If you're gunning for a PR, choose a race that has a reputation for being fast. Fortunately, there's no shortage of options when it comes to races with lightning-fast courses. All of the ones we rounded up are also Boston Marathon qualifiers. Sign up today if you're looking to punch your ticket to run the streets of Beantown.
Grandma's MarathonJune 20, 2015 Duluth, Minn. 1 of 9
Photo Credit: Jeff Frey & Associates, Courtesy of Grandma's Marathon
This big race with small town charm attracts runners from all over the world. The point-to-point course starts in Two Harbors, follows Old Highway 61 along Lake Superior, and finishes in Canal Park in Duluth. This means there are virtually no turns until the final miles with only one major hill at mile 22.
Grand Lake MarathonSept. 26, 2015 - Celina, Ohio 2 of 9
At their inaugural event in 2014, 15 percent of runners met the Boston Marathon qualifying standards at the Grand Lake Marathon, making it a supremely speedy course. The race, which goes around Grand Lake St. Marys State Park, is designed for runners who want a fast course in a rural setting.
St. George MarathonOct. 3, 2015 - St. George, Utah 3 of 9
Runner's World has listed the St. George Marathon as one of the fastest fall marathons in the country, making it great race to run a personal best. The race starts in the Pine Valley Mountains before descending almost 2,600 feet and finishing at Worthern Park. Not only is this race fast, it also showcases the stunning beauty of southwest Utah.
Wineglass MarathonOct. 4, 2015 - Bath, N.Y. 4 of 9
Photo Credit: A.D. Wheeler
The 34th Annual Wineglass Marathon held in the heart of the Finger Lakes follows a relatively flat course with an overall net elevation drop of about 250 feet. The race takes runners through small towns, scenic countryside, and finishes on Historic Market Street in downtown Corning. Be sure to snag your spot early; this race has a cap of 2,800 runners.
Milwaukee Lakefront MarathonOct. 4, 2015 - Milwaukee, Wis. 5 of 9
Photo Courtesy of Sport Photo, Inc.
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon offers a point-to-point, mostly flat road marathon for runners looking for fast times. Having recently increased their limit to 3,500 runners, this race is in high demand among the locals. The course begins in Grafton, travels through rural countryside before heading into Milwaukee—all the while hugging the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
Baystate MarathonOct. 18, 2015 - Lowell, Mass. 6 of 9
Photo Credit: James Shelton
Held in historic Lowell, Massachusetts, this race takes runners along the flats of Merrimack Valley. Long known for producing fast times, the race route was selected with speed in mind. The cool October temperatures and friendly crowds further bolster the times at this event.
Hamilton Marathon Road2HopeNov. 1, 2015 - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 7 of 9
Photo Credit: My Sports Shooter
This race has been ranked as the top Boston qualifying event in all of Canada for a reason. The course takes runners from the Stoney Creek area along the back country roads of Hamilton, and down to the Waterfront Trail for the final four miles, making it both fast and scenic.
Paradise Coast MarathonFeb. 14, 2016 - Naples, Fla. 8 of 9
Photo Credit: Pricilla McGuire
The Paradise Coast Marathon offers a winter getaway for runners from cold weather states. With only 205 feet of total elevation gain, the course takes runners past hundreds of palm trees, nearly 20 lakes, and through the scenic Lely Resort. Even in the hardest moments of the marathon, you're sure to enjoy this run in paradise.