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Old 11-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
Raenstoirm
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Best marathon for a newbie??

I was debating running the princess, but after a chat with dh last night, I have scrapped that idea. I am now planning on running the ToT (and maybe a quick trip for Everest.) I live just outside DC, so there are plenty of interesting looking halfs to run locally anyway. But I need to start planning on my full. I am looking for something in the continental US, not Disney though. Flat-ish terrain, interesting things to see and do along the route with a slow sweep time (Disney's 16 is perfect). I am not interested in NYC, Boston or Marine Corps. They are too "competitive" (you have to qualify for them!! ). I am looking for a more laid back race, if that makes sense. Any suggestions what to look into?
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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Well, you eliminated Disney, but I think WDW is the perfect beginner course for all the reasons you list (entertaining, flat, slow sweep, lots of slow people). But, a few others that are good:

San Diego RnR marathon: bands along the course, good weather, scenic, fun atmosphere

Portland Marathon: well organized, not too big. Flattish, except for some bridge crossings

Chicago: huge field, flat course, lots of crowd support

You don't have to qualify for NY, and I'm pretty sure you don't for Marine Corps either. NY gives automatic bids to some faster folks, but anyone can get in through the lottery.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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For a close to DW event, only an hour away, where you could have a fantastic time before, during and after I would recommend http://www.spacecoastmarathon.com/.

We will be there in 4 weeks from Sunday for our 3rd year in a row. DW will be completing her 3rd half along with DD completing her 2nd half. I will be Fulling it this time around. Managed to walk my Half PR last year in 2:11:12 even while taking in the sites of the beautiful old Fl. homes and the river.

Next year we will be taking in the new exhibit with the Space Shuttle Atlantis. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-110212a.html Something out of this world to see close-up.

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Old 11-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VN View Post
For a close to DW event, only an hour away, where you could have a fantastic time before, during and after I would recommend http://www.spacecoastmarathon.com/.

We will be there in 4 weeks from Sunday for our 3rd year in a row. DW will be completing her 3rd half along with DW completing her 2nd half. I will be Fulling it this time around. Managed to walk my Half PR last year in 2:11:12 even while taking in the sites of the beautiful old Fl. homes and the river.

Next year we will be taking in the new exhibit with the Space Shuttle Atlantis. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-110212a.html Something out of this world to see close-up.
That one looks perfect. Is it always thanksgiving weekend though? Not sure if I can wiggle out of family obligations!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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I would recommend hitting up the websites of some local road runners clubs. Mine lists almost every race within a 1-2 hour radius. They show lots of small, local races that you wouldn't know about usually.

My small RR club is doing a half and a full over Veteran's day - I think there is a 6.5 hour time limit, so good for slower runners/walkers.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Look at Marathonguide.com for a thorough list of marathons. There is a companion half marathon guide but not as thorough.

Marathon guide has been around for a dozen or more years and has a great record of runner's feedback as well as rebuttals from race directors if something weird happened.

I promised the folks at Competitor I would do this... I would NEVER run a Rock and Roll as you first event. The RD has a recent history of setting up races in a way that is not very runner friendly.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raenstoirm View Post
That one looks perfect. Is it always thanksgiving weekend though? Not sure if I can wiggle out of family obligations!
Sunday after Thanksgiving is the day and we had a great time last year as it was the 40th Anniversary. Oldest Marathon, not sure about the half, in Fl. The all you can eat breakfast after is the BEST we have had.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
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Some I'd recommend that are well-run, interesting, and fun:

Marine Corps - no qualification necessary. Caters to first-timers.
Richmond - beautiful course, not too big, very friendly.
Space Coast - flat, friendly.
Little Rock - biggest medals around
Chicago - flat, tons of crowd support
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:54 AM   #9
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I have heard absolutely wonderful things about the Vermont City Marathon. I'm doing it as my first marathon in May.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH. Great course support, plenty of distractions like planes/jets flying by before and on the course, and mile 10...you just can't beat mile 10. It is the most amazing part of that race, and at the perfect part when you may feel a bit tired. The city of Fairborn comes out in full force and to see those names in chalk on the road, and the pictures of people memorialized is absolutely amazing. If you like planes, or more importantly, anyone in your support group does, the National Air Force Museum is hands down the best (but sadly they didn't get a shuttle for some reason. ) It is the best race I have ever done...and I rate it higher than Marine Corps solely based on the size. It isn't that crowded, whereas the Marine Corps definitely is!
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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24 Hour Around the Lake, in Wakefield Ma...it's a combo marathon, 12 hr challenge, and 24 hr challenge, so no worries on being swept or last! Run at night (7pm to 7pm the next night), VERY flat easy course
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:05 AM   #12
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Myrtle Beach -South Carolina
Flat and beautiful!!!
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Myrtle Beach -South Carolina
Flat and beautiful!!!
Agreed!
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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You said continental US but I am still going to recommend the Niagara International Marathon. It starts in Buffalo and runs to Niagara Falls Canada. It was my first marathon and I highly recommend it. It is fast and flat with only one incline and that is the bridge into Canada. The cost is pretty low for a full too.

You will need your passport of course so if you don't have one and don't plan on getting one that might be out.

My second recommendation would the Space coast. It is on my list of ones to do but it is totally flat and in Florida so even though it isn't a Disney race you can add in a few days at a Disney park before or after.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:54 AM   #15
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You said continental US but I am still going to recommend the Niagara International Marathon. It starts in Buffalo and runs to Niagara Falls Canada. It was my first marathon and I highly recommend it. It is fast and flat with only one incline and that is the bridge into Canada. The cost is pretty low for a full too.

You will need your passport of course so if you don't have one and don't plan on getting one that might be out.

My second recommendation would the Space coast. It is on my list of ones to do but it is totally flat and in Florida so even though it isn't a Disney race you can add in a few days at a Disney park before or after.
I was curious about the Space Coast Marathon, Frank. I am signed up for the Half right now, but keep thinking about switching to the Full...is there any major difference that makes it better to run the Full? I know with the Air Force Marathon that it is so much better to run the Marathon over the Half because of the course, and didn't know if there is something the Half Marathoners miss out on. The medals are exactly the same.
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