Most Popular Marathons

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

St. George Marathon
 
4.4 (5 reviews)
St. George, UT
October 07, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 5,500
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 250 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 0.00
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The St. George Marathon was rated by Runner's World as one of the four "Marathons to Build a Vacation Around" in the World, one of the 10 Most Scenic and Fastest Marathons, and ranked in the Top 20 Marathons in the USA. The course is a point-to-point marathon that begins in the majestic Pine Valley mountains (5,200' ASL) and descends nearly 2600 feet through scenic southwest Utah, to the beautiful Worthern Park. Runner`s World also listed it as the fastest fall marathon. It's a fun race indeed--and scenic.

Grandma's Marathon
 
4.1 (5 reviews)
Duluth, MN
June 17, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 7,500
Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 400 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 2.50
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

Grandma's Marathon is a point-to-point course run along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The 26.2-mile stretch begins on scenic Old Highway 61, just outside Two Harbors, Minnesota and finishes in Duluth's Canal Park. Enthusiastic volunteers, spectators and live entertainers line the streets to cheer runners on as they stride to the finish line.

Columbus Marathon
 
4.3 (5 reviews)
Columbus, OH
October 15, 2017

Race Vitals

Participants: 4,000
Course Layout: Loop
Elevation Gain: 300 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 1.50
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

The Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is a beautiful course that will run through Bexley, Olde Town East, German Village, downtown Columbus, Short North, The Ohio State University campus, Upper Arlington, Grandview, Victorian Village and will finish in the Arena District.

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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