Largest Marathons

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New York City Marathon
 
4.8 (5 reviews)
New York, NY
November 05, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 50,000
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 425 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.75
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The New York Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world and is an iconic treasure to the distance running industry. As the professional athletes and nearly 800,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the true thrills of a lifetime. The course itself a point-to-point road race starting in Staten Island and takes tours of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, with a finish into Manhattan’s Central Park.

Chicago Marathon
 
4.5 (14 reviews)
Chicago, IL
October 08, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 40,000
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 225 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.50
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. Runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream and participating in one of the nation's largest marathons. The marathon is known for its flat and fast course that starts and finishes in Grant Park and travels through one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The course has produced four world records, several national records, and countless personal bests. Participants enjoy the support of 1.7 million spectators as they run through 29 neighborhoods.

Boston Marathon
 
4.6 (9 reviews)
Boston, MA
April 17, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 27,000
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 350 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.75
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. It has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity, and method of gaining entry into the race (via qualification). The legendary course follows a point-to-point route from Hopkinton to Boston.

Marine Corps Marathon
 
4.5 (10 reviews)
Arlington, VA
October 22, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 20,000
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 550 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.75
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), aptly nicknamed the "Marathon of the Monuments," offers gorgeous and historic views along the course, including: the Pentagon, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Jr. Memorial, FDR Memorial, National Mall, Korean and WWII Memorials, Smithsonian, and the list goes on.

Honolulu Marathon
 
4.1 (10 reviews)
Honolulu, HI
December 10, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 20,000
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 300 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.50
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

With roughly 25,000 finishers, the Honolulu Marathon is consistently placed among the world's ten largest marathons. It is unique in that entry to the Honolulu Marathon is open to everybody. Unlike other marathons of similar size, popularity, and stature, there are no qualifying standards to meet, no fixed limits on the number of runners, and no time limit to finish the course. This, combined with a gorgeous ocean-front course and warm temperatures make it a perfect destination marathon for people all around the world.

Walt Disney World Marathon
 
4.6 (4 reviews)
Lake Buena Vista, FL
January 07, 2018

Race Vitals

Participants: 20,000
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 200 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.00
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

You're a runner who loves adventure! Your priority in a race is the course. And now you're about to head out on the most magical course on earth during the final race of the weekend -- a 26.2 mile run that'll take you through four Walt Disney World theme parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Walt Disney World SPEEDWAY. And as an added bonus, the course is flat and fast!

L.A. Marathon
 
4.6 (4 reviews)
Los Angeles, CA
March 19, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 20,000
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 475 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.75
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

With more than 20,000 participants, 6,000 volunteers, and 1 million spectators, the LA Marathon is one of the largest organized road races in the world. The "Stadium to the Sea" course starts at Dodger Stadium, finishes by the Santa Monica Pier, and is considered one of the most scenic courses in the world.

Philadelphia Marathon
 
4.4 (5 reviews)
Philadelphia, PA
November 19, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 9,000
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 400 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.75
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, Philadelphia is the place for you. We’ve designed our course to be scenic, fan-friendly and, above all, great for running. It’s no wonder we're consistently listed among the top ten races in the country, recognized for our mostly flat terrain, ideal temperature, and awesome atmosphere. Join us this fall for race weekend!

Twin Cities Marathon
 
4.6 (6 reviews)
Minneapolis, MN
October 01, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 8,500
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 450 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 2.00
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Twin Cities Marathon is called “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America” for 26.2 good reasons. With mile after mile of parkways, lakes, rivers and tree-lined boulevards, the scenery can’t be beat. Add 300,000 screaming fans, 10 Cheer Zones, over a dozen course entertainment acts, and you’ve got an experience that you’ll never forget. The course is a point-to-point that starts in downtown Minneapolis and tours the beautiful Chain of Lakes, Mississippi River, Summit Ave., and finishes at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Houston Marathon
 
4.7 (4 reviews)
Houston, TX
January 15, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 7,800
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 150 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.00
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The course is flat and fast and starts in downtown near Minute Maid Park with tours of many local neighborhoods and favorites, including River Oaks, Upper Kirby, Montrose, Rice University, Memorial Park, and the Buffalo Bayou.

Learn about Difficulty Rating

Difficulty Rating

Race Navigator created the Difficulty Rating scale to help runners quickly compare the difficulty between marathon courses. The scale is 0.0 to 5.0 with 0.0 being the easiest and 5.0 being the most difficult. A further explanation is below:

Rating Course Description
0 to 1 These courses are mostly downhill and very fast – excellent for PR/BQ’s.
1 to 2 A rating of “1” means the course is flat; closer to “2” you can expect small hills.
2 to 3 The course has moderate hills.
3 to 4 The course has substantial hills.
4 to 5 Very difficult course usually with technical terrain.

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