. The route is flat with a few rolling hills. However, the sights are the best features of the course. The race starts and finishes in downtown Memphis passing many great attractions along the way. Sights include: The Mississippi River, Sun Studio (where Elvis Presley first recorded), the National Civil Rights Museum and the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Runners will experience a “dynamic finish” at AutoZone Park, home of the Redbirds, Memphis’ AAA baseball team. The race also has “spirit stations” in addition to aid stations along the course. “Be entertained by both Memphis Music and non-traditional zaniness!” There are too many good reasons to run this race!
4. California International Marathon December 4, 2011.
The California International Marathon was created in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association and brought a world-class running event to Sacramento. The same course developed then, and still used today, provides runners with a very fast, point-to-point, net-downhill marathon with a spectacular finish in front of the California State Capitol. The race starts at an elevation of 366 feet and ends at 26 feet, making it a course built for PRs!
Running coach and expert Bart Yasso remarked that the CIM course is “a very fast course, if not the fastest course in the country.” While there are other fantastic elements in this race, the course is the draw. Those looking for a PR as their Christmas gift need not look any further!
5. Honolulu Marathon December 11, 2011.
When your race is in paradise, scenery is just assumed. The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters. The terrain is flat except for short uphills around Diamond Head.
This race attracts many international runners and can doubtfully be rivaled in its beauty. Honolulu is a fantastic destination race, and how many pre-race dinners offer an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian buffet and a luau? Make your travel plans today to run in paradise!