Leavenworth Oktoberfest MarathonOctober 4, 2014 — Leavenworth, Washington 1 of 13
If you love beer, running, festivals and wilderness scenery, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon is the event for you. Oktoberfest is Leavenworth's biggest festival of the year, and features three weeks of music, parades, food, beer and activities for the whole family—the marathon is part of one of these celebratory events. Marathon runners will start the race near the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, loop through the Icicle Canyon and past mountains and the Wenatchee River, where you might spot salmon. Fundraising proceeds from the race will be donated directly to the Cancer Biology Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.
Photo by: The Amicks
Portland MarathonOctober 5, 2014 — Portland, Oregon 2 of 13
Crowned the most walker-friendly marathon and one of the 10 greenest races by Runner's World magazine, the Portland Marathon is also a fast course that boasts more entertainment per-mile than many other races. Even if it sprinkles on race day, the temperature will likely be an ideal-for-racing 50 to 60 degrees.
Photo by K. Kendall
Medtronic Twin Cities MarathonOctober 5, 2014 — Minneapolis, Minnesota 3 of 13
For a city crowned with the titles fittest city and best parks system, Minneapolis' namesake marathon had better live up to its residents' reputations. Luckily, it does. Known as the "most beautiful urban marathon," the Twin Cities Marathon course shows you the best of the city, including its chain of lakes and mansion views along Summit Avenue. Usually timed at the peak of the fall foliage, the contrast of the blue-gray water and the fiery scarlet and canary leaves will distract you from your aching legs. If you need more encouragement than beautiful scenery, the warm Midwest crowd won't let you down.
Photo by: The Barn Door
Newport MarathonOctober 11, 2014 — Newport, Rhode Island 4 of 13
This flat, fast Boston qualifier treats runners to the splendid scenery, wildlife and views of the shipping, crabbing and fishing industries of the area. Great for first-timers as well as those chasing fast finishes, the Newport Marathon also offers oyster shooters at miles 11 and 19 for the adventurous foodies.
Photo by Doug Kerr
Steamtown MarathonOctober 12, 2014 — Scranton, Pennsylvania 5 of 13
This marathon-only event features a scenic course that passes through several small towns and—heads-up, road runners—a 2.5-mile stretch of trail. Scranton comes vividly alive on race day, as locals stock their unofficial aid stations with treats, and dot the course, cheering loudly during the tough parts. With less than 3,000 participants, top-notch volunteers, free food for the entire family at the post-race party and even cheeky pre-race emails sent by the associate race director, you won't feel like just another bib number at this race.
Photo by: Michelangelo Ilagan
Empire State MarathonOctober 19, 2014 — Syracuse, New York 6 of 13
Revel in the autumnal beauty of upstate New York by signing up for the marathon, half marathon or relay. Both the half and full courses take runners along Onondaga Lake. The half marathon is flat and fast, and the marathon is mostly flat with a modest climb early on. Enjoy easy access to parking and a hassle-free exit at this easygoing event.
Photo by EncMstr
Humboldt Redwoods MarathonOctober 19, 2014 — Weott, California 7 of 13
Akin to a fairytale, the majesty of the towering redwoods in Northern California need to be seen to be believed. The Boston-qualifying marathon, half marathon and 5K all start at the Dyerville Bridge, along the famous Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. All courses are fast, paved and shaded.
Columbia Gorge MarathonOctober 26, 2014 — Hood River, Oregon 8 of 13
Experience one of the country's most spectacular hassle-free marathons. The course starts on the historic Columbia River Highway, lined with blazing fall foliage. You'll pass by waterfalls, enjoy amazing vistas, and get to behold views of the Columbia River Gorge at the Rowena Viewpoint. The marathon concludes on the banks of the Columbia River. Race organizers promise that participants won't have to deal with "trains, buses, cars or anything else that may delay or distract them" from the event.
Cape Cod MarathonOctober 26, 2014 — Falmouth, Massachusetts 9 of 13
If you're looking for a laid-back, convenient race in a quaint town with plenty of nearby accommodations and good food, the Cape Cod Marathon might be the one for you. The marathon course showcases cranberry bogs, seaside views and a light house, but runners do have to share the road with cars on some stretches. Race organizers advise that "the first part is easy, the latter is a test: Go out easy, take plenty of fluids, and save energy for the hills."
Photo by: Falm Chamber
Indianapolis Monumental MarathonNovember 1, 2014 — Indianapolis, Indiana 10 of 13
Take a tour of the beautiful buildings dotting downtown Indianapolis at this flat, fast event that often sells out. If you didn't get into Chicago or didn't run as well there as you'd hoped, this Boston-qualifying event offers a prime course for a PR. With easy access to 20 hotels located near the start and finish lines, it's a convenient event to have the whole family join in on the half marathon, 5K or kids fun run.
Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day MarathonNovember 8, 2014 — Santa Barbara, California 11 of 13
Run through lush lemon and avocado orchards on this point-to-point course, and finish on the 2-mile descent overlooking the glittering Pacific Ocean. Both the marathon and half marathon courses have flat sections and rolling hills. In an effort to green the race, only virtual race bags will be offered; bring your own bag to store your pre- and post-race necessities.
Potomac River Run MarathonNovember 16, 2014 — Carderock, Maryland 12 of 13
Dubbed the "easiest marathon in the USA" by race organizers, this event is an out-and-back run on the flat, shady C&O Canal Towpath from Carderock to Chain Bridge and back. Plan to race your PR on this Boston-qualifying course that's free of pavement, crowds, hills and street crossings. Race organizers reported that 20 percent of the 350-entrant field in 2013 qualified for Boston.
Photo by: Kevin Harber