From Washington state to the sands of Hawaii, we found 10 great options if you're looking for a west coast marathon in the back end of your year.
The Dam MarathonJune 18, 2016; Oakridge, Ore. 1 of 11
This serene mountain course runs around beautiful Hills Creek Lake in Willamette National Forest and provides unmatched views as you run along the top of the dam. Covering both road and trail, the race may not be very flat, but it is unforgettable. Past finishers have praised the exceptional organization and volunteer presence at this race, and have also noted how welcoming the town is to out-of-town runners.
After finishing, kick back and enjoy live music, food and activities for the whole family at the post-race festival.
The Santa Rosa Full and Half MarathonAug. 28, 2016; Santa Rosa, Calif. 2 of 11
The newly designed out-and-back course promises a flat and fast terrain as it winds through downtown Santa Rosa, over the Prince Memorial Greenway and through the De Loach Vineyards. Try not to get too thirsty as the course even passes through the barrel room of the vineyard.
Stick around after you finish for free pancakes, a beer festival, a farmer's market and activities for the whole family.
The Kaua'i Marathon and Half MarathonSept. 4, 2016, Kaua'i, Hawaii 3 of 11
Taking place on the oldest Hawaiian island, the Kauai Marathon is a perfect race to put on your bucket list. The course follows the contour of the coastline, offering views of picturesque beaches, lush tropical forests and rugged volcanic peaks. You'll climb the hilltops of Kalaheo for a breathtaking view of the ocean before descending back to the finish line at Poipu Beach.
Bring the family along for an extended vacation on the pristine white beaches and endless blue seas that Hawaii is known for.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon and Half MarathonOct. 1, 2016; Leavenworth, Wash. 4 of 11
Where better to honor the German culture than the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon? Run in a city modeled on a Bavarian village, this marathon is a mixture of asphalt and dirt trails, and the course is surrounded by towering mountains, bubbling creeks and rivers, and bushy forests.
After finishing, join the Oktoberfest activities, including parades, music, family activities and, of course, food and beverages.
Humbdolt Redwoods Marathon, Half Marathon and 5KOct. 16, 2016; Weott, Calif. 5 of 11
Run through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, this marathon will take you through hundreds of towering redwood trees.
Located about 200 miles north of San Francisco, the race takes place in California's largest redwood state park, which means you're in for a runner's dream—a super shaded run. While you might leave with achy legs, this race certainly won't leave you with sore eyes.
The marathon is a Boston qualifier, and the half marathon serves as the RRCA California State Championship, so you're sure to see some incredible times at this event.
Napa Wine Country Marathon, Half Marathon and 10KOct. 22, 2016; Calistoga, Calif. 6 of 11
Take a jaunt through lush scenery as you run 26.2 miles on the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park trails. While the course isn't known for being flat, you'll feel even more rewarded after crossing streams, conquering hills and meandering the singletrack path all the way to the finish.
You'll want to sign up early for this one, as the race only allows 300 participants and sells out every year.
Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half MarathonOct. 23, 2016; Hood River, Ore. 7 of 11
The timing of this marathon is just right to take in the spectacular colors of northern Oregon in the fall.
Billing itself as the "most scenic marathon in the country," this race offers views of the Columbia River Gorge, numerous waterfalls and stunning mountain vistas. A large part of the course is even run along a nearly 100-year-old interstate, built as the first roadway to navigate the Columbia River Gorge. The area sees average highs in the mid-60s, and runners are encouraged to stay for a complimentary post-race lunch including homemade soup and rolls, chips and salsa, local, organic fruit and apple cider.
Photo Credit: Scott McMullen.
Surfers Point MarathonNov. 3, 2016; Ventura, Calif. 8 of 11
Hang ten, dude...on this flat, double-loop course in Southern California. The spectator-friendly race starts and finishes at the Ventura Boardwalk, adjacent to famous Surfers Point.
Need another incentive to run? All finishers get a free beer and a plate of delicious street tacos upon crossing the finish line. Those under 21 receive a root beer—which is close enough, right?
Runners are encouraged to know with the entire course before race day as there are few course markers, so it's a good idea to study the course map and even drive it beforehand, if you have time.
Santa Clarita Marathon and Half MarathonNov. 6, 2016, Santa Clarita, Calif. 9 of 11
Test your endurance on this looped 26.2-mile course over roadways and paved trails in Southern California. The race covers rolling hills, but nothing steep—making it a great opportunity for a PR and a chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The event has been applauded for its fantastic organization and volunteers, so you're sure to be taken care of.
Death Valley Trail Marathon and Half MarathonDec 3, 2016; Death Valley, Calif. 10 of 11
For those looking for an off-road adventure, the Death Valley Trail Marathon is right up your alley—or canyon, to be exact. Taking place entirely in Death Valley National Park, the course is run on a single dirt road through Titus Canyon. You'll see a gradual uphill during the majority of the first half, and then coast downhill to the finish after mile 12.
Don't let the name scare you away—desert temperatures in December fall into the 30s and only reach the mid-70s during the day. Race registration is capped at 250 runners (and sells out every year), so make sure to sign up early for this one.
Photo Courtesy of Enviro-Sports.