I Need Your Help!

It’s that time of the year – fall marathon registration time!

I’m having a hard time deciding on a marathon to run this fall. My original plan when first starting out on the marathon bandwagon was to run as many big races as I could (Chicago, NYC, Philly, LA, etc.), but I quickly realized that bigger doesn’t always mean better. While I would love to run Chicago again this year, I’m really glad that wasn’t my main focus considering the registration issues they had. I’ve also realized that while traveling far and wide for races is fun, it isn’t always kind on my bank account. So this year (the year of a Disney World and Disneyland racecation), I’ve decided to try and keep it local.

I have a few qualifications for this fall’s marathon. My main focus is a PR. But not just any PR, a big one. No no, I’m not looking to qualify for Boston, I just need to get under 4 hours… I don’t care if it’s a 3:59:59 (though with my luck it’ll be 4:00:00)! So that means flat(ish), and fast. I don’t mind net downhills since they don’t seem to bother my legs too much, but I’m obviously not looking for “rolling hills” which really means a giant hill at mile 9 that will make you almost cry (I’m looking at you, Philly Marathon). Next on the level of importance is location – as I said, I want to keep it local. This means no more than a 6 hour car ride from New Jersey. And finally, timing. I’m looking for mid-October to early December, which I realize takes quite a few marathons out that have previously been suggested to me. 

So this is where you come in, my fellow runners! I’ve narrowed it down to 8 marathons, which is hardly “narrowing it down;” I really need to get it down to 2 or 3 in order to make a logical decision. Here’s what I have:

  • Atlantic City Marathon (NJ) – 10/13
  • Mohawk-Hudson Marathon (NY) – 10/13
  • Steamtown Marathon (PA) – 10/13
  • BayState Marathon (MA) – 10/20
  • Marine Corps Marathon (VA) – 10/27
  • Manchester City Marathon (NH) – 11/3
  • Richmond Marathon (VA) – 11/16
  • Rehoboth Marathon (DE) – 12/7

I’m looking for anyone that’s run any of these particular marathons (or knows someone that did) to share their insight, as well offer up additional suggestions if there are some I’m missing. Who knew that picking a marathon could  be as difficult as running one? Ok, it’s not at all, but you get my point. Help me out! Please? 🙂

13 thoughts on “I Need Your Help!

  1. I have ran the Manchester city marathon as well as the half a few times and it is definitely not flat! It is one of the hilliest I’ve ever done. I am planning to run the amica marathon in Newport Rhode Island (beautiful!) on October 13 and am also going to try to get under 4 hours!


    1. Ohh, I’ll have to check out Rhode Island! I’m OK with not completely flat, as long as it’s generally OK, and has good crowds. I just don’t want any crazy hilly course, or a desolate course… that’s not good for my mental state, hah!


    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’d have to decide on MCM and keep my fingers crossed within the next week, so that one’s probably out.


  2. I love the Richmond marathon! Run it twice and PRd both times. Fast course (not completely flat, but fast), a nice number of people (around 5,000?) and great weather. Steamtown does have hills and they come at the end, plus it can be warm there. One that I’m sure is not on your radar is NCR trail in Baltimore. Tiny race (only 350) but pancake flat and well run. It’s always the Sat. after Thanksgiving. Interested to see what you decide!


  3. BayState + Mohawk Hudson River are on my list of possible races for this fall so I’m interested to hear if anyone else recommends them! Also on my list is Hartford on 10/12. And Wineglass. Decisions, decisions!

    Would definitely recommend Marine Corps (LOVED it) but sells out quick so if you choose that one, plan to camp out in front of the computer on reg day!

    PS. I hated Philly. Mile 9 hill + out & back miles 13-26? No thank you.


    1. I’ve heard good things about Mohawk, but apparently you do cross over some train tracks that if a train is coming, you have to stop and wait for. They have timing mats on either side & adjust your time if necessary, but I’m not sure how I feel about that! I’ve heard great things about Wineglass, and I know some people that ran the Hartford half last year and loved it.
      I probably can’t commit soon enough to choose MCM and get in before it sells out, so that one is pretty much out. So far I’m leaning towards Richmond. And as for Philly – SERIOUSLY! I’m so glad I’m not the only one that didn’t like it. It was my first marathon, and that desolate out & back with a little cheering in Manayunk in the second half was awful… that’s when I needed cheering the most!


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