Good First Marathon (Read 1281 times)


    Hi Everyone,


    I'm wondering if anyone could recommend a good first Marathon sometime at the end of this year (Oct 2012 - Jan 2013) anywhere in the states.


      I have two recommendations , I am not even qualified to recommend because I have run only those two.



      1. Wineglass marathon - Sept 30 this week. 



      October first week - Corning NY - Generally flat, if you are lucky and if it does not rain, has great fall color scenery. On race day in October it was a little troublesome with rain until the half way point but then it got a lot better in the second half.


      Easy to start running because of small field. Can get a bit cold and wet. Got my turn to get going within 4 minutes of elite runners. I particularly liked that.


      Because it is point to point can be a little complicated.  No covered area at the start. Despite all these disadvantages a great race. 


      2. Richmond VA - November 10, 2012


      Slightly hilly after mile 15, again fantastic scenery. 4 miles along the James River. The 4.50 hrs did not feel like torture at all. Easy to get to and start running. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Will run it again if I can.


      I am partial to these two because I live in Northern Virginia and both of these are within driving distance. Also a big city race such as Marine Corps or Philly is way too crowded for my taste.


      Both are considered fast marathons overall. You may want to seriously consider either one of these if you are open to travel to the Mid-Atlantic/ East Coast if you are not already there.


      Good luck


      I was in that same situation not too long ago. But both of those races within 6 weeks of each other turned out to be really great.

      Options,Account, Forums

        Good meaning:

        • flat and fast
        • scenic and pretty
        • fast pavement surface
        • nice comfortable dirt surface
        • Lots of compatriots, and bands, and announcers, and loud music
        • Few people and easy familiarity with race director and volunteers
        • great water views
        • great mountain views
        • easy to park near start
        • easy to access via public transit
        • convenient morning-of packet pickup
        • at least one U-turn so you can see other people in the field
        • point-to-point course
        • loop course
        • qualifier for Boston
        • many supporters alongside the course
        • strong elite field
        • pace groups available
        • allows for 6-7 hour runners to finish
        • has lots of food at end
        • has beer at end
        • has wine at aid stations



        Obviously, many of these are opposite -- so I think it may depend at least in part on what *you* mean by good.

        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

          Now forever will he be pondering the meaning of "good"  

            My first marathon was the 1999 Big Sur International Marathon.  Was it good?  God no, it was fucking awful.


            All I know is it took me about a dozen more tries before I could quit the damn things.

            Runners run.


              you ran a marathon in 1999? damn, dude, you're OLD.

              i find the sunshine beckons me to open up the gate and dream and dream ~~robbie williams

                I ran my first in 1994...not a good one.  Didn't train for it, and the only thing that got me through was youthful resilience. Horrible finishing time too, and it's taken 16 years to make me realise that you really should train for it Smile

                PR's 5K: 18:37, 10K: 39:51, 15K: 58:18, Half Marathon: 1:25:51 Marathon 3:19:15

                2017 Goal: getting fit and lean again, before it's too late!


                    It's a bit late in your window, but Miami is a good one if you want flat. It's a double-loop course that first goes through the South Beach area, then goes through some of the nicer south-side suburbs. There are some small "hills" when the road crosses over a canal, but not many and nothing big (fifteen feet elevation - tops). (Of course the last one is only about a half-mile from the finish, which makes it tough.) On the down side, some people find it gets a little warmer than they like.


                    Raleigh's Cit of Oaks Marathon is also available in early November. It was wet and cold two years ago, but has generally been dry and comfortable. Not flat, just your typical "rolling" countryside with nothing too steep. You also get both an urban and a rural marathon in the same race - the first half circles through down-town, while the second half goes through Umpstead State Park on some of the smooth bridal trails.

                  Queen of 3rd Place

                    If your log is accurate, I would say that this coming fall or winter is too soon!  You'd better get crackin'! Smile


                    FWIW, my first was Disneyworld, and after doing it again this year, I still think it makes a fine first marathon. They take good care of you (Disney knows how to move people around), there's a generous cut-off time, there are lots of beginners and slow people so you won't feel clueless or slow yourself! On the downside it's expensive and if you don't like crowds it won't be your cuppa joe. 


                    My local marathon here in Fresno is a good choice as well: definitely not crowded (about 1,000 running the full marathon), the weather is almost always perfect, the course is pleasant enough, there's a hot breakfast, ice cream sundaes, beer and wine at the finish (I also like that you get a hooded sweatshirt at the finish), like Disney there's a generous cutoff, and the price is reasonable. The downside is, well, it's in Fresno, but as we say here, we're close to lots of cool places. Shy 

                    Ex runner

                    Jeff F

                    Free Beer

                      There are so many variables that would define a good marathon.  I suggest you go to marathonguide.com and look at the schedule for your time period and read some reviews.  Once you narrow it down, come back to RA and ask if anyone has any experience with the marathons you are thinking about and I am sure you will get some great feedback.

                        Hi Everyone,


                        I'm wondering if anyone could recommend a good first Marathon sometime at the end of this year (Oct 2012 - Jan 2013) anywhere in the states.



                        I'd suggest one of those 5K marathons. The "goodness" doesn't last as long...

                          The BayState Marathon, absolutely. 

                          "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                          No Talent Drips

                            Mount Desert Island Marathon (Mid October) was my first...it is not flat, it is not fast, but it is incredible. Gets my vote. If you're going to do the work, might as well run an good & tough course.

                             Dei Gratia


                            Gotta Flee Em All

                              I know a bad first marathon that takes place in the Fall.

                              Prince of Fatness

                                I know a bad first marathon that takes place in the Fall.


                                I'm in!