Marathons have become increasingly popular in the US. Whether you are an experienced runner, or someone simply trying to push yourself to new goals, running a marathon is a popular way of being physically fit. But with new marathons emerging every year, which are the best to run? The following are five of the best in the United States.
New York City
The New York City Marathon is arguably the most famous marathon in the world. The course runs through all five boroughs of New York City and concludes in the world famous Central Park. Each year, more than 30,000 people from all corners of the world come to compete in the race. Additionally, the NYC Marathon brings some of the largest crowds, about two million, and is one of only two marathons that are shown on national television. Because entrance into the race is desired by so many, a lottery is done to choose participants. This leaves thousands of people out of the race. However, there are other ways to gain automatic entrance, such as running for charity. Additionally, if you are not chosen for three consecutive years, you gain automatic entrance in the following year’s race.
The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world and considered by many to be the most prestigious. The course begins in the Boston suburb of Hopkinton, runs through several towns and finishes in Boston’s Back Bay. While the race allows a maximum of 25,000 entrants, inexperienced runners will have a hard time gaining entrance. This is because the Boston Marathon has very difficult eligibility requirements. In order to qualify, a runner must meet certain time requirements in a previous marathon, depending on age. This makes entrance difficult, but ensures a high quality of competition.
The Chicago Marathon is emerging as one of the most popular marathons in the United States. Runners from all 50 states and 100 countries worldwide come to Chicago to compete in the race. The course is flat, which makes it easier for beginners, and a good opportunity for experienced runners to record their best time. During the race you will be able to take in sights of the city and its surrounding neighborhoods.
The Baltimore course travels through the Inner Harbor of Baltimore and the other neighboring towns of the city. Some of these areas include the historic Federal Hill and beautiful Fells Point. The race starts and finishes at Baltimore's stadium complex area, where both the Ravens and the Orioles play. Since its inaugural run in 2001, organizers have altered the race based on runner feedback. That includes smoothing out the streets of the course and adding pre-race restrooms.
Big Sur is the most scenic marathon, a course that travels along a breathtaking stretch of Northern California coastline. The race takes place along Highway One, just south of Carmel, California. However, the course is hilly, which makes it a very difficult one to run. Views of the Pacific Ocean should make the task a little easier.