So, you gathered the confidence to plan your first marathon but are still wondering which one of the many US based events is the most suitable for beginners like you?
As you know a marathon is an exceptional feat which requires long and persistent training of the mind and body, but will leave you with an extraordinary sense of accomplishment once you cross that finish line.
When you are planning your fist ever marathon, make sure that you choose the appropriate one and a good one which you will never forget.
Here is a list of the best marathons in the countries for first timers. These events combine beautiful scenery, good weather conditions, an energetic and friendly atmosphere and relatively flat routes:
- The Walt Disney World Marathon, in Orlando, Florida
It is held annually in the first 10 days of January. The marathon is on January 8th 2018 and will be celebrating a 25th anniversary next year. The approximate number of finishers at this amazing event is 20,000. The course is flat and looped and tours all of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, as well as ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Runners can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of this marathon which starts with incredible fireworks and will have the opportunity to meet Mickey Mouse and his famous friends who will be cheering them off at every half mile of the event. It starts early at 5:30 am. The weather is very nice for running, and you will be determined to get to the finish line, so that you can go on and celebrate your achievement at one or more of the multitude of attractions at Disney World. It is a great even to sign up for and take the whole family with you!
- Austin Marathon, Austin, Texas.
Held in February, this marathon has a nice urban and hilly course throughout the city of Austin. An average of 5,000 runners take part in this event every year. The start line is at Congress Avenue and the finish line is close by at the end of the Capitol. Take the opportunity to participate in this marathon which is very suitable for beginners and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to see all the landmarks in Austin, including the Colorado River, Hyde Park, The South Congress and the University of Texas.
- The Little Rock Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Held in the first week of March, this race has an estimated 2,550 finishers and offers one of the biggest finisher’s medals in the US! This is one of the friendliest marathons which makes it perfect for newbies and first-timers. The course is open for 8 hours, so you can choose to move to the sidewalk and walk to the finish line and still get a medal for participating! Although it does have some hills in the middle of the course, it is relatively easy and will provide you with nice cool weather and amazing scenic views of the Arkansas River along the way.
- The Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This event is held at the beginning of May and has an average of 15,000 runners every year. The name of the marathon is dedicated to the historical heritage of the city’s pork industry, and you will be supported by the locals who love to show their latest pig puns while supporting the runners at the event. The number of spectators of this event reaches 150,000 so you can imagine the incredible atmosphere and support you will receive at your first ever marathon if you pick this one! The course is relatively easy, with some hills at mile 6, but once you reach the 10th mile, the route goes downhill towards to the finish line located at the Cincinnati waterfront.
- Chicago Marathon
With more than 37,500 finishers, this is the second largest marathons in the US. Yet it is a great choice for a first marathon because the course which tours around 29 neighborhoods in Chicago is almost completely flat. Throughout the route supporters will cheer you on, along with cheerleaders and bands located throughout the route. The start and finish lines are in close proximity to many hotels, which will make your pre-race and post-race logistics hassle free and quick too.
- Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C.
Held in late October, this event is very popular amongst newbies. In fact from the 23,000 finishers, about 8,000 are making their debut each year, so you will not be alone for your first marathon! The course is looped and the support of the crowd is amazing. You will be greeted by uniformed Marines at the finish line cheering “OORAHs” which is an unforgettable experience. Moreover, the organizers of this marathon hold a special pep rally two nights before the race which features advice and pins for first time runners, so you might want to go to Washington D.C. a little early to get these extra tips and for added motivation.
- Portland Marathon, Portland, Ore.
This great event takes place in October and is perfect for beginners. The motto of this race is “all finishers are treated as winners!”, so you will feel the special attention and appreciation whenever you happen to cross that finish line. It is great for walkers and slow runners too, as the course stays open for 8 hours. Marked as one of the most welcoming marathons in the country, this race has a beautiful course, excellent crowd and volunteer support and an amazing race atmosphere.
- ASICS Los Angeles Marathon
Named “the best big city marathon” by Runners World, this event takes place in February in Los Angeles, California. It has an attendance of more than 25,000 runners each year, and even though it is a big city marathon it retains the positive support and community feel of a small town due to the incredible crowds which gather along the course to cheer the participants. You will pass by every landmark in Los Angeles if you choose to register for this even which offers one of the most scenic courses not only in the US but worldwide.
- The Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This marathon is held in November and includes all the excitement, neon lights and fun you expect from Vegas, but without the risk of losing all your money. It starts at night so you can enjoy the one and only atmosphere of Las Vegas. Along the course, there are numerous cheerleaders, water stations, live bands and supporters to cheer you along the way.
- Philadelphia Marathon
With an approximate 10,000 finishers, this marathon is in November and combines two different course experiences for the participants: urban and scenic. It starts in the historic streets of Philly, passes by the famous steps from “Rocky” in front of the Art Museum and moves to the amazing scenic views along the Schuylkill River. With supporters to cheer you along the way, surely this marathon will remain a memorable one, especially if you choose it for your marathon debut!