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marathon group

 

Ah, the new year. It’s the time when the whole country seems to make a collective decision to eat better, hit the gym regularly and lose weight.

While your gym may be more clogged than usual for a few weeks, you don’t have to be another statistic who forgets your goals by mid-January. Why not make some doable fitness resolutions of your own, like running a full or half marathon this winter?

There are plenty of these races all over the United States. We’ve found 25 great options for January, February and March that will appeal to runners of all fitness levels.

 

January

1/15–1/17: Louisiana Marathon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

No matter your level of athleticism or running skill, there’s something for you at the Louisiana Marathon, which offers a kids race, a 5K, quarter races, a half marathon and a full marathon. From Friday, January 15, until Sunday, January 17, you’ll be able to blitz around the 26.2-mile course that lets you take in the views of Baton Rouge.

Since 2012, this race has promised a trail that “is a fast, flat, festive path that takes runners from downtown, along the river, through the University Lakes, the Louisiana State University campus, and through historic rivertown neighborhoods.”

 

beginning of marathon overhead

 

1/16: The Duel at Wichita Falls, Texas

Every year, Wichita Falls becomes home of The Duel, a 10K and full marathon where you get to see the Wichita Falls Circle and the Wichita dirt trail. The event always takes place in January on the third weekend of the month and will officially kick off on Saturday, January 16, this year.
 

1/16: Pacifica Foothills Trail Run in Pacifica, California

Another California race, the Pacifica Foothills Trail Run features a half marathon, a 10K and a 30K, all of which take place at the lovely San Pedro Valley Park. This spacious part of the Santa Cruz Mountain range is 1,150 acres long.

“Longer distance runners will ascend the 1,900-foot climb of Montara Mountain North Peak and either pause to take a breath and appreciate views of the Farallon Island and the exterior of Pacifica or turn without much thought outside of enjoying a long downhill trounce,” the race’s organizers write.

 

1/16: The Museum of Aviation Foundation Race in Warner Robins, Georgia

The Museum of Aviation Foundation has hosted its annual race for 20 years. You won’t actually be running through or near the museum, but rather at the adjacent Robins Air Force Base. If you participate in the half marathon or the full marathon on Saturday, January 16, both count as qualification runs for the Boston Marathon. Winners receive a trophy.

 

1/16: Winter Night Trail Marathon in Indianapolis

What’s colder and more challenging than running during the daytime in the winter? Running at night, of course! The Winter Night Trail Marathon lets you do just that on Saturday, January 16, at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. The race starts at 6:00 PM, and in the winter it’s dark by then. To keep all the racers safe, every participant is required to either carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp for the duration of the race.

 

1/16: Charleston Marathon in Charleston, South Carolina

As with the Mississippi Blues Marathon, the Charleston Marathon donates all proceeds from the annual event to the Youth Endowment for the Arts. Bonus points: The Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards selected Charleston for three consecutive years as the best city to run in.

On Saturday, January 16, you can participate in this race. Choose from a half or a full marathon, or the Shrimp and Grits 5K. There’s live entertainment at this race, too, but the party only begins once you’ve reached the finish line.

 

turning a corner marathon

 

February

2/20: Red Rock Canyon Marathon in Las Vegas

As a part of the Calico Racing series, which sponsors marathons all year, the Red Rock Canyon Marathon is a great February competition. Although Las Vegas is known for its glitz, glamour and gambling, you’ll be far removed from the city on Saturday, February 20.

“Majestically framing the west side of the valley, Red Rock Canyon is the most notable natural treasure in the Las Vegas area,” Calico Racing explains. “Federally designed as a Backcountry Scenic Byway, the 13-mile paved scenic drive traverses some of the Mojave Desert’s most stunning vistas. Sandstone formations, desert vegetation, and wildlife bring this place to life.”

 

2/21: NYCRUNS Central Park Marathon and Half Marathon in New York City

New York City has some great marathons, and the NYCRUNS Central Park Marathon and Half Marathon is another can’t-miss event. Taking place in Central Park on Sunday, February 21, this race, now in its fourth year, acts as a qualification for the Boston Marathon. You’ll run five loops near 102nd Street and end where you started, seeing such parts of the city as Harlem Hills, East Drive, West Drive, 72nd Street and 100th Street.

 

2/27: Phoenix Marathon in Phoenix

Whether you prefer a 10K, half marathon or a full marathon, you have your pick at the Phoenix Marathon. You can also partake in the BMO Harris Bank Phoenix Marathon for elite runners if you’ve trained for months. Keep Saturday, February 27, open and meet at Mesa Riverview. This race is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

 

2/28: Arena Attack Indoor Race Series in Hartford, Connecticut

Sponsored by the Southern New England Athletic Association, the Arena Attack Indoor Race Series lets you experience the thrill of racing without all the cold, New England wind blasting you in the face.

HalfMarathons.net calls this half marathon one of the 10 most difficult races of its kind. There are no slopes or hills during the run, though, and the indoor temperature is described as “optimal.” The Arena Attack Indoor Race Series kicks off at Hartford’s XL Center on Sunday, February 28.

 

2/28: Hyannis Marathon in Hyannis, Massachusetts

The Hyannis Marathon includes a marathon team relay, 10K race and half marathon. You will run outside, passing by such beautiful landmarks as Cape Cod, the Kennedy Family Compound, Lewis Bay, Hyannis Harbor and Craigville Beach. There are changing and showering facilities onsite so you can clean up after the big race. Awards are presented according to weight and age divisions.

 

woman running

 

March

3/5: SNICKERS Marathon and Half Marathon in Albany, Georgia

It may seem a little counterintuitive for a candy bar brand to host a race, but the SNICKERS Marathon and Half Marathon rewards winners with $1,000 for third place (one for a woman and one for a man), $2,000 for second place and $3,000 for first place. On Saturday, March 5, you can participate in the race, which is ranked as one of the 10 best if you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

 

3/6: Naked Bavarian in Leesport, Pennsylvania

If the name Naked Bavarian alone doesn’t make you want to join in this race, then what will? This trail run describes itself as “low-fee” and “back to the basics” as you race for at least 20 miles at Blue Marsh Lake. If snow affects the original date of Sunday, March 6, then the event will be rescheduled on Sunday, March 27. Ideal for beginners due to the ease of the course, there are some ascending hills and rocky terrain that will keep you on your toes.

 

3/12: Cactus Classic Trail Race in Manito, Illinois

Mayhem Race Management sponsors the Cactus Classic Trail Race at Sand Ridge State Forest. Run the 10K, test your endurance with the half marathon, or go for the full marathon. The event, which takes place on Saturday, March 12, determines winners based on gender and which race you run.

 

3/12: Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon in Washington, D.C.

For five years, Washington, D.C. has hosted the Rock ‘n Roll DC Marathon, which includes 5Ks and a half marathon. You’re serenaded by rock bands during your run, which will hopefully inspire you to finish.

In just a little more than 26 miles, you can also see all the biggest sights D.C. has to offer, including the White House, Dupont Circle and RFK Stadium. The Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon takes place on Saturday, March 12.  

 

3/18: Peak Races in Pittsfield, Vermont

One of the websites Peak Races has listed on its Facebook page is youmaydie.com, which promotes the company’s Death Race.  You can compete with snowshoes on (the half marathon, full marathon and 10K races are on Friday, March 18) as you trundle through the wintry Vermont wilderness, or you can hop aboard a bike and race that way. You can also run in the Peak Ultra in Vermont’s Green Mountains in May.

 

3/18–3/20: The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia

One of the best days in March is St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of meeting at the local bar, consider signing up for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon instead. The event takes place all weekend, from Friday, March 18, until Sunday, March 20, and tends to bring together at least 30,000 participants. During that weekend, you can check out the fitness expo, sip some Yuengling beer, sample some of Murphy’s Irish stew and race in an 8K or a half marathon.

 

3/18–3/20: Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

It may be a little too soon to start thinking about spending sunny days on the beach, but in North Carolina, you can zip right past the sand and surf during Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness. On Friday, March 18, until Sunday, March 20, you can race in a one-mile, 5K, 13.1-mile, 26.2-mile relay or a standard 26.2-mile marathon.

 

3/19: Sand Hollow Marathon in Hurricane, Utah

As winter nears its end, make sure to get outside and participate in a race like the Sand Hollow Marathon. Organizers for the event plan to unveil a brand-new trail for the Saturday, March 19, race. If you like racing in duos, make sure to get involved in the two-person relay in which you both race a half marathon.

 

man after marathon

 

3/20: Big Island International Marathon in Hilo, Hawaii

OK, so in Hawaii, winter is more of a passing thought than an actual season. Still, if you’re in the Aloha State, take some time out on Saturday, March 20, to participate in the Big Island International Marathon.

“The entire course takes place near the coastline,” organizers write. “Beautiful scenery from beginning to end. Waterfalls, jungle forest, and waves breaking on the shoreline make this an experience that you’ll never forget.” What could be better?

 

3/20: A2A Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy in Ardmore, Oklahoma

While running a marathon benefits your body and your health, participating in the A2A Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy lets you also donate to the Mercy Cancer Center in Ardmore.

On Sunday, March 20, you can get involved in a 5K, half marathon or full marathon. Once the race wraps up, there’s a pasta dinner at the Ardmore Convention Center that begins at 4:30 p.m.

 

images by:
tookapic, fawndesign, Badziol40, skeeze, Farrokh_Bulsara

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