From January through December, marathon runners re-enact Pheidippides’ fabled run. While there are more than 500 marathons taking place around the world in 2012, North American runners need to know about eight specific races happening in Canada and the United States.
1. Houston Marathon
Tip: Hate hills? You’ll love this marathon. The average elevation difference rings in at around 25 feet throughout the course.
Houston, Texas: January 15th – chevronhoustonmarathon.com
2. Run for the Red Marathon
Tip: Love hills? This is a downhill run that loses 1,391 feet of elevation from the start.
Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania: May 20th – poconomarathon.org
3. Newport Marathon
Tip: Ocean views are stunning, but so is the sun; bring sunscreen and a hat for this race.
Newport, Oregon: June 2nd – newportmarathon.org
4. Chicago Marathon
Tip: This is the mother of marathons, with more than 45,000 runners and nearly 2 million audience members.
Chicago, Illinois: October 7th – chicagomarathon.com
5. Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon
Tip: You run along the river and end up in the city, so bring nightlife attire for the post-marathon parties.
Albany, New York: October 7th – mohawkhudsonmarathon.com
6. Baystate Marathon
Tip: The course actually loops around on itself so it can mentally feel like you’re running a shorter distance.
Lowell, Massachusetts: October 21st – baystatemarathon.com
7. Road2Hope Marathon
Tip: This is the best Boston qualifier marathon in Canada and includes views of the Toronto skyline.
Hamilton, Ontario: November 4th – hamiltonmarathon.ca
8. California International Marathon
Tip: This marathon is known for its gentle hills. Your quads will thank you.
Sacramento, California: December 2nd – runcim.org