It’s more than an endurance test. It’s a display of courage, determination and dedication. That’s what marathons mean to me and I have the utmost admiration for those that participate in them. On the eve of my first one*, I thought why not highlight other marathons travel junkies must not miss, cities that make running that 26.2 miles more bearable because of its audience support, its course and post-marathon activities.
12 Marathons Travel Junkies Must Not Miss
San Francisco Marathon – San Francisco, California
It can very well be one of the harder courses to run in the United States, but the combination of scenic bay views, charming neighborhoods, and the thought of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with thousands of other runners makes the San Francisco Marathon one of the best marathons travel junkies must experience. After the race, reward yourself with a trip to the Embarcadero’s Farmers Market or splurge at one of the city’s Michelin three-star restaurants.
When: July 23, 2017
Walt Disney World Marathon – Orlando, Florida
The thought of having the entire Avengers crew plus Minnie and Mickey Mouse welcoming you at the finish line is enough encouragement for some people to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon held every year in January at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. What makes this one of the best marathons travel junkies must see is that in addition to the wonderful Disney characters cheering you every step of the way, the entire course includes passing through all four of Walt Disney World’s theme parks. After the race, you get to enjoy rides and experiences at the happiest place on earth. What more can you ask for?
When: January 8, 2017
Chicago Marathon – Chicago, Illinois
The relatively flat but utterly scenic course of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon makes it one of the best marathons for travel junkies. The marathon route passes through the city skyline of Chicago, which is famous for its diverse and pioneering architecture, and it also traces the shores of Lake Michigan before finishing up in Grant Park. Runners can look forward to refueling with deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnatis after the race or catch a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.
When: October 8, 2017
St. Jude’s Rock and Roll Marathon – Nashville, Tennessee
Many marathons in the United States claim to be a “rock n’ roll” one but none of them quite live up to the label as much as the St. Jude’s Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee. Runners always have fun at this event as they cross pass the Country Music Hall of Fame, routes with live musicians in costume and welcomed with a thunderous concert as you cross the finish line. After the event, you can opt to take a river cruise along the Cumberland or conclude your evening with a show and a stay at the Grand Ole Opry House and hotel respectively.
When: April 29, 2017
Marine Corps Marathon – Washington, D.C.
Who doesn’t like the idea of the United States Marine Corps stationed along the 26.2-mile route that includes passing through some of Washington, D.C.’s most iconic sights? The Marine Corps Marathon is in its 41st year and has always been a popular event for both participants and spectators mostly because of the atmosphere. With the Pentagon as the starting point, runners are then taken through the National Mall and Georgetown where you’ll get a glimpse of the Capitol Building and many of the capital’s famous monuments and memorials, before ending at the Iwo Jima Memorial, situated just outside of Arlington National Cemetery.
When: October 30, 2016
TCS New York City Marathon – New York, New York
The sight of the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building, crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and finishing off at picturesque Central Park is motivation enough for many to consider the New York City Marathon one of the best marathons for travel junkies. Not only do you get to cross through all five boroughs, you’ll have great support from spectators along the way. After the race, you and your guests can enjoy a stroll at Central Park, world-class shopping along 5th and Madison Avenues, culinary delights that suit all budgets, and some of the most spectacular stage productions at Broadway.
When: November 6, 2016
This post will be continued in Part II.
*AN: I’m participating in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K