2016 Late Season Marathons in the South
Sizzlin' Sasquatch MarathonSept. 3-5, 2016; Coalgate, Okla. 1 of 11
This trail run promises a little bit of everything when it comes to Oklahoma nature—canopied trees, creek crossings, pastures and river beds—all along a three-mile looped course. Though the race doesn't offer a long, winding course, the loop is a great way to hone your splits and benefit from constant cheering along the way.
Since it's in early September, expect some lingering high temperatures and an early start time of 5 a.m. There will be water, sports drinks and snacks available at the end of each loop.
Mystery Mountain Marathon and 12-MilerOct. 9, 2016; Chatsworth, Ga. 2 of 11
This marathon, which takes place in Fort Mountain State Park, is the perfect challenge for anyone bored with the usual 26.2 road race.
The race is run completely over singletrack, mountain bike and horse trails and features 15,000 feet of elevation change as you traverse Fort Mountain. Luckily, the panoramic views of surrounding mountains covered in fall foliage should be enough to distract you.
Running for the Bay MarathonOct. 23, 2016; Apalachicola, Fla. 3 of 11
As fall temperatures settle in, get your fill of beach and bay at this race. The course starts in Apalachicola, continues over the beautiful Apalachicola Bay and finishes on St. George Island for the full Florida experience.
Aside from the marathon, other options include a 50K, half marathon, 10K and 5K, so the event is great for runners of all abilities. As you finish, don't forget to grab your medal—it's been voted byMarathon and Beyondas one of the top medals in North America for three consecutive years.
Fort Myers MarathonNov. 6, 2016; Fort Myers, Fla. 4 of 11
What better place to log 26.2 miles than along the beautiful Gulf Coast?
Runners start on the palm tree-lined McGregor Boulevard and run over the Caloosahatchee River Bridge before making their way past historical estates like the Edison and Ford homes—winter retreats for Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Entry fees cover a technical shirt and a finisher's medal. Make sure to stick around for the official post-race party, the Stone Crab Festival, which will include live entertainment, food and vendors.
Nashville Half Marathon, Marathon and 5KNov. 12, 2016; Nashville, Tenn. 5 of 11
This race will give you a perfect tour of Music City, taking you through some of the most famous neighborhoods that are home to musician and artist communities. However, the highlight of the race will surely be the last quarter mile, as you make your way through the honkytonks of Broadway for a triumphant downhill finish.
The race has a six-hour time limit, and energy gels and Gatorade will be provided on the course. Afterwards, check out the post-race block party downtown, complete with music, food and complimentary Shock Top beer.
Chickamauga Battlefield MarathonNov. 12, 2016; Oglethorpe, Ga. 6 of 11
This interesting marathon is run through the nation's oldest military park, the Chickamauga Battlefield, home to one of the most important—and bloodiest—battles in the Civil War.
The out-and-back course starts at the original parade ground for the "Fighting Sixth" Calvary and spends the next 23 miles winding through the memorial on paved roads, all lined with different monuments and markers for runners to take in. Look out for re-enactors as you make your way to the finish and grab a commemorative medal.
South Padre Island MarathonNov. 12, 2016; South Padre Island, Texas 7 of 11
If you're looking for a tropical getaway within the U.S., look no further than South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast that offers 34 miles of scenic beaches—perfect for a destination race that's not too far from home.
The race begins in Port Isabel and leads runners up the Queen Isabella Causeway, a two-mile bridge that connects the island to the mainland. Take in the spectacular views of the Gulf, and don't forget to stop for a picture. There will be 20 "selfie" stations along the course, so you can create memories that last a lifetime.
Soldier Marathon and Half MarathonNov. 12, 2016; Columbus, Ga. 8 of 11
This certified Boston Marathon qualifier starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum and honors the men and women fighting in the armed forces.
The course runs through historic Fort Benning and along the beautiful Columbus River Walk, and is mostly flat‐minus one hill‐so it's a great option if you're looking for a PR. As pictured above, runners can also choose to run in honor of a fallen soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Stennis Space Center MarathonNov. 26, 2016; Pearlington, Miss. 9 of 11
Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with this special race, which takes place around the perimeter of the Stennis Space Center, the largest NASA rocket engine testing facility in the country. Expect great temperatures, race-day weather is usually in the upper 50s to the low 70s, and a flat, paved course through the surrounding wooded areas.
There will be aid stations every two miles, stocking water, Gatorade, bananas and hard candy. All finishers will receive a medal, long-sleeve tech shirt and a complimentary chicken and sausage jambalaya (complete with a cold beer) after the race.
Hillsborough River Marathon, Half and QuarterDec. 10, 2016; Thonotosassa, Fla. 10 of 11
If you want a true run in the woods, this race is for you.
With just a small section of pavement, most of this marathon takes place on forest roads and trails in Hillsborough River State Park, one of Florida's oldest state parks. Expect roots, mud, sand, rocks and, of course, adventure.
After you finish, make sure to stop by the after-party. You'll be treated to a free, post-race buffet. Your registration also includes entry to the park, so you can stick around and enjoy a full day in the woods.