Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo: Cpl. Bryan G. Lett/US Marine Corp)
Still deciding what marathon you want to run in the next 12 months? I am! The 15 biggest marathons in the U.S. are a common place to start.
Over the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, from large runDisney events to a small 7-miler in Key West, half-marathons in New York to major marathons all over the U.S. It’s always frustrating to discover a race you want to run is already sold-out.
So here’s how and when to register for America’s 15 biggest marathons. Some of them are even among the biggest marathons in the world. And guess what? Most of them sell out before race day.
Half-marathoners, keep in mind that many of these events have 13.1-mile races the same weekend. So if you don’t want to go 26.2, you’ve still got options.
Next up? The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon.
Registration opened today for the race weekend taking place November 14-16, 2014. Events include the marathon, half-marathon, and Zappos.com 1/2 of the Half, a 6.5-mile race that sold-out in 2013. A two-day Health & Fitness Expo with more than 100 vendors is free and open to the public.
So what makes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Weekend special? Why, running the Las Vegas Strip at night, of course. The marquee races start at 4:30 p.m. and finish at the base of the Mirage Volcano. Live bands line the course at every mile and runners can get married or renew vows at a Run-Thru Wedding Chapel. Not to be missed are the Running Elvi (yep, that’s Elvis plural), hundreds of runners who rock the race as The King, along with other costumed runners dressed as showgirls and other Vegas luminaries. Read the rest of this entry →
Though less famous than its bigger fall siblings like the TCS New York City Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon, the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon has the distinction of being a world-class fall marathon that you can simply register for. No complicated lotteries, no qualifying standards, no registration drama. So if you got shut out of any of the aforementioned lotteries, I recommend Philly as a great alternative. In fact, I’ve sung its praises to many a runner looking for a big city race with a small town feel.
Pausing for a photo opp just before a PR finish at the Philadelphia Marathon. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 to a 17-minute personal best. I would definitely call this a PR-course in general if you’re trained for a few hills. I ran that year with about a dozen friends and teammates, including my husband. Most of us walked away with personal best times. And it’s a race I would absolutely consider running again.
The Philadelphia Marathon 2014 weekend includes the marathon and half marathon on Sunday, November 23, the Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 22, and a two-day Health & Fitness Expo that’s free and open to the public on Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22. The race often sells out its 30,000 bibs, split between the three race distances, anywhere from a month to a few weeks before race day. More than 25,000 runners finished races in 2013 race, and organizers say 60,000 spectators came out to cheer them on. Read the rest of this entry →
I won’t be racing this one, but instead want to take in the sights and sounds of the city. In my three days on the ground here, I’ve seen both sides of Jerusalem: serious and silly, somber and sublime. The photo above reflects the gravitas of Jerusalem. The one below, its goofy side.
I’ve met Muslims, Christians and Jews, runners and non-runners, many of whom have been delightfully candid in their views of life, politics, religion and the collision of them all in this spectacular setting. And it is spectacular.
But I’ll leave all that for another day. Tonight I sleep. Tomorrow I explore the city in yet another way—through the lens of running. Of course, there is much more to come.
Chicago on marathon morning in 2009. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Want to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2014 on October 12? If you don’t have a guaranteed entry, it’s time to register for the race’s new lottery.
The lottery opens Wednesday, March 19 at 12 p.m. Central, and will remain open until Monday, April 7 at 12 p.m. Central. Unlike years past, it is not first come, first served. Runners 16 years or older on race day can apply any time during that period. Runners will be notified if they are selected via e-mail on Monday, April 14.
The 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Photo: By Steven Dahlman/MarinaCityOnline.com)
If you don’t want to vie for a spot through the random draw, guaranteed entries are available via the race’s charity and international tour programs both during and after the lottery period. About 10,000 charity and 2,000 tour runners will gain entry this way.
Runners who meet the qualifying time standards of 3:15 for men and 3:45 for women can also nab a guaranteed spot, as can legacy runners who have finished the Chicago Marathon five or more times between 2004 and 2013. Those bibs must also be claimed during the lottery period.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2014 lottery comes a year after technical difficulties halted the race’s registration process. Active.com, the race’s registration vendor, crashed when runners rushed the site to sign up for the 2013 race. About 25,000 of the marathon’s 40,000 spots had been filled. The race turned to a lottery to field the remains bibs. Read the rest of this entry →
The Paris Marathon (Photo: Valentin/Wikimedia Commons)
I’ve bemoaned the lack of running coverage on TV many times. There’s obviously an audience for it if even a fraction of the 16 million Americans who finished a road race in 2013 enjoy watching running. I’m one of them. I watch running on TV and the Web. Heck, I even host a show about running for New York Road Runners.
Thankfully, in addition to “NYRR On The Run,” there’s Universal Sports. The Olympic and endurance sports network is running a “Marathon-A-Thon” in April. What does this mean? Lots of marathons are going to be on TV.
The 2013 London Marathon (Photo: Chmee2/Wikimedia Commons)
It’s the second year they’re programming a month of marathons. Maybe if we all watch them, they’ll keep doing it. No more relying on unreliable Web streams that inevitable crash because so many of us are trying to load them at the same time. Wouldn’t that be nice?
It all starts Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. Eastern with the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon. Yay! Viewers will finally get to see the much-glorified “Stadium to Sea” course that takes 25,000 runners from Dodger Stadium to the beach in Santa Monica. The ASICS LA Marathon is on my personal bucket list, so I’m excited to see it’s finally getting some national coverage.
But the real Marathon-A-Thon begins in the wee hours of Sunday, April 6 with the Paris Marathon. It continues with the London and Rotterdam Marathons on April 13 and finishes with live coverage of the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. Four marathons on TV in the space of 16 days? That’s the equivalent of a marathon every four days! I’m breathless just thinking about.
Plus, Universal Sports will air encore presentations of those and other marathons from around the world every Monday in April from 8 PM to 2 AM Eastern. Read the rest of this entry →
The 2007 Marine Corps Marathon (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Monica McCoy)
If you want to run the 2014 Marine Corps marathon in Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C., on October 26, now’s your chance throw your running shoe in the ring. Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon lottery opened Sunday, February 23 at 12 p.m. EST. The lottery will be open through Saturday, March 15 at noon EDT.
Runners ages 14 and older can register to enter the random draw any time in that 21-day period. Unlike years past, it is not first come, first served. Registrants will be notified via e-mail of the lottery’s results on March 19.
Registration is $110. There is no fee to enter the lottery. Runners will only be charged if they get a spot in the race. Read the rest of this entry →
I thought this would be the perfect time to share an essay I wrote back in August 2007 called “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.” I was one month into training for my first marathon—the New York City Marathon—and at the end of a religion reporting fellowship. I’d spent the previous eight months immersing myself in the world of belief, traveling to India and across the U.S. to uncover stories of faith.
Near the end of the fellowship, my colleagues and I went on retreat at an Anglican monastery that observes complete silence for 12 hours every day, from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. It was a unique experience to play Scrabble in silence and eat breakfast at communal tables in quietude.
But it gave me a chance for reflection; I think that was the point. In the stillness, I found that running, rowing, and swimming—the exercise of my life—have been the conduits of my own spirituality.
I’ve Got Peace Like a River
A tree on the Hudson River. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Floating. The sun stares down, turning the inside of my eyelids red. The water feels warm, but a cold current tickles my fingers, rolling over them in tiny waves. My arms above my head, my toes pointed, I stretch as long as I can, tensing all my muscles, then relaxing. Little splashes of water wash over my face as the wake of a boat crosses the river toward me.
I float downstream. I am all alone. Just me and my river.
The Hudson runs past my home in Manhattan. But here, at the Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York, it’s a retreat. A retreat from my work-a-day world into the inner sanctum of my own being. Read the rest of this entry →
The Seven Mile Bridge Run near Marathon, Florida crosses the longest bridge span in the Florida Keys. (Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Registration for the 7 Mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys opens Tuesday, February 11 at 6 a.m. EST. The race, in the appropriately named town of Marathon, Fla., will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014. The 6.8-mile race is capped at 1,500 runners. Registration will be open until Thursday, February 13 at 9 a.m. EST or until the race sells out. And guess what? It sells out every year.
Runners cross the Seven Mile Bridge’s highest point at 65-feet. (Photo: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
If you happen to be lucky enough to be a Florida Keys resident, registration for a limited number of entries opens Thursday, February 6 at 6:00 a.m. EST.
Talk about a scenic run. The 7 Mile Bridge Run covers the entire span of the Seven Mile Bridge, the eighth longest bridge in the U.S. It’s part of the 113-mile Overseas Highway that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners pass the Tower of David at Jerusalem Marathon (Photo: Kobi Gideon/Flash90-IsrealTourism/Flickr)
In its fourth year, the Jerusalem Marathon has grown to become a large international event. In 2013, 20,000 runners from 54 countries competed at the Jerusalem Marathon weekend; 1,730 of them came from abroad. This year, I’ll be one of them.
I’m going to the Jerusalem Marathon on March 21 as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines. The event includes marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 800-meter races. I’ll be running the half-marathon.
The 2012 Jerusalem Marathon (Photo: Uri Lenz/FLASH90 – IsraelTourism/Flickr)
The courses were designed, the race website says, to trace Jerusalem’s history, taking runners through the Old City and past the Tower of David to more modern locales like the Knesset and Hebrew University.
We’re nearly a week into 2014 and my first three races of the year—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—are already upon us.
I guess it’s finally time to write down my running goals for 2014.
When I look at them, one thing comes to mind: I’m a Maverick. I want to go faster. In 2013, I made the realization I’m a Speed Demon, not an Endurance Monster. I love speed workouts. I hate long runs. I run a 6:46 mile, but have struggled to break 2 hours in the half-marathon. Speed, not distance, has been good to me. So I’m giving into that for 2014.
But let’s see how I did on my 2013 goals, first.
Running Goals For 2013
1. Get even faster
SUCCESS! I make this goal every year because it works for me. Last year I wrote: “In 2013, I’m going to try to knock out a 5K and 10K PR.” Done and done. I knocked out the following personal records in 2013: Read the rest of this entry →
Goofy high-fives finishers at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)
No Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up
I’m attending the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as press courtesy of runDisney, and I just got word from the folks there that there will be no Meet-Up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this year. With four races over the course of four days for the first time in the history of the event, it’s understandable. I’ve interviewed a number of folks on the runDisney team about the logistics of putting on these events. It’s mind-boggling. Don’t believe me? Read the article I wrote about it, Planning Disney Races Takes More Than Magic. But runDisney says they will be doing plenty of Meet-Ups later in the year. So stay tuned for those.
I know that will disappoint many runners who were hoping to get in on a possible Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up this year. But there are plenty of other events to keep you busy while you’re not running.
There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.
If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.
This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.
And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.
As tempting as it would be to tackle the marathon or, even more, the Dopey Challenge, I’m “just” going to run every other race that weekend instead. That’s right, I’ll be tackling the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on three consecutive days. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!