11 Chances to Chase a Boston Qualifier This Year
Steamboat Springs, Colorado - June 2, 2013 1 of 12
If running in the mountains gets you high, head to Steamboat Springs for the marathon, whose starting elevation is 8,128 feet and finishing elevation is 6,728 feet. You'll certainly be ready for Heartbreak Hill after this effort. Runners will behold the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, Elk River and emerald-green pastures. The event includes a half marathon, 10K and free fun run for children aged 5 and up.
Legs of Love Marathon
Essex County, New Jersey - June 9, 2013 2 of 12
Kick back on the train or a New Jersey Transit bus on your way to the race start, which is easily accessible by public transportation. This flat, scenic race through Branch Brook Park features 360 acres of cherry trees. The whole family can participate in your crusade; there's a half marathon, 10K, 5K and family run that helps raise money for the children of ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel.
American Fork, Utah - July 27, 2013 3 of 12
If you're super competitive and enjoy an honest challenge, you could become one of the 100 marathon participants who attempt to start your BQ journey at the finish line of the Sogonapmit Half Marathon, run up the American Fork Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains (1,800 feet total in elevation gain) to the start of the half, then try to get back down to the finish without being caught by the half marathoners.
Fox Valley Marathon
St. Charles, Illinois - September 22, 2013 4 of 12
If you're not a fan of big-city marathon crowds, this low-key race with a flat, fast, shady course runs through town streets and bike paths along the Fox River could be the race for you. Enjoy small-town sights such as bridges, parks, a Dutch windmill and waterfalls as you aim for a fast time.
Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire - October 6, 2013 5 of 12
If you like craft beer and want to shoot for a fast time in a seaside community, the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon is for you. Marathoners will complete one loop of the half-marathon course before branching off onto residential roads. Plan your hydration better this year, as water stops are now 2 miles apart. After you've achieved your BQ, celebrate with a cold Smuttynose beer, bowl of clam chowder and a lobster roll at the post-race party.
ING Hartford Marathon
Hartford, Connecticut - October 12, 2013 6 of 12
photo by Leonard Hellerman
Enjoy picturesque New England scenery and brilliant fall foliage at this marathon, 26.2M relay, half marathon, 5K, kids K. Just as you might be hitting the wall, you'll approach the mile-22 candy stand, complete with chocolate, hard candy and old-school de-fizzed soda for quick energy. Event organizers have a goal of becoming the most sustainable athletic event in the country, and you'll notice many green initiatives at the event.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Chicago, Illinois - October 13, 2013 7 of 12
This big-city event never disappoints—unless the weather doesn't cooperate. Running the tangents is vital in this race that curves through the Loop and heads to the south side, through Chinatown, before heading north again to Grant Park. Steel yourself for the second part of the race, as it's not as spectator-heavy, and is devoid of the shade of the tall buildings in the first half. While registration is closed for 2013, you can still get in via a charity entry through July 1.
Empire State Marathon
Syracuse, New York - October 20, 2013 8 of 12
photo courtesy of Empire State Marathon/Marathon Foto
This green event includes a marathon, four-person marathon relay and half marathon. The marathon course is flat, fast, and takes runners past the Onondaga Lake. The crisp autumn air in upstate New York and brightly hued foliage means perfect weather for running a fast time.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Indianapolis, Indiana - November 2, 2013 9 of 12
An up-and-coming rival to the Chicago Marathon, this mostly flat and fast course highlights the beautiful buildings in downtown Indianapolis. If your friends and family want to run a shorter event, there's a half marathon, 5K and kids marathon (one mile). Register in advance for this race, as it sold out last year.
Santa Barbara International Marathon
Santa Barbara, California - November 9, 2013 10 of 12
This point-to-point course begins in the scenic Goleta Valley with its lush lemon and avocado orchards, winds through Santa Barbara's picturesque Mesa community, and finishes with a stunning two-mile descent to the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Complete with cash prizes for winners, and a post-race celebration, this race shows off the quintessential beauty of the Southern California coastline.
Northern Central Trail Marathon
Sparks, Maryland - November 30, 2013 11 of 12
If you're looking for a scenic, mostly off-road, small race, join 550 other runners at this quaint but competitive event run on mostly trails, with some rural paved road sections (with some hills) in the first and last few miles. The out-and-back course takes runners under the leafy canopy of the Northern Central Railroad Trail; the trail portion features flat stretches of a dirt and fine stone trail that winds along the Gunpowder River through quiet farmland.