Fall Marathon – What's Next?

Maybe next year Chicago Marathon is already sold out. Though I ran this marathon three years ago, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s well organized and attended, the course is flat and fast and visiting Chicago is always a blast. New York City Marathon is sold out and nearly impossible to enter anyway. The lottery is some time next year (I can’t find out when by looking at the website), and perhaps someday I can run it again. Two times does not deter me from this personal favorite. The St. George Marathon in Utah is sold out. I have heard great things about this race, and with such a picturesque backdrop, how could it not be enjoyable? The course is mostly downhill, so it’s supposed to be a good race for those seeking Boston Qualification. Big Sur International Marathon is sold out. I have also heard amazing things about this course, even though it’s a hilly one! One day I want to “wind through the redwoods” and view the Pacific Ocean on foot. Registration opens July 15, 2012 for next year’s race.

Keeping down costs I could run the City of Trees Marathon on 10/9 in my native town of Boise, and save a lot of time and money. But I’m a sucker for travelling to other areas of the country as a means of motivating myself to run. However, eating a pre-race home-cooked meal, sleeping in my own bed and family support on race day would be a nice substitute for airplanes, hotels and restaurants. I don’t know that much about the Atlanta Marathon held on 10/30, but I have a good friend and a brother-in-law with whom I could stay. And it should cool off in the deep South by late Fall.

A little more cash My friend recommended this trail run in Susanville, CA – the Bizz Johnson Marathon. I doubt I would run a PR on this course, but I’ll bet the scenery is amazing and the dirt trails would be a refreshing change after miles of concrete in Seattle. The St. Jude Marathon in Memphis sounds like it might be fun, and this cause is a wonderful one. The course runs through Beal Street, wraps around the city and finishes up at the Peabody Hotel –a blast from the past since I grew up about an hour from these landmarks. And the real incentive is that one of my dear friends from high school will be running the half.

Runner Ups The Outer Banks Marathon looks beautiful but I’m betting it’s still a wee bit warm and humid on September 11. Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon is held in lovely Savannah, Georgia. Walt Disney World Marathon is supposed to be a great one, but the January timing may not work out.

And another thing It’s not a marathon, but it’s a wonderful event in which I want to participate again. “The Mother of all Relays,” Hood to Coast, takes some advance planning to organize (not my specialty). This year’s event is held on August 26, so I’ll mark my calendar for 2012 registration information. It sells out fast!

Melinda Hinson