If your goal is to toe the start line at the world’s oldest marathon, check out these races known for their fast courses.
Written by: Linzay Logan
The Boston Marathon was bigger than ever this year. Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest time in history with a finish time of 2:03:02, Ryan Hall broke the American record with a 2:04:58, Desiree Davila finished second in an exciting women’s finish and Kara Goucher ran a personal best of 2:24:52 just six months after giving birth to her son, Colt.
Thousands of non-elite runners also ran today by earning their spot at one of the biggest races in the world through their qualifying race times. If you’re goal is to toe the start line at the world’s oldest marathon, check out these races known for their fast courses that are sure to get you a BQ.
St. George Marathon—St. George, Utah
Known for its downhill course, expect some quad burning for a total elevation loss of 2,500 feet. The course also has some great views thanks for its proximity to Zion National Park, but be prepared to run in the heat. Sign up now; registration is only open in the month of April and then runners are chosen via lottery in May.
Glass City Marathon—Toledo, Ohio
A fast and flat course with a great finish at the Glass Bowl Stadium, but be aware of the long straightaways with little visually stimulating landscape.
Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon—Napa, Calif.
The course runs through vineyards and wineries, making for a picturesque and nearly pancake-flat course, but doesn’t allow for extensive crowd support. Even if you don’t BQ, the race swag is worth running it.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon—Chicago, Ill.
A flat and exciting course filled with spectators, but the weather can be a bit unruly—barely above freezing or blistering heat from year to year. Sign up early; with a huge following, this race sells out all 45,000 bibs quickly.
Linzay Logan is the copy editor for Competitor magazine and cares about punctuation probably a little too much. She particularly loves to avoid commas as well as add exclamation points whenever she can get away with it! She also loves to run marathons and half-marathons—probably a little too much. Don’t let her small size fool you; she’ll still try to outrun you anytime. Even though chances are she probably can’t. Have a question or comment for Linzay? Email her at Llogan@competitorgroup.com.