Most runners know the big fall marathons: Chicago, New York, Marine Corps. Chances are any runner training for those races signed up way back in the spring (or before) and have had their fall plans set ever since. But what about the last minute runner? The one who is training right now, but has yet to select and register for a race? The good news is that as of right now, there are still so many amazing half marathons and marathons that are still open. Take a look at this list to find your fall goal race.
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
Oct. 1, Minneapolis
Just because you didn’t get into Chicago or NYC doesn’t mean you can’t run a city marathon this fall. This flat course winds you through the city streets of Minneapolis, as well as city parks with views of fall foliage. There is also a 10-miler, 10K and 5K.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
Dates and locations vary
Pick a geographic location in the United States (and beyond) and chances are there is a Rock ‘n’ Roll race happening nearby. Every Rock ‘n’ Roll race has a half marathon, but at least half also have the option for a full 26.2. Fall races include Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Denver, Savannah and Los Angeles, among others.
Mount Desert Island Marathon
Oct. 15, Bar Harbor, Maine
Not every fall race has to be flat. Head all the way north for this beautiful but challenging race. There are numerous hills, but with each ascent, runners are rewarded with amazing views. The race ends with a finish line festival in Southwest Harbor, giving runners a tour of the island and a chance to eat lobster when they finish.
Halloween Half Marathon
Oct. 21, Morristown, NJ
Racing doesn’t always have to be so serious. Have a little fun at this scenic fall race that features candy at every water stop and jack-o-lantern medals. There are great prizes for the overall winners, but don’t forget about dressing up. Awards are also given to the best costumes.
Jazz Half Marathon
Oct. 28, New Orleans
Halloween in New Orleans can definitely be crazy. So why not start a wild weekend with 13.1-mile run. The course goes through the Garden District, with gorgeous homes all decorated for the holiday. The after-race party is filled with delicious food, lots of beer and, of course, jazz music. Score tickets to the Voodoo Music Experience, also taking place in the city that weekend, if you can’t get enough music.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Nov. 4, Indianapolis
In its 10th year, this race has grown to be one of the largest marathons in the U.S. In addition to a beautiful course that tours the city, runners also love this race due to the great swag and convenience for out-of-town runners. It’s also a rare Saturday marathon. Run early and take the entire weekend to rest and recover. The marathon is open now, but will sell out before race day. The race also has a half marathon, 5K and kids race.
RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
Nov. 5, Orlando, Fla.
Believe it or not, this Disney race is still open. Run through Disney World in the morning and come back later that night for an exclusive post-race party at Epcot filled with delicious food and drink. Act fast though—this is one of their most popular races and is sure to sell out soon.
Nov. 11, Philadelphia
First off, this is not a typical half marathon. It isn’t even technically a continuous half marathon. Participants in the Italian Stallion challenge start the 5K race and then go right into the 10-mile race. It may be unconventional but it is all fun and perfect for anyone who literally wants to follow in Rocky’s footsteps.
California International Marathon
Dec. 3, Sacramento, Calif.
Chicago isn’t the only speedy fall marathon out there. If you’re looking to run fast on a flat course, this race is for you. Many runners leave Sacramento with a new PR and you could be one of them. Plus, the December date means that runners still have plenty of time to train.
BMW Dallas Marathon
Dec. 10, Dallas
As the weather gets cold up north, head to Texas for a race in the Lone Star State. The Dallas marathon course has a mix of city streets and beautiful bike trails. It’s the spectators, standing outside in costume and waiting to cheer, that make this race truly great.