Watching social media feeds of our friends as they gear up for races like the Chicago Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, and New York City Marathon can leave us with an intense feeling of #FOMO.
Sure, in the Spring signing up for a marathon may not have sounded fun, after all strange things happen when you run a marathon, but as our friends post Garmin splits of their final long runs and make us jealous with #instafood photos of their latest carbo-loading session, it’s hard not to get a little jealous. Invite your friends for a runcation or make them tag along to cheer you on! Remember to NEVER do these things before your marathon and don't forget to download our marathon packing list. Listed here are late Fall and early Winter marathons that are easy(er) to get into.
If you are looking for a flat, fast race with a net downhill that practically guarantees a PR, CIM is perfect for your needs. In fact, some of the largest percentages of qualifiers for both the Boston Marathon and Olympic Trials have come from CIM, with 22.5% of the field qualifying for Boston (1,218 runners) in 2015, and 58 Olympic Trials qualifiers meeting the standard from 2013- 2015.
In 2016, the Rocket City Marathon is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Held on December 10th, this race boasts nearly perfect weather, with temperatures in the 30 – 50ºF range. For science buffs, Rocket City is home to a storied NASA history with the Apollo missions being carried out in Huntsville. The race takes runners through the rocket space center and finishes inside Propst Arena and is relatively flat and fast, making it the perfect course for anyone who wants to one-up friends who ran the Chicago Marathon.
This one's on our dream runcation list. Runners say this race is outstandingly well-organized and makes for an amazing experience whether it's your first or fifteenth marathon. You can even register at the expo. Race week activities include a luau concert with delicious local cuisine. Aloha!
This January 15th marathon takes runners through the heart of Houston on a notoriously flat and fast course. Weather conditions and racing atmosphere are often ideal, which is why USATF has chosen the Houston course numerous times as the location for USA half marathon and marathon championship races. Yet another race that boasts perfect weather, starting temperatures are typically in the low 40’s with the day warming up to 60º F. After the race treat yourself to barbecue and cowboy boots while enjoying the vibrant nightlife that Houston has to offer.
So what if your friends ran world major marathons like Chicago or New York? Big whoop. Sign up for the next best race, which is the Walt Disney World Marathon held January 8th. The race starts with fireworks before the sun comes up and takes you through all four of the Disney World theme parks. The New York City Marathon may have one of the top elite fields in the world, but it doesn’t have a Mickey Mouse shaped medal.
Another Alabama race, the Mercedes Marathon will be held February 12th, 2017. Although hillier than Rocket City, Mercedes also boasts perfect weather (typically 40 – 50ºF), a Boston Qualifying course, and a fast field. Even better, the finishing medal is a Mercedes - Benz hood ornament, perfect for sprucing up your station wagon.
Beat the first wave of spring-breakers to Florida for the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon on February 19th, 2017. Again, beautiful weather with temperatures in the 60-75ºF range makes A1A the perfect runcation if you live in a city that gets "real" winter. Fast and scenic, this race runs from The Florida Keys to Daytona Beach.
Are you running a fall marathon soon? Signed up for one of the races above already? Ping us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know! Tag us in your Instagram pics if you pick us for your race kit!