Whether you’re an expert runner or just starting out, training for a marathon (or half-marathon) is the ultimate motivation. And, with all that hard work involved, why not choose one with beautiful view? Here are 5 of the most scenic marathons in the USA.
Starting in Pheiffer State Park, the Big Sur International Marathon follows the gorgeous California Highway 1 along the coastline. You’ll run along the rocky seaside, through redwoods and wildflowers in one of the world’s most scenic marathons. Other highlights: passing the Point Sur Lighthouse and crossing the iconic Bixby Bridge during your race.
If you’re a wildlife lover, Alaska’s Anchorage Major’s Marathon is right up your alley. You’ll bask in the Chugach Mountain range to your east, Cook Inlet to the west and, thanks to the summer solstice, a never-setting sun. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for moose and bear along the way.
Start and end your race the Hawaiian way: on the beach! The Honolulu Marathon begins by the Pacific, takes you up the Diamond Head volcanic crater and ends back by the ocean. Take a refreshing dip in the water for the perfect post-run cool down.
The challenging Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, Virginia is filled breathtaking views of the region’s mountains. Be forewarned: it’s been called one of “America’s Toughest Road Marathons” due to the 7,430 feet of elevation change over the course, featuring three big climbs and descents. But, all that work is worth it for the stunning view from the top.
Beginning deep in the Pine Valley mountains of Utah, you’ll start off the St. George Marathon under a gorgeous constellation-filled sky. Then, as the sun rises, you’ll begin your descent nearly 2600 feet through the scenic southwest, ending in breathtaking Worthen Park. Be ready for some serious scenery – and downhill running.