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? 🙂