RaceThread.com: Chicago Marathon

8 Great Marathons for 1st Timers

March 28th, 2017

by Michael Ryan


For all running enthusiasts who have finally decided to run their first marathon; there are thousands of options available. Owing to the huge popularity of running events, there are more than 1000 marathon races held in the US every year. Each of these marathon events offers something for first timers. Here are 10 great marathons for 1st timers to test their running skills while having a great time in 2017.




1.  Flying Pig Marathon
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio 
Date: May 7, 2017 

Cincinnati and its residents revere the local pork industry. The running event may be relatively low-scale. However, the marathon welcomes 150,000 spectators that offer the perfect urban atmosphere. During the initial five miles, you will have to go across a looped course, including hills. Next, you will have to make a 300-foot ascent. You can enjoy the rest of the race as the route follows a smooth downhill after mile 10 and the finish line is near the city’s waterfront.


2. Colfax Marathon
Location: Denver, Colorado 
Date: May 21, 2017 

The highlight of Denver’s popular marathon is not the crowd or the altitude but the course itself. The event takes you through the highlights of the city and includes a couple of detours through the Mile High Stadium, a loop around Sloan Lake, running through a working firehouse, and the race concludes inside City Park close to the Denver Zoo. When you are not going through landmarks, you follow an out-and-back route through Colfax Avenue, which is one of Denver’s most happening downtown streets.  



3. Vermont City Marathon
Location: Burlington, Vermont 
Date: May 28, 2017 

The marathon is perfect for 1st timers as the course features several looped segments across the same area. With a few short walks and a little planning, you can see your support crew up to 10 times. The residents of Burlington will offer just as much as support as your friends or family. The course takes you across a few small hills with a big hill around mile 15. Over the course of the race, you witness breathtaking views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain as you head gently towards the last four miles to the finishing line. This is among the most scenic of the great marathons for 1st timers. 

4. Chicago Marathon
Location: Chicago 
Date: October 8, 2017 

This is the second largest marathon in the US, which is nearly completely flat. It provides an inclusive tour of 29 Chicago neighborhoods to first time participants. More than 1.7 million residents of Windy City cheer you along the way to motivate you for doing your best. The course offers cheerleaders and a band for an exciting running experience. Moreover, the start and finish line close to Grant Park is within walking distance to several hotels, which makes your pre or post-race navigation convenient unlike other big urban races. 

5  Victoria Marathon
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 
Date: October 9, 2016 

Thanks to the temperate weather and the welcoming running culture of this Canadian island city, this popular marathon is just a 90-minute ferry ride away, west of Vancouver. The course loops around downtown and extends gently towards rolling hills that never surpass 84 feet above sea level. You will be happy to toast your first running event once you cross the finish line in front of the parliament building as Victoria houses quite a few microbreweries within city limits.  


6. Marine Corps Marathon
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: October 22, 2017

There are thousands of runners every year who make their debut on this looped course, making it one of the best great marathons for 1st timers. The event starts and finishes near the Arlington National Cemetery. There is also a prep rally hosted by the organizers that offers race-day advice and pins for first time participants. You will receive huge support from the crowd, especially when you go from miles 17 to 19. However, be ready to meet uniformed Marines who stand with water for cheering you during even during sparser stretches back to the finish in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial. 

7. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Location: Indianapolis 
Date: November 4, 2017 

This famous marathon features a course that shows off the city’s most beautiful buildings. First timers pass Lucas Oil Stadium that is just a half-mile after the start and continue through a roundabout known as Monument Circle. All runners head north for passing by landmarks, like the Mass Ave district, Broad Ripple Village, Butler University and the Museum of Art. The marathon concludes in front of the state’s capitol building. 

8. Philadelphia Marathon
Location: Philadelphia 
Date: November 2017 

The marathon offers a half urban and a scenic experience in a single event. Runners begin by winding through Philly’s momentous streets and also pass by the Art Museum. The spectators make way for runners to take pleasure in the scenic views of stone bridges and boathouses along the Schuylkill River. The race turns around in the Manayunk neighborhood where there is plenty of encouragement offered to runners as they start the last six miles to the finish.  
These are 8 great marathons for 1st timers you can try your hand at to get an experience of running a marathon. 

Keywords: Marathons, 1st Timers, Running

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