Updated on April 15, 2015
5 Marathons to Add to Your Bucket List
Whether you have been running marathons for years, or are new to the marathon community, every runner should have a bucket list full of their dream courses. We know it’s tough to decide where to run your 26.2 miles, so we went through our calendar and chose the five top marathons you’re going to want to check out. It’s up to you to decide which one’s next on your list!
1. Boston Marathon
Beginning in 1896, the Boston Marathon is one of oldest and most prestigious races in the world, which makes it a great race to have on your bucket list. Every April on Patriot’s Day, runners and spectators from around the globe migrate to Boston for race day. Although you need a speedy qualifying time to secure a bib, this is what makes the event special for many dedicated runners. Competitors even have the chance to race with olympic athletes, who often compete at this event. It’s not easy to qualify for this race, but it’s worth it to run in the most elite marathon in the world.
2. New York City Marathon
Are you ready to chase down your dreams in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple? Starting as a simple Central Park race, the New York City Marathon reached a record number of finishers in 2014 at 50,530 making it the world’s largest marathon. Organized by New York Road Runners, the course takes you through the five boroughs of New York City and brings on the challenge of a deceptively hilly route. Although you need a qualifying time to race in the NYC Marathon, you won’t want to miss out on the world’s most sought-after miles.
3. L.A. Marathon
Inspired by the success of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, Los Angeles hosts the ASICS L.A. Marathon every year. In 2009, marathon organizers unveiled the “Stadium to the Sea” course, which now starts at Dodger Stadium, ends at the Santa Monica Pier and incorporates many iconic landmarks along the way. This new course takes you through the diverse communities of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. Due to the enthusiasm of the newly implemented course, this event brings in more registrants every year. There’s no better way to celebrate with other runners than to race a scenic course in Los Angeles.
4. Chicago Marathon
With the birth of this marathon, 1977 became a landmark year for running in the city of Chicago. Along with many other shorter races, the Chicago Marathon gave the running community an explosion of excitement and opportunity for participation. Home to four World Records and several national records, the Chicago Marathon is one fast course. This means it’s a great qualifying course for other marathons, such as the Boston Marathon. This world-class course treats runners to a variety of cultures, historic buildings and vibrant murals along the way, incorporating an impressive 29 neighborhoods. Explore Chicago and maybe even qualify for a more challenging course!
5. Portland Marathon
Rated as one of the premier marathons in the United States and “the best marathon in the West” by Runner’s World, the Portland Marathon has more live entertainment and music per mile than other race. In the past, this marathon has attracted jazz bands, street performers and aerobic dancers to entertain competitors during the race. This fast Boston Qualifier starts and ends in downtown Portland, with only 21 turns in the whole course. Both experienced runners and novice runners won’t want to miss out on this upbeat experience!
Which marathon is next on your bucket list? Tell us in the comments.