WestLooking to set your sights on a memorable late season marathon? From the Hawaiian islands to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, allow us to provide a few impeccable suggestions from the West Coast.
Portneuf Medical Center Pocatello Marathon
August 31, 2019 in Pocatello, Idaho
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 Marathon
September 1, 2019 in Poipu Beach Kauai, Hawaii
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!
October 5, 2019 in Leavenworth, Washington
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 Marathon
October 13, 2019 in Avenue of the Giants Weott, California
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.
Columbia Gorge Marathon
October 20, 2019 in Hood River, Oregon
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.
Santa Clarita Marathon
November 3, 2019 in Santa Clarita, California
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!
Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas
November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Visiting Las Vegas during the day is great, but we all know the real party doesn't start until the sun goes down. That's why this race is held when the skies are a deep, midnight blue. Run your 26.2 along the famous Las Vegas strip—it's an experience you don't want to miss.
But that's not all. Looking to marry your sweetie or just renew your vows? You can do it right on the marathon or half marathon race course at the Run Through Wedding. Be joined in holy matrimony before finishing your race and kickoff your rockin' honeymoon all in one trip!
January 4, 2019 in Buckeye, Arizona
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.
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