The United States plays host to many marathons. This article will provide information on five of the most noteworthy marathons held in the U.S. While, I have never run in a major marathon, I did have the opportunity to be in London during the London Marathon in 2007.
The Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. The 2010 Boston Marathon will take place on April 19th. The course is 26 miles and begins in the rural town of Hopkinton and winds through eight cities and towns finally finishing at Boston’s Bay Back. The marathon is sponsored by John Hancock. There is space for 25,000 runners, and runners must first qualify before being permitted to race. 2010 marks the 114th Boston Marathon.
New York City Marathon
Sponsored by ING the New York City marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world. The marathon attracts more than 100,000 applicants, more than two million viewers will attend and more than 315 million around the world will watch the NYC marathon on television. The first NYC marathon was held in 1970 and consisted of four laps around Central Park. The 2010 New York Marathon will be held on November 7th. The course encompasses five boroughs including: Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The finish line is at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The course is 24.8 miles or 40 kilometers.
The Chicago Marathon is famous for its flat and fast course. The course begins and ends in Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park. The course takes runners through the city of Chicago and along Lake Michigan. Unlike the New York and Boston marathons, runners do not need to prequalify to race. They do need to register though. The Chicago Marathon holds a maximum of 45,000 runners. The 2010 Chicago Marathon will be held on October 10th. The Marathon is sponsored by Bank of America. The time limit for the twenty-six mile race is six and a half hours.
Walt Disney World Marathon
One of the most beautiful marathons in the world is the Walt Disney World Marathon. The 2010 marathon was held on January 11th and runners are already able to register for 2011. The marathon takes runners through the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. The marathon begins and ends at Epcot and takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The course is 26.2 miles. Participants have the option of running half marathons and other shorter runs.
San Francisco Marathon
The 2010 San Francisco Marathon will be held on July 25th. Runners have the option of running the whole marathon course, one of two half marathon courses or a 5 kilometer progressive marathon. The San Francisco Marathon is a loop course which starts and finishes on the Embarcadero near the Ferry building. The course is USATF certified and can also be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The marathon is 25.3 miles and has a six hour time limit. The marathon course takes runners across the Golden Gate Bridge and through much of the beautiful city of San Francisco.
While I don’t plan on running in any of these marathons anytime in the near future, the thought of training for one of the many smaller marathons has often entered my mind. If you are up for the challenge of a large marathon these are five of the best US marathons.