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Feeling motivated? Runner’s Goal compiled a collection of the best marathons across the country based on reviews from runners themselves. Using data on race amenities, reviews and qualifiers, we determined the best marathon in every state.

Registration: Click here. Why it’s a great race: The course features breathtaking scenery in a historic Old West town. Why it’s a great race: Runners begin in the rural countryside, then pass through suburbs and finish in view of Milwaukee’s downtown skyline. Why it’s a great race: The race benefits a program that supports veterans seeking employment.

Why it’s a great race: Part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, the marathon features a festive atmosphere with live music and a post-race concert. Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy Richmond’s scenic neighborhoods along the James River as well as pizza and cold beverages at the finish line. Why it’s a great race: The marathon offers to match runners with similarly paced competitors so that groups of participants can race together. Why it’s a great race: Race-day activities include a cheer and entertainment zone competition, arts and crafts and a bounce house for kids, and a beer garden.

Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy enthusiastic crowds along the way and a fireworks show at the race’s conclusion. Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through several of Knoxville’s most beautiful neighborhoods while they enjoy live music.

Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through scenic parks around Sioux Falls. Why it’s a great race: The marathon benefits the Kiawah Island Conservancy, which supports nature on the scenic island. Why it’s a great race: The race takes place on the shady East Bay bike path, which features beautiful Rhode Island scenery. Why it’s a great race: Participants in this large-scale race enjoy fall weather, historical Philadelphia landmarks, and the company of thousands of other runners.

Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through Yaquina Bay State Park, which features some of the state’s most breathtaking scenery.

Why it’s a great race: The race commemorates the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and runners pass by banners in their honor. Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy a scenic course through Cleveland, featuring the city’s landmarks and Lake Erie. Why it’s a great race: It’s a massive event, with more than 20, participants and over 40 live bands.

Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through secluded scenery, and they’re rewarded at the end with homemade chicken and dumplings. Why it’s a great race: Runners pass through all five of New York’s boroughs amid cheering crowds. Why it’s a great race: The race is one of New Mexico’s premier events, and thousands of runners participate. Why it’s a great race: The race has a great small-town feel, and amenities include entertainment and post-race massages.

Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon as they pass through the course. Why it’s a great race: Runners run a scenic route through Omaha, with aid stations located every two miles.

Why it’s a great race: The summertime race, which is Montana’s oldest marathon, takes runners through scenic country back roads, finishing in downtown Helena.

Why it’s a great race: Runners travel between Missouri and Illinois, passing through the historic downtown district of St. Louis and Forest Park. Why it’s a great race: Runners are treated to live blues music before, after and even during the race.

Why it’s a great race: Participants enjoy beautiful scenery when they run around four lakes and along both sides of the Mississippi River. Why it’s a great race: Bring your passport – this race briefly takes runners across the border into Canada. Registration: You must qualify in advance; click here. Why it’s a great race: It’s one of the world’s preeminent marathons, and takes thousands of runners through Boston amid cheering crowds.

Why it’s a great race: Participants run alongside the scenic Potomac River, with plentiful aid stations. Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through the Louisiana capital’s lakes, rivers, university campus and different neighborhoods. Why it’s a great race: Runners pass through the historic Churchill Downs race course, where the Kentucky Derby takes place. Why it’s a great race: The course features beautiful scenery, aid stations are located every few miles, and the race benefits the Kids Foundation, which supports Kansas City children with cancer.

Registration : Click here. Why it’s a great race: The trail is a converted railroad line lined by trees across scenic countryside. Why it’s a great race: One of the nation’s largest marathons, the Chicago Marathon attracts more than 45, runners from across the country and around the world. Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy beautiful views of mountains, valleys and Lake Lowell. Runners make their way across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge during the race—which is about 10K in length—offering them stellar views as they find their pace.

Massachusetts : Boston Marathon. The legendary Boston Marathon needs no introduction. An exception to this rule are runners who are sponsored by charities.

The revelry and amped-up crowds that line the Boston streets on Marathon Monday only add to the fun of the event. Michigan : Charlevoix Marathon. Named as one of the top running events in the U.

The June race begins in downtown Charlevoix, which is located between Lake Michigan and Round Lake—offering runners unspoiled water views. The course will also take runners through residential tree-lined neighborhoods, which is an opportunity to see some gorgeous mansions.

It takes place in June. Mississippi : Mississippi 50 Trail Run. Currently in its 21 st year, the Mississippi 50 Trail Run is set on Missouri : Ozark Trail Endurance Run. Race highlights include several water crossings and nearly 12, feet of elevation gain. Throughout the mile race course, the level of difficulty shifts from a smooth, flat dirt trail to a hilly trail covered with leaves, something that runners need to be prepared for.

The race, in July, takes place in an around Missoula but takes you on trails that follow the scenic Bitteroot River Valley.

Missoula is situated just above 3, feet of elevation, high enough to create some challenge for flatlanders. It is an entire weekend of racing, starting with a casual 3-mile beer run on Friday evening, and ending with the main event Marathon on Sunday. Nebraska : Nebraska Marathon Omaha. Like the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, the Omaha Marathon is a great race for runners to get a taste of the marathon world, as the course is completely flat.

Nevada : Rock N Roll Marathon. You may not think that running and the Las Vegas Strip are the most ideal match. However, they come together beautifully in the Rock N Roll Marathon, which has runners from all around the globe running the famous Las Vegas Strip each November. No shades needed for this one — the races start in the early evening and you do much of the running at night.

Though the Ragnar relays—sponsored by Reebok—take place across the nation, the Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire is particularly notable because of its breathtaking course views. Runners can enter in teams of twelve regular or take it to the next level and enter as a team of six runners ultra.

The New Jersey Marathon and Half is a family event through and through. The picturesque Jersey Shore and boardwalk are incorporated into the race course, crashing waves distracting from the difficulty of your last few miles. Runners preparing for the Hood-to-Coast relay in Oregon. A 10K course, the current race course is a double loop of a 5K course—but may vary in the years to come.

Santa Fe is perched at over 7, feet, which is most definitely a factor when it comes to running a 5K. The race is held in mid-May, which is a nice time of year to run in Santa Fe. Expect cool temps at race time.

North Carolina : Asheville Marathon. Scheduled for June 3, , the summer is the best time to experience the beauty of Asheville, with the rich foliage of the hills in full bloom. Half marathon and 10k courses are also offered—but all lead runners along the serene French Broad River. This very well may be the most deceivingly difficult race on the list.

Many people have never been to North Dakota, and the Western third of the state has some of the most rugged and scenic landscape in the US, and the Maah Dah Hey trail is challenging for all skill levels. This race, in August, is on a single track trail with nearly 12, feet of elevation gain, and actually features miles of riding. Note that August in Western North Dakota is reliably warm and dry. There is little protection from the elements on this awesome trail.

The Maah Daah Hey trail in North Dakota provides as rugged a setting as you will find for your single track bike race. Photo Credit experienceland. Ohio: Tour de Grandview. The OKC Memorial Marathon has grown tremendously since its inception in —from 5, local participants to 24, runners hailing from around the globe. Oregon: Hood to Coast Relay. A team-centered event, 1, teams of up to twelve runners set out on the mile race course.

If you want to enter, act fast—the race has been filled on the opening day of registration for nineteen years straight! Pennsylvania: Rocky Balboa Run. Of course, the mile and 5k runs both begin on the iconic Rocky steps, making for a great photo opp and memory. Set in November each year, the racetime temps are often in the 40s.

Watch the weather, as you might need a light layer of cold weather running gear , but for many those crisp temps will make for a fast, comfortable run. Rhode Island: Jamestown Classic. The course completely circles the island, incorporating landmarks such as the historic lighthouse at Beavertail, Newport Bridge, and the East and West Passages of Narragansett Bay.

A mile race, the Jamestown Classic is short but certainly scenic. An annual kilometer one-way run across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. South Dakota: Black Hills M. The old Western theme of the race pervades the feeling on race day as well, so be prepared to spot a few cowboy hats and horses.

Tennessee: St. Jude Memphis Marathon. The single largest one-day fundraising event for St. Jude Memphis Marathon is a blend of family fun, charity, and of course, some top-notch racing. A Boston-qualifying race, the race course passes through the St. Texas: Statesman Cap 10K. Utah: Mid Mountain Marathon. With a course rolling through aspen and evergreen forests, the Mid Mountain Marathon embodies the essence of mountain trail running.

The course also cuts through the Utah Olympic Park trail system and finishes at the bottom of the Nordic jumps at the Utah Olympic Park. Virginia: Marine Corps An added bonus—entrants who successfully complete the race automatically become eligible for the Marine Corps Marathon. Vermont: Vermont M Endurance Run. Each year, about runners attempt to finish the race in the allotted 30 hours, while an elite few finish within 24 hours.

A K distance is also a part of the course. Washington: Shore Run, Seattle. Run in June, it offers a 5K, 10K, and kids run.

You and thousands of other runners can stick around for a great party afterward. A fast 5K loop course set in downtown Huntington, the course is mostly flat with long straight-aways.

Spectators are ever-present at the race, as the start and finish lines are less than feet from each other. Run each September, the race is in its 35 th year and is often sold out, so you need to register early and perhaps hope for your name to be drawn.

 
 

The Best Race To Run in Every US State – Explore related stories

 

Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon as they pass through the course. Why it’s a great race: Runners run a scenic route through Omaha, with aid stations located every two miles. Why it’s a great race: The summertime race, which is Montana’s oldest marathon, takes runners through scenic country back roads, finishing in downtown Helena. Why it’s a great race: Runners travel between Missouri and Illinois, passing through the historic downtown district of St.

Louis and Forest Park. Why it’s a great race: Runners are treated to live blues music before, after and even during the race. Why it’s a great race: Participants enjoy beautiful scenery when they run around four lakes and along both sides of the Mississippi River. Why it’s a great race: Bring your passport – this race briefly takes runners across the border into Canada. Registration: You must qualify in advance; click here. Why it’s a great race: It’s one of the world’s preeminent marathons, and takes thousands of runners through Boston amid cheering crowds.

Why it’s a great race: Participants run alongside the scenic Potomac River, with plentiful aid stations. Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners through the Louisiana capital’s lakes, rivers, university campus and different neighborhoods.

Why it’s a great race: Runners pass through the historic Churchill Downs race course, where the Kentucky Derby takes place. Why it’s a great race: The course features beautiful scenery, aid stations are located every few miles, and the race benefits the Kids Foundation, which supports Kansas City children with cancer.

Registration : Click here. Why it’s a great race: The trail is a converted railroad line lined by trees across scenic countryside. Why it’s a great race: One of the nation’s largest marathons, the Chicago Marathon attracts more than 45, runners from across the country and around the world.

Why it’s a great race: Runners enjoy beautiful views of mountains, valleys and Lake Lowell. Why it’s a great race: The race takes runners though scenic Hololulu and gives them the opportunity to support charities, including the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Children’s Tumor Foundation and Beyondblue.

Why it’s a great race: The race is one of the fastest marathons in the country, and all participants get a free ticket to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Festival. Why it’s a great race: Thousands of runners pass through downtown Miami and along scenic beachfront views, with more than 20 entertainment stations.

Course: Flat, with the majority of the course on crushed stones and paved surfaces. Why it’s a great race: The race takes runners past beautiful coastal scenery, including lakes, ponds, swamps, woods and farms, and rewards them with a post-race buffet. Why it’s a great race: This marathon is part of the New England Challenge, where runners complete five marathons throughout New England in five days. Why it’s a great race: The course takes runners alongside lakes, rivers and bridges, through downtown Denver, all in view of the Rocky Mountains.

Why it’s a great race: The majority of the course is lined with cheering spectators as well as musical performers who keep runners’ spirits up.

Why it’s a great race: There’s a special Pace Team of veteran runners who can help you keep your pace as you run. Why it’s a great race: Sedona is known for its gorgeous scenery, and this race takes runners through the Coconino National Forest, known for its breathtaking rock formations. Course: An out-and-back race, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s but a high chance of rain.

A reminder about this post I had written in November popped up this week. When I read it again, it seemed even more relevant now. Thinking back to all the world has endured in the past three years convinced me that kindness is always timely.

Perhaps you may be inspired to try some of […]. As the pandemic restrictions were easing and we were reveling in our new-found freedom of being fully-vaccinated, we began to look for races in our ten remaining quest states. We had become whizzes at scanning the Running in the USA website to locate races in our target states.

In the past, we had relished the […]. But after an opportunity to meet Alaskan sled dogs and learn more about mushing I have become completely enthralled with the race. This post recounts more of our Alaskan travels during the summer of After refueling and rehashing our race we were on our way to Denali National Park. Despite traveling to Alaska nine months ago I have been remiss in completing posts about our adventures there.

While there are many organized events, it is more of something that you schedule, train for, and do. It makes our list because, although it is not a large single event like some of the others, it is an established route that attract thousands of destination runners each year.

Train well and know the risks, this is a self-supported and spectacular run. Consider a hydration pack given the elements you will encounter. Arkansas: Arkansas Marathon — Booneville. We were tempted to go with the larger, springtime Little Rock Marathon, but we opted for the older Arkansas Marathon. One of the oldest and most unique marathons in the South, the Arkansas Marathon is a great October race option in a laid-back setting.

The out-and-back route places you right next to Mt. Magazine—the tallest mountain in eleven states—as well as near the borderline between the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita National Forest. There are a couple notable hills, but otherwise is a nice, gently rolling course. California: Malibu Half Marathon and 5K. Choosing a single race in a state as large as California is very difficult — there are so many iconic ones.

Set along the famed Pacific Coast Highway, sand and surf will be your backdrop as you inch towards the finish line. Celebrate your finish by cooling off in the crisp, blue ocean! Colorado: Bolder Boulder Run. A 10K race, it attracts over , spectators each year! This is a great race for those who have been training for years, or those who are just starting running and need something to shoot for.

A close second was the Steamboat Marathon. Delaware: Wilmington Grand Prix Bike weekend. Celebrating its eleventh anniversary in , the Grand Prix is one of the premier biking races in the nation. Florida: Walt Disney World Marathon. Georgia: Peachtree Road Race. The largest 10K in the world, the Peachtree Road Race is held every July 4 and will be entering its 48 th year in While July temps in Atlanta and be warm, this race is in the morning so should be tolerable.

Still, have your water bottle ready at the finish line, and wear cool attire. Additionally, it is a great way to experience the city of Atlanta, as it takes you on a tour of many unique neighborhood and concludes in the venerable Piedmont Park. Hawaii: Cycle to the Sun Bike Race. One of the most challenging bike climbs on the planet, the ride reaches a punishing 10, feet over 36 miles.

This ride takes place in June, which in Hawaii means a likely high of around 85 and sun. Remember your sunglasses and drink plenty of water. Idaho : Famous Idaho Potato Marathon. Sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission, the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon is a great race for first-time marathoners—as the course is completely flat! If the entire family wants to join in, half marathon, 10K, and 5K courses are also options. Illinois : Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Ranked as the fourth-largest race in the world by the number of finishers worldwide, the race is celebrating its 40 th anniversary in —which will surely draw more entrants and spectators than in Indiana: Festival Half and 5K.

The early May race weekend celebrates the legacy of the legendary Indy car race. Tens of thousands of Families, Olympic runners, and first-time runners all come together in Indianapolis to partake in the event—and the excitement is palpable! Iowa: Ragbrai Bike Ride. Organized by the Des Moines Register, it began in —making it the largest bike-touring event in the world. Given that it is a 7-day ride, you will need to plan ahead with multiple sets of cycling shorts and shirts, and enough gear for whatever the weather sends your way.

Kansas: Spring Fling Criterium Series. A series of cycling races that take place at Clinton Lake each year, the Spring Fling is one of the longest running crit series in the U. They typically span five Saturdays between February and March—though conditions can get a bit chilly, the flat racecourse tends to make up for any icy temperatures. Kentucky : Bourbon Chase. A mile relay race, runners typically tackle the race course in teams of ten. Louisiana : Crescent City Classic. For 37 years, the Crescent City Classic has combined elite runners, amateur racers, and a passion for the indomitable spirit of New Orleans.

Maine : Sugarloaf Marathon. As the course is primarily downhill, marathon runners regularly record personal-best times at Sugarloaf—as the race wraps up with a gradual sixteen-mile descent. Maryland : Across the Bay 10K. Runners make their way across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge during the race—which is about 10K in length—offering them stellar views as they find their pace.

 

– Best running race in each state

 
Along with panoramic views signature to upstate New York, the Boilermaker is known for its spectator support and challenging inclines. Roughly 93 miles of the race are run on roads in Kingman County. Delaware: Coastal Delaware Marathon. Where: Davenport, Iowa Register: bix7.