Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

So you've already set your goal to run a marathon this fall, but here comes the tough question: Which one should you run? For those of you looking for a unique experience or a fabulous destination, check out this list of top U.S. fall marathons. Any one of them will make all those miles run in heat and humidity of the summer totally worth it. 


St. George Marathon

St. George Marathon

When: October 7, 2017
Where: St. George, Utah
Why do it:  The St. George Marathon begins in the majestic Pine Valley mountains and descends nearly 2600 feet through scenic southwest Utah, to the beautiful Worthern Park. The net downhill and cool weather make for some fast race times. Runners are also treated to breath-taking scenery on the course and a very unique finisher's medallion.


Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

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When: October 1, 2017
Where: Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minn.
Why do it: The Twin Cities Marathon lays claim to being the "Most Scenic Urban Marathon in America" and people who've run say that it's true. With a backdrop of spectacular fall foliage, the course takes runners through gorgeous neighborhoods, along the shoreline of the lake and on the banks of the Mississippi.


Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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When: October 8, 2017
Where: Chicago, Ill.
Why do it: The Chicago Marathon is a flat, fast marathon, so it's a great one to do if you've never run a marathon or you're trying to run your fastest time ever. In addition to its speed, the course offers a scenic tour of the Windy City as it weaves through numerous diverse neighborhoods and dozens of local and historic landmarks. You'll see all that is great about the city of Chicago, while being supported by tons of screaming fans. 


Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon

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When: October 15, 2017
Where: Detroit, Mich.
Why do it: As a runner in the Detroit Marathon, you'll actually cross the U.S./Canadian border twice (you actually need to show a passport or documentation at race packet pick-up!) The fast, spectator-friendly course takes you through historic neighborhoods and the only underwater international mile in the world. First-time marathoners have an added incentive to choose this race: All first-time runners receive a special green number. Detroit knows and loves its "greenies" and gives them added support needed to cross the finish line. 


Mount Desert Island Marathon

Mount Desert Marathon

When: October 15, 2017
Where: Bar Harbor, Maine
Why do it:  With its breath-taking, incredibly scenic course, the Mount Desert Island Marathon has been called the "Big Sur Marathon of the East." Race organizers also call it "America's Best Little Road Race."  Indeed, race participants agree that the race's natural beauty and small-town feel is worth the numerous hills you climb and descend. The lobster claw medal is pretty cool, too.


Baltimore Marathon

Marathon start
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When: October 21, 2017
Where: Baltimore, Md.
Why do it: The Baltimore Marathon course travels through the many diverse neighborhoods including the scenic Inner Harbor waterfront area, historic Federal Hill and charming Fells Point. It also starts and finishes at the stadium area that's home to both the Ravens and the Orioles, so there's plenty of space and restrooms for everyone. The marathon also boasts about its top-notch expo, Under Armour race shirt, and crowds of supporting spectators. 


Marine Corps Marathon

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When: October 29, 2017
Where: Washington, D.C.
Why do it: The Marine Corps Marathon is often called the "People's Marathon" because it doesn't offer a huge purse for top finishers, despite its large size. As a result, it attracts lots of recreational runners who are rewarded with a well-organized race and a scenic course. You'll see plenty of the D.C.'s landmarks and monuments, and be supported by plenty of supporters and Marines along the way.


TCS New York City Marathon

Runners in the NYC Marathon
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When: November 5, 2017
Where: New York, NY
Why do it: Everything about the New York City marathon is big. It's the largest marathon in the country -- both in terms of participants and spectators. Runners tour the biggest city in the country, as they travels through the streets and several bridges in New York, experiencing diverse and vibrant neighborhoods in all five of New York's boroughs. Gaining entry by lottery gets tougher every year, but the race does have some charity partners that also grant numbers in exchange for fundraising.


Anthem Richmond Marathon

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When: November 11, 2017
Where: Richmond, Va.
Why do it: Dubbed "America's Friendliest Marathon" by Runner's World magazine, the Anthem Richmond Marathon offers many of the benefits of a big city marathon while maintaining a small-town feel. Runners keep coming back year after year because of the friendly and courteous volunteers and superb course amenities, such as junk food stops and wet washcloths. 


Philadelphia Marathon

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When: November 19, 2017
Where: Philadelphia. Pa.
Why do it: If you're looking for a big city marathon experience, but don't want to deal with the crowds, the Philadelphia Marathon may be a good option for you. Philly's course treats you to historical landmarks like the Liberty Bell, as well as the natural beauty of scenic sections along the Schuylkill River. And, if you still have some energy left after you cross finish line, you can do your best "Rocky" imitation by running up the Philadelphia Museum of Art's steps.


Space Coast Marathon

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When: November 26, 2017
Where: Cocoa, Fla.
Why do it:  Held in the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast Marathon starts in the historic and quaint Cocoa Village, and finishes with a lap around the Riverfront Park amphitheater where family and friends can cheer and watch you finish. The course is mostly flat and fast, and the typically cool temperatures (race starts at 6:30 a.m.) are also favorable for runners. Race perks include a space shuttle themed medal, a finisher's towel (perfect for going to the beach post-race), and a "Back Into Orbit" finishers' party, complete with pancakes and eggs or pizza and beer.

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