Other Marathon Ideas (non RD)

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by Nole95, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. beatlecat42

    beatlecat42 On a Journey into Imagination

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    If you want a challenge...Baltimore. I've only done the half (well, the "baltimoron" - 5k and then the half on the same day!), but it's part of the greater Baltimore Running Festival (in all, they offer a full, half, 5k, the Baltimoron, and relays). Between the hills and the chewed up streets, it's a tough one, but the full course runs you through most of the city -- including the zoo, where they usually have some of the residents out for pictures. Prior to this year, you'd finish running through Camden Yards (home of the Orioles), but this year the finish was at the Inner Harbor. And the medals are pretty rad, too (the half medal opens to reveal the same image of Fort McHenry as the 5k). Come to Baltimore and get crabs! ;)

    Have done some of the Rock 'n Roll events; last year I'd have totally recommended them, but since they sold the company a few months ago, everything appears to be rolling downhill a bit.
     

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  2. MissLiss279

    MissLiss279 Mouseketeer

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    I guess I’ll find out! :D
     
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  4. JClimacus

    JClimacus Mouseketeer

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    Yes, wind is a downside at Myrtle Beach. The run up Ocean Blvd this past year was a headwind the whole way. And I never experienced a compensating tail wind. I think I would have PR'd but for that. So if you are looking for a great PR course, MB probably is not it (Wineglass is better for that). But as a good destination race, with excellent organization and a fun place to spend a day or two, it's a good choice. It's a little cool in March, so not exactly beach weather, but on the other hand all the attractions were open and there was hardly anyone there so we did a lot of stuff in two days.
     
  5. nervous1sttimer

    nervous1sttimer DIS Veteran

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    I have run Detroit (the half or the full) every year for the last 8 years. It is an awesome race, although I admittedly don't live too far away. But even then, I get a hotel room downtown and walk to the race start leisurely in the morning, you run over the Ambassador Bridge during sunrise into Canada, then back through the world's only underwater mile (via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel) to get back into the States, tour different cultural neighbourhoods (Mexicantown, Corktown, Greektown, Indian Village, some beautiful old historical homes), then out to Belle Isle and back. Belle Isle is windy, that does suck a bit at the end of the race, but it is pretty and there is a ton of support throughout the whole course. People with beer stops, champagne and jello shots on their front lawns, lots of cheering and music. I like it! :)
     
  6. ANIM8R

    ANIM8R Mouseketeer

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    +1 for Detroit. The International aspect makes this a fun race...keep in mind that they require a Passport with registration and registration closes earlier than most races due to background/border checks.
     
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  7. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    I have only done one but the Vacation Races seem well run and in great locations.

    My favorite race is the Flying Pig in Cincinnati. I've done the half 3 times and this year will be my 4th. A friend has run the full twice and loves it.
     
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  8. Nole95

    Nole95 DIS Veteran

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    I've heard a lot about the Flying Pig race. Seems to be mentioned a lot on these boards.

    Also heard a lot about vacation races. We've been to a lot of the national parks, and some of those races definitely have an appeal for us.
     
  9. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    I did the Elk Double this year in Estes Park (It is the Rocky Mountain half marathon but not run in the actual national park). I am likely attending a conference in Vegas this October and am hoping the Lake Powell and/or Grand Canyon races line up with the trip.

    As for the Flying Pig, the entire city comes out and there are events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday if you are looking for an entire weekend of stuff to do. A few years ago I did the 3-way challenge which is running both the 5k and 10k on Saturday and the half on Sunday. There are kids races and even a race you do with your dog if you have one and can drive there.
     
  10. GollyGadget

    GollyGadget Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I have nothing to add but I'm still on my WDW Marathon high and wondering if any other marathons come close to that experience.
     
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  11. BikeFan

    BikeFan DIS Veteran

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    Marine Corps is an excellent suggestion. The support is great and it draws a lot of spectators. The only downside is the lack of corrals, so the start and most of the first 5-10 miles is a bit of a traffic jam. It's certainly not a great race to run for time, but the experience is great. The Rock and Roll DC Marathon in March also runs through the nation's capital but having run both MCM and RnR DC, I'd pick MCM for the better DC marathon. RnR DC is better if you're only running the half.

    Another solid suggestion. I've run it the past 6 years, I like it so much. Richmond is usually very pleasant in the fall, and course is a nice mix of city and residential streets.
     
  12. Baloo in MI

    Baloo in MI DIS Veteran

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    I would also recommend Detroit for the reasons already mentioned. To this I would add two California Marathons I hope to run at some point in my life. Neither is near a major airport and would require a drive, but both would be absolutely breath-taking and worth the drive!
    - Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt County, California: it is run right through the middle of Humboldt Redwoods State Park which is home to some of the most beautiful groves of redwood trees you are ever going to see.
    - Big Sur, Big Sur/Carmel, California: Coastal Central California, you run along the Pacific Ocean.
     
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  13. LikelyLynae

    LikelyLynae Earning My Ears

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    The Boulder Rez marathon is beautiful and flat. But it’s 4 big loops. There are plenty of fuel and water stops, and bathrooms. Lots of spectators and support along the course.
    I know it’s not a marathon, but there’s the Durango double which is back to back half marathons, and that is hands down the most beautiful race I have ever run. So that just depends on how you feel about Colorado.
     
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  14. nervous1sttimer

    nervous1sttimer DIS Veteran

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    Flying Pig was my first full marathon and I am doing Big Sur this April! This thread has definitely given me a boost in my race-picking prowess. Boston is obviously on my Bucket List, but I want to qualify rather than get a charity bib. Maybe in a few years...
     
  15. jennamfeo

    jennamfeo DIS Veteran

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    Just googled the Flying Pig aaaaand now it's on my bucket list. Gimme all the races that I can run more than one race a weekend and get lots of medals!
     
  16. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    For Colorado marathons, the Colorado Marathon the first weekend in May and the American Discovery Trail marathon on Labor Day are great. Point to point downhill for both. ADT is small, but the Colorado Marathon is a decent size. You spend 17 miles coming down the Cache La Poudre canyon, and then run into downtown Ft Collins to finish. Ft Collins has a huge number of breweries for post-race hydration :drinking1

    And I know you said US marathons, but I'll put in a suggestion for Dublin (Ireland), which is really a reasonable flight from the east coast. That race was fantastic.
     
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  17. Keels

    Keels The Official Keels of RunDisney

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    I’ve got a group now doing Cowtown (Half and Ultra) ... I’ll be spectating, but if you come run - I’ll treat you to Tex-Mex and margaritas at Joe T. Garcia’s afterwards!! *cough @croach cough*
     
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  18. emilyindisney

    emilyindisney DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for starting this thread! Also coming down off the Dopey-high and not sure what to plan for next!
     
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  19. ChipNDale86

    ChipNDale86 Mouseketeer

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    Of the non-Disney fulls that I have done here's how I'd rank them:

    1) Marine Corps in DC: Mid-late October so weather can be hit or miss. It was perfect the year I did it (2012 I believe). I personally love DC so this was always on my bucket list and it didn't disappoint. The crowd support is awesome, very well organized, running on the National Mall is fantastic, and the best part are the Marines manning the water stops, cheering on the side of the road, and passing out medals at the finish. They thank you for running which was crazy to me. I kept saying "No, thank you for your service." Fairly flat with a few hills here and there if I remember correctly.
    CONS: It is a big race and there are a few very narrow stretches early on so there was a bit of bottle-necking in the early going but after the first few miles this wasn't an issue. The 14th St. bridge is long, boring, and was windy the day we ran. The stretch through Crystal City after the bridge is also very boring and there were a couple points where you ran right beside people who were further along the course which to me is always tough mentally to see people who are that further along.

    2) Chicago: Mid-late October so same with the weather. Again we had just about perfect weather in 2014. HUGE race so it was a little hectic at the start but didn't notice much bottle-necking like in DC. Crowd support is AMAZING. Seriously throughout the entire race there were people on the sidewalks cheering. Everyone kept saying we'd know when we got to the Southside because there wouldn't be any support but I never noticed the crowds get smaller. Almost entirely flat (at this to the North Carolina runner). Very cool course that allows you to see a lot of Chicago. The "Magnificent Mile" was a very cool stretch. Extremely well organized, fun expo.
    CONS: Lots of runners so it that's not your thing then this is definitely a con. They only hill I really remember was a very big hill literally at the very end. The course takes you like 2 blocks from Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs stadium) but you never actually get to see it from the course.

    3) 26.2 w/ Donna (Jackonsville Beach, FL): Late January I think so the weather is usually nice. I did the half in 2011 and it was like low 60s at the start. When I did the full in 2012 it was 22 degrees at the start...we weren't prepared for that type of cold. VERY flat course other than having to go up and over an overpass at like mile 1 and again at mile 24ish. Running a couple of miles on the actual beach which was cool. They had mats down on the softer sand and then the stretch you really run on is very packed down. Mid-size race.
    CONS: Ok crowd support. Lots of running through the Jacksonville Beach neighborhoods, some of the residents get really into it and are out cheering you on; other neighborhoods not so much. Small but nice expo.

    4) Richmond, VA: Mid November. Just did this one this past fall and it was COLD. I think 26 degrees at the start and never really warmed up. This was personally one of my worst races ever partial because of the cold, but mainly because I had been sick the whole week leading up to the race. Mid-size. For the size the crowd support was pretty good but there were definitely stretches were there wasn't anyone out (particularly one stretch were you run on a trail by a river and it's literally impossible for spectators to get there unless they live right there). Finish area was awesome, lots of food, music, etc. Semi-flat course but some definitely hills.
    CONS: Finish area isn't very close to the start. Ends on a HUGE down-hill, which may sound fun but after 26 miles you're afraid you're going to lose control and tumble the whole way down. Huge bridge you have to go over up and over around mile 15-17; this part really did me in, it was very windy and uphill almost the whole way. Very small & crowded expo.

    5) Thunder Road (think it has a new name now) Charlotte, NC: Was in early December when I ran it in 2008 but now I think it's mid November. Mid-November in NC can be very cold or very hot. When I did it is was a pretty small race but I think it's grown quite a bit. Get to see quite a bit of Charlotte including running by Bank of America Stadium (where the Carolina Panthers play). Well-organized. This was my first marathon so it may have just been my perspective at the time but I thought they had an excellent expo.
    CONS: Hills. So many hills. You are pretty much either going up or going down the entire race. Crowd support was very low especially through the neighborhoods. This may have changed but in 2008 there were a lot more half-marathon runners than fulls so at mile 12 when they split off, my buddy and I were literally running by ourselves for most of the rest of the race.

    Honorable Mention: Wrightsville Beach, NC: Mid-March. I did the half last year and currently signed up for the half again this year but currently debating switching to the full. Weather was absolutely perfect last year. VERY FLAT course, almost no uphills. Starts close to the beach and finishes on the campus of UNC-Wilmington. They give you pajama pants instead of a race shirt which I thought was fun since I have so many shirts. You can purchase a race shirt though if you want. Mid-sized race.
    CONS: Personally didn't notice much wind coming off the beach but have heard other mention this was an issue for them. VERY SMALL expo. Literally went it and pick up by bib & shirt (that I bought separately) and left. Small but not terrible crowd support. Honestly you do this race if you are looking for a flat course to PR on. It was well organized and everything but it's not like a fun, entertaining race.

    Honestly, I've really enjoyed each of these races so I would recommend any of them.


    ETA: All of the races are pretty close to a major airport except for Wrightsville. Wilmington does have an airport but it's very small.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  20. JBinORL

    JBinORL Earning My Ears

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    Highly recommend Marine Corps Marathon. Ran it in 2013 and will be doing it again in 2018 (deferred entry from 2017). Chicago is also fantastic. NYC I didn't like at all
     
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  21. VAfamily1998

    VAfamily1998 DIS Veteran

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    I will second the Baltimore Marathon recommendation.
    Corrigan sports runs a GREAT race, imo. Nice shirts, awesome medals, etc. I live in Northern VA, about a 1.5 hour drive from Baltimore, and I LOVE running Baltimore; I will typically run several races there each year.
    The Baltimore marathon is hilly and part of the course takes you through a kind of "sketchy" part of town. I actually kind of enjoy that part--the local residents are out watching and cheering for you!
     
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