Whether you’re a marathon maven or a rookie runner, if you’re looking to slap a “26.2” magnet on your car, you might have to wait a while if you plan on going through Boston, Chicago or New York. In this case, the road less traveled could prove to be a better option. Keep reading for a list of races around the country that’ll make you forget about those big-city marathons.
The Boston Marathon isn’t the only marathon that New England has to offer. Take a trip to Vermont City Marathon and check out the race put on by KeyBank. Flanked by the Adirondack mountains and Lake Champlain, the scenic course is adorned with spectacular views. Also, if 26 miles sounds like a doozie, bring a few friends and turn your marathon into a relay race.
Taking things even further north, the Pine Tree state has its own marathon to offer. Both testing and breathtaking, the Mount Desert Island Marathon provides spectacular views, with a trying course to match. If you’re wondering how tough it’ll be, keep this in mind. The creators of this race founded it with the notion that the words “marathon” and “easy” don’t belong in the same sentence.
Leaving the city and the Eastern Seaboard behind, if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, the Whidbey Island Marathon is the race option to take a look at. Weaving along country roads, you’ll run into snow-capped mountains, waterfront coastlines and even some wildlife here and there. For a sound race, head to the Puget Sound of Washington for the Whidbey Island Marathon.
Heading south along the west coast, you’ll run into a few potential marathon candidates, but the one that stands out among the rest is the Big Sur International Marathon of Carmel, California. Taking place along the coastline just south of the Bay Area, it goes without saying that the view is to die for, or in this case, to run for. Don’t expect it to be an easy trek, as California Highway 1’s beautiful landscape and hills make for a challenging expedition.
You don’t need a reason to go to Hawai’i, but if you’re looking for one, running the Honolulu Marathon is a good alibi. A good portion of the 26 miles is a long and dramatic uphill battle, but once you get over the hill, you might think you just went over the rainbow. The climb might leave you winded, but if that doesn’t do it, the resulting view will surely take your breath away. As wonderful as all this sounds, it pales in comparison to the after-race festivities that take place on Waikiki Beach. So, for nice scenery, potential eye candy, and a wild time, Hawaii’s capital city marathon is where it’s at.