Portneuf Medical Center Pocatello MarathonSept. 2, 2017 - Pocatello, Idaho 1 of 10
Labor Day Weekend signals an end to social acceptance of white pants and seersucker suits and the glorious beginning of marathoners' second season. What better place to start than a race that has long been renowned for its swag bags?
As in, duffel bags full of goodies.
The race itself is USATF-certified and a Boston and New York qualifier set in the charming town of Pocatello. A rural county seat in southeast Idaho, the Rocky Mountain foothills provide a stunning backdrop for much of the course.
The Kauai MarathonSept. 3, 2017 - Kauai, Hawaii 2 of 10
Did your friends invite you to the lake for Labor Day? We have a better idea. Do some Gardening—as in "The Garden Island" or Kauai, Hawaii.
If you're looking for a more breathtakingly beautiful way to spend 26.2 miles, you won't find it. Kauai is home to the Waimea Canyon—nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"—along with the National Tropical Botanical Garden headquarters and largest collection of native Hawaiian plants.
"One of a kind" is an overused descriptor, but this place truly fits the bill.
The USATF-certified course follows the contour of the scenic coastline, offering unforgettable views of volcanic peaks, tropical rain forests and the picturesque beaches that await you once you've finished. Aloha!
Leavenworth Oktoberfest MarathonSept. 30, 2017 - Leavenworth, Wash. 3 of 10
Stunning beauty is plentiful throughout the state of Washington; a fact that is perhaps never more apparent than while trekking from the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, through the scenic town of Leavenworth and looping around the Icicle Canyon.
Just don't forget to look for schools of salmon in the Wenatchee River.
Spend a mile—or 26.2 of them—taking in natural aesthetics so distracting that you may forget to complain about your calves. Then collect your well-earned medal and make your way to the festivities of the Leavenworth Oktoberfest. An abundance of German-inspired entertainment, food and, of course, beer awaits you.
Humboldt Redwoods MarathonOct. 15, 2017 - Avenue of the Giants Weott, Calif. 4 of 10
The Humboldt Redwoods Marathon course will be clearly marked, which is important, as participants may be prone to temporary lapses in concentration due to the fact that they're running through the overwhelming magnificence of California's largest redwood state park.
Noticing a trend?
Fall marathons—particularly those on the west coast—often provide spectacular surroundings. This Boston Qualifier is no different—except that it's completely different because you're running through a stinkin' redwood forest. Enjoy.
2017 Columbia Gorge MarathonOct. 22, 2017 - Hood River, Ore. 5 of 10
If you don't know about the Columbia River Gorge, you better ask somebody—or just keep reading.
This canyon of the Columbia River is a hugely popular destination for hiking, biking, sight-seeing and general outdoorsing. But on this weekend it plays host to one of the most beautiful marathon courses in the country—just as the colorful fall foliage is at its peak.
A portion of the route was built nearly a century ago as the first highway to navigate the region, and, yes, runners should be careful not to trip over their own jaw at the sights accompanying them on this journey. Once finished, enjoy a brew from Full Sail Brewing—or check out any of the more than 40 breweries and wineries in the area.
Wicked MarathonOct. 29, 2017 - Peoria, Ariz. 6 of 10
With Halloween just days away, the second-Annual Wicked Marathon, Half Marathon, 4 Mile and Spooky Sprint is the perfect Hallows' Eve-themed event for everyone from the serious BQ pursuer to the family in search of a simple fun run.
The course will take runners along the dedicated running trails of Peoria's New River Trail System, starting and finishing at Rio Vista Park. The day's festivities are both stroller- and leashed pet-friendly and the kiddos will receive a trick or treat bag at check-in so they can collect candy along the way.
Have a wicked awesome time.
Santa Clarita MarathonNov. 5, 2017 - Santa Clarita, Calif. 7 of 10
If you just missed out on the 2018 Boston Marathon, the Santa Clarita Marathon offers early 2019 hopefuls the opportunity for a little redemption and peace of mind with its absence of sizable hills along a generally fast course.
Consistently parised for detailed organization and an abundance of friendly volunteers, the Santa Clarita is a crown jewel of the community and an excellent choice for any marathoner. Be sure to enjoy the Health and Fitness Expo on the eve of the race as well!
Los Angeles River Run MarathonDec. 3, 2017 - Los Angeles, Calif. 8 of 10
No West Coast marathon preview is complete without including the City of Angels—and, more specifically, the flat, fast Los Angeles River Run.
The full marathon is a brand new addition to the renowned December event, providing runners with the opportunity to test the heights of their endurance on the Northeast Greenway corridor adjacent to Griffith Park, Atwater Village and Chavez Ravine.
Is there a better way to interrupt the winter chill than 26.2 PR-shattering miles amid the stunning views of the Los Angeles River and downtown LA? Probably not.
Buckeye MarathonDec. 9, 2017 - Buckeye, Ariz. 9 of 10
Hate running uphill? The Buckeye Marathon is for you. Marathoners will drop over 530 feet in elevation from start to finish.
The course is USATF-certified and serves as a Boston qualifier—so you know what that means. A golden opportunity to make your way to Boylston Street.
The race route begins in the community of Sun City Festival before making its way around the beautiful White Tank Mountains and concluding at the runway of the Buckeye Municipal Airport. For those in search of a little off-road endurance activity, Buckeye also offers an obstacle course event.