As the weather cools down, the fall racing season picks up in full swing. Many popular races will already be filled, but we’ve curated a batch of equally race-worthy and unique events with spots still open. But hurry, these races can sell out fast too!
U.S. Air Force Marathon
Sept. 19; Dayton, Ohio
Held on the third Saturday of September for the past 19 years, this marathon commemorates the U.S. Air Force’s 68th anniversary. The course traverses historical sites celebrating American flight, including the Wright Brothers Memorial Museum. For an extra fee of $15 and $25, participants can partake in the Breakfast of Champions and gourmet pasta dinner the day before the race.
Bellingham Bay Marathon
Sept. 27; Bellingham, Wash.
This may be one of the most beautiful Boston qualifying courses that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. With gentle changes in elevation, this course coasts through the Bellingham Bay area, offering spectacular views of the bay, San Juan Islands and North Cascade Mountains, as well as crossing the scenic Taylor Avenue Dock in the last couple miles.
Twin Cities Marathon
Oct. 4; Minneapolis
Considered “the most beautiful urban marathon in America,” this point-to-point 26.2-miler starts near the future location of the new Minnesota Vikings football stadium in the downtown area and finishes at the State Capitol in Saint Paul. This year it doubles as the U.S. masters marathon championships. Stick around for post-race activities, food and massages at the 27th Mile Festival just past the finish line.
Oct. 11; Scranton, Pa.
Besides the hit comedy TV series “The Office,” Scranton is also known for its annual marathon (now in its 20th year) that includes 2.2 miles of dirt rails-to-trail paths along the Lackawanna River. Although this course has seen several BQ finishers, the downhills in the first 8 miles make it a challenge to tackle the uphills in the final few miles.
Oct. 17; Baltimore
Get a full tour of Baltimore from the famed Inner Harbor waterfront to Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles) by running this diverse urban marathon course. Runners will zoom past a penguin exhibit within the Maryland Zoo and make a loop around Lake Montebello. In the final 5 miles, spectators have been known to open their homes to race participants who need an emergency bathroom break.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon
Oct. 25; Los Angeles
Celebrate Halloween Hollywood style and dress up in costumed racing attire. Live bands throughout the course maintain a high energy for all 13.1 miles, including a post-race concert by indie pop band Smallpools. Plus, it’s a great people-watching race for both participants and spectators scoping out the latest and most creative costumes.