A January marathon means runners can’t slack off during the holiday season. Training must persist during the endless opportunities to feast and curl up by the fire. We all should run a January marathon! While the country gets cold and busy, there aren’t a ton of races, but what the calendar lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for it in quality. January presents some of the nation’s best races.
1. Walt Disney World Marathon January 8, 2012
Billed as the most magical 26.2 miles on earth, the Disney marathon has a course like no other. All four theme parks are included in the races course. Runners will travel through Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and the Hollywood Studios. The course is lined with entertainment and support as well. Finishers earn a well deserved Mickey Mouse medal as they cross the line.
It wouldn’t be Disney if the race didn’t offer even bigger options as well. The marathon is the final race of a major race weekend. The Disney half marathon is the day before and for those up for the ultimate challenge, The Goofy Challenge is presented. Runners can attempt to run the half marathon on Saturday, earn their Donald Duck medal, and then lace up the next morning for the marathon. Those who complete the 39.3 miles earn an additional Goofy medal. Two races, three medals, and a whole lot of bragging rights!
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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.
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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.
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October was made for running! After months of training in the heat, the stage is finally set for a great marathon with the cool, crisp autumn weather. The only trouble is choosing which race. There are so many in October. Here are just a few of the great options for 2011.
1. Bank of America Chicago Marathon
A member of the World Marathon Majors series, Chicago is a must-run marathon for all marathoners. The 34th running of this famous race will be held on October 9, 2011. Notorious for it’s fast and flat course, Chicago targets elites and amateurs alike. In addition to its record setting potential, the course offers a scenic tour of the great city of Chicago and all the acclaimed neighborhoods. There’s a reason this race is among the top five in the world!
2. St. George Marathon
One of the most scenic marathons in the country will be held on October 1, 2011. The St. George Marathon is a beautiful point-to-point race that begins in the Pine Valley mountains of Utah and descends nearly 2600 feet into Worthern Park. This race is noted for its amazing scenery but it’s also acclaimed as one of the fastest fall marathon courses in the nation. Along with its beautiful and fast course, St. George has been honored with the title as “most organized” marathon as well. There are just too many positives about St. George, not to add it to the must-run list.
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Summer is a great time of the year to run a marathon in most parts of the country. Check below for the July marathons close to you. Schedule your July marathon in advance so that you have something to look forward to and have time train hard properly.
Top Marathons in July 2011:
- The San Francisco Marathon: This marathon, half-marathon, progressive marathon, and 5k are held in San Francisco, California on Sunday, July 31, 2011. The marathon is scheduled to have a waved-start schedule beginning at 5:30 a.m. and every ten minutes thereafter. If you have never been to San Francisco, this is your opportunity to do so. Head out and enjoy the scenery (jog across Golden Gate Bridge) while busting a sweat.
- Mad Marathon: Held in Waitsfield, Vermont on Sunday, July 10, 2011. This is the first annual marathon and half-marathon, and relay and these races are being deemed “the world’s most beautiful marathon.” The course travels through picturesque farmland, the Green Mountains, quaint towns, and even promises views of Vermont cows. They also brag that they Mad River Valley is not home to any fast food or chain hotels. The registration dues are $85 for the marathon, and the scheduled start time is 7:30 a.m.
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