Best marathon for a newbie??

Discussion in 'Events/Competition' started by Raenstoirm, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Raenstoirm

    Raenstoirm DIS Veteran

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    I was debating running the princess, but after a chat with dh last night, I have scrapped that idea. I am now planning on running the ToT (and maybe a quick trip for Everest.) I live just outside DC, so there are plenty of interesting looking halfs to run locally anyway. But I need to start planning on my full. I am looking for something in the continental US, not Disney though. Flat-ish terrain, interesting things to see and do along the route with a slow sweep time (Disney's 16 is perfect). I am not interested in NYC, Boston or Marine Corps. They are too "competitive" (you have to qualify for them!! :eek:). I am looking for a more laid back race, if that makes sense. Any suggestions what to look into?
     
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  3. Reep

    Reep Mouseketeer

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    Well, you eliminated Disney, but I think WDW is the perfect beginner course for all the reasons you list (entertaining, flat, slow sweep, lots of slow people). But, a few others that are good:

    San Diego RnR marathon: bands along the course, good weather, scenic, fun atmosphere

    Portland Marathon: well organized, not too big. Flattish, except for some bridge crossings

    Chicago: huge field, flat course, lots of crowd support

    You don't have to qualify for NY, and I'm pretty sure you don't for Marine Corps either. NY gives automatic bids to some faster folks, but anyone can get in through the lottery.
     
  4. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    For a close to DW event, only an hour away, where you could have a fantastic time before, during and after I would recommend http://www.spacecoastmarathon.com/.

    We will be there in 4 weeks from Sunday for our 3rd year in a row. DW will be completing her 3rd half along with DD completing her 2nd half. I will be Fulling it this time around. Managed to walk my Half PR last year in 2:11:12 even while taking in the sites of the beautiful old Fl. homes and the river.

    Next year we will be taking in the new exhibit with the Space Shuttle Atlantis. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-110212a.html Something out of this world to see close-up.
     
  5. Raenstoirm

    Raenstoirm DIS Veteran

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    That one looks perfect. Is it always thanksgiving weekend though? Not sure if I can wiggle out of family obligations! ;)
     
  6. steph0808

    steph0808 Mouseketeer

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    I would recommend hitting up the websites of some local road runners clubs. Mine lists almost every race within a 1-2 hour radius. They show lots of small, local races that you wouldn't know about usually.

    My small RR club is doing a half and a full over Veteran's day - I think there is a 6.5 hour time limit, so good for slower runners/walkers.
     
  7. cewait

    cewait DIS Veteran

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    Look at Marathonguide.com for a thorough list of marathons. There is a companion half marathon guide but not as thorough.

    Marathon guide has been around for a dozen or more years and has a great record of runner's feedback as well as rebuttals from race directors if something weird happened.

    I promised the folks at Competitor I would do this... I would NEVER run a Rock and Roll as you first event. The RD has a recent history of setting up races in a way that is not very runner friendly.
     
  8. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    Sunday after Thanksgiving is the day and we had a great time last year as it was the 40th Anniversary. Oldest Marathon, not sure about the half, in Fl. The all you can eat breakfast after is the BEST we have had.
     
  9. FFigawi

    FFigawi DIS Veteran

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    Some I'd recommend that are well-run, interesting, and fun:

    Marine Corps - no qualification necessary. Caters to first-timers.
    Richmond - beautiful course, not too big, very friendly.
    Space Coast - flat, friendly.
    Little Rock - biggest medals around
    Chicago - flat, tons of crowd support
     
  10. Mamasmurf227

    Mamasmurf227 Mouseketeer

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    I have heard absolutely wonderful things about the Vermont City Marathon. I'm doing it as my first marathon in May.
     
  11. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein DIS Veteran

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    Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH. Great course support, plenty of distractions like planes/jets flying by before and on the course, and mile 10...you just can't beat mile 10. It is the most amazing part of that race, and at the perfect part when you may feel a bit tired. The city of Fairborn comes out in full force and to see those names in chalk on the road, and the pictures of people memorialized is absolutely amazing. If you like planes, or more importantly, anyone in your support group does, the National Air Force Museum is hands down the best (but sadly they didn't get a shuttle for some reason. :() It is the best race I have ever done...and I rate it higher than Marine Corps solely based on the size. It isn't that crowded, whereas the Marine Corps definitely is!
     
  12. Pungodingy

    Pungodingy <font color=blue>Never had a nickname so the Tag F

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    24 Hour Around the Lake, in Wakefield Ma...it's a combo marathon, 12 hr challenge, and 24 hr challenge, so no worries on being swept or last! Run at night (7pm to 7pm the next night), VERY flat easy course
     
  13. Sabeking

    Sabeking DIS Veteran

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    Myrtle Beach -South Carolina
    Flat and beautiful!!!
     
  14. es45

    es45 DIS Veteran

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    Agreed!
     
  15. FireDancer

    FireDancer DIS Veteran

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    You said continental US but I am still going to recommend the Niagara International Marathon. It starts in Buffalo and runs to Niagara Falls Canada. It was my first marathon and I highly recommend it. It is fast and flat with only one incline and that is the bridge into Canada. The cost is pretty low for a full too.

    You will need your passport of course so if you don't have one and don't plan on getting one that might be out.

    My second recommendation would the Space coast. It is on my list of ones to do but it is totally flat and in Florida so even though it isn't a Disney race you can add in a few days at a Disney park before or after.
     
  16. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein DIS Veteran

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    I was curious about the Space Coast Marathon, Frank. I am signed up for the Half right now, but keep thinking about switching to the Full...is there any major difference that makes it better to run the Full? I know with the Air Force Marathon that it is so much better to run the Marathon over the Half because of the course, and didn't know if there is something the Half Marathoners miss out on. The medals are exactly the same.
     
  17. FireDancer

    FireDancer DIS Veteran

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    I am really not sure. I know there are some WISHers that did it in the past so maybe they can chime in with whether or not the back half of the full is a good course and worth the extra 13.1. I do know it is very flat and the medal is really cool so added with the proximity to Disney it sounds like a good fit for a first full.

    When I do it I will probably do the half. When I say a race is on my list I mean either the half or the full, I probably should have clarified that.
     
  18. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for clearing that up. The medal is very nice. But, I think it is probably best to stick to the Half. If I really like it, I can do the Marathon next year.
     
  19. BikeFan

    BikeFan Mouseketeer

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    Having just run Richmond as my first full, I strongly recommend it. It wasn't too big (~6K in the full, I think, and that included a lot of NYC racers looking for a race), and the crowd/race support was great. The course is rolling but never hilly, and everyone was very friendly. Plus, it's close to you. I especially like the fact that it wasn't one of those mega-marathons like Marine Corps or the like - I didn't feel crowded in on the course after about mile 5 or so, which I hate in the bigger races. It was just a great experience.
     
  20. ludari

    ludari DIS Veteran

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    My friend ran the Anthem Richmond Marathon last weekend and she said it was flat scenic course. Starting on November 16 they are offering a special marathon fee of $65 for a limited time. I would do this race if I lived in the area and didn't already commit to the Marine Corps Marathon two week prior to this race.
     
  21. Rupert B Puppenstein

    Rupert B Puppenstein DIS Veteran

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    I can definitely add the Space Coast to this list now. Such a cool experience and a well run race, plus the medal is pretty awesome.

    The expo wasn't much, but the after race party was amazing. You could get pancakes, eggs, bacon, or pizza and there were a lot of vendors out as well to sample products. They had Publix as a sponsor, and I truly believe that every race that has them as a sponsor is great because they provide the standard after race food plus a bit more. The date is difficult for some I am sure, but it was a great after Thanksgiving race. :)
     

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