10 Largest Marathons in the United States : Participants from all over the World

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If you’re going to run in one of the marathons in the United States, you might as well do it with thousands of other runners sweating it out with you.

Whether you’re a pro looking for steep competition for the win or you just run for enjoyment and want to challenge yourself, you will find what you need in the following huge marathons in the United States.

Most of these races are open to runners from around the world, so it’s not just American competition.

From peaceful rural scenery to excitement in some of the country’s biggest cities, you can see the best pieces of the United States by rushing through these races.

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Marathons in the United States

#1: ING New York City Marathon

This is the largest of all marathons in the United States. Runners come from all over the world and it is the atmosphere that pulls them in year after year.

The course is one of the most challenging in the country and some of the most serious, professional runners in the world show up with one goal: making it to the end.

Forget winning. This is one marathon that you just want to survive then move on to brag about to everyone you know.

You will definitely have time to train for this one, since you need to sign up well in advance just to get an entrance ticket. As soon as the race is over this year, there will be people signing up for next year.

#2: Boston Marathon

Ten thousands of enthusiastic marathon runners participate every year in the world’s oldest annual city road race. Would you like to be part of one of the most challenging marathons in the United States?

Make sure to qualify on time. The number of runners willing to participate in Boston is rising every year. This is why the qualification rules are getting stricter over the last few years.

#3: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

This marathon is capped at 45,000 participants and that fills up rather quickly. It is held in October every year. Runners fill the streets of Chicago for a big city race that is extremely competitive.

This is not a marathon for beginners to long distance running. It is a place for those with ambitious spirits and high hopes of doing something impressive.

#4: Washington D.C. Marine Corps Marathon

This is considered the best of all marathons in the United States for first-time marathon runners.

If you have never hit the pavement for 26.2 miles but feel you are ready to take on the challenge, then you will feel right at home in this race through the capital.

In 2011, the race consisted of 11,000 people who were running their very first marathon. That means about 1/3 of the race consisted of first-time marathon runners.

#5: Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu, Hawaii has to be one of the most beautiful places to run a marathon. The scenery is definitely the reason so many racers show up year after year.

Many consider the race an excuse to go on vacation and will plan an extended trip that corresponds with the race.

There is nothing like pushing your body through 26.2 miles then relaxing on the beach, enjoying delicious food, and going back home refreshed and accomplished.

There is no limit to the number of people who can sign up for the Honolulu marathon, making this one of the easiest large marathons in the United States to gain entry to.

#6: Walt Disney World Marathon

This is an excellent marathon for parents! Take the little ones to see Cinderella then put on your running shoes and run through the castle on your own terms.

This is a huge marathon that goes right through Disney World in Orlando Florida. The race course goes through all four Disney theme parks so you will get a complete tour while proving you have what it takes to hang with the Mouse.

I would say this is definitely one of the most exciting marathons in the United States.

#7: LA Marathon

There aren’t many marathons in the United States that could be held in the middle of March, but in Los Angeles, it happens every year.

While other parts of the country are dealing with wintery weather and plowing themselves out from under the snow, runners flock to LA to run one of the most exciting marathons in the country.

If you will need some serious training to prepare for the marathon, you could take advantage of the Roadrunners program which provides mentoring and training tips for those registered in the LA marathon.

#8: San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Marathon

The Rock ‘N Roll marathon series is one of the most successful series in the entire country. The San Diego race lines the course with cheerleaders and at least 40 musical stands.

Leave your iPod at home so you can enjoy every moment of the beautiful coastal scenery, the chants of the cheerleaders, and music pumping out mile after mile.

This is the perfect race for runners that need motivation and stimulation to keep going to the finish line. Excitement and thrill bubbles over from the start line to the finish line.

It all finishes up with a big concert for participants and their loved ones, so strap up the shoelaces and hit the road. You also get tickets to the San Diego Health & Fitness Expo.

#9: Medtronic Marathon

This Minnesota marathon is completely different from the other marathons in the United States.

Rather than racing through the biggest and most exciting cities in the nation to the beat of live music and cheerleaders, this race allows you to wander through beautiful, calming scenery and enjoy being out of the big city.

This is the perfect long distance running opportunity for those who want to escape to a beautiful urban environment where things are slower paced and a lot more laid back.

#10: Portland Marathon

While this is one of the leading marathons in the United States, it draws less than 10,000 runners most years and you can typically get admitted within a month or two of the race.

This is a great pick if you don’t want to worry about signing up a year in advance or you don’t necessarily need to race against the top runners from around the entire world.

The Portland marathon offers beautiful scenery and plenty company to keep your feet moving, but it is still a much smaller event than those at the top of this list.

This is a good environment for those just getting into long distance running since there isn’t as much competition.

Do you already have a comprehensive marathon training schedule? If not, please take a look at www.marathontrainingschedule.com. This is one of the best marathon plans out there!


Read more about this topic on the following pages:

Run The Disney Marathon Where Every Dream Mile Comes True
Join the Disney Marathon and run this magical race together with thousands of enthusiastic runners. You don’t want to miss the whimsical, wonder of Disney fun!

LA Marathon – Marathon Training Tips
Discover everything about the LA Marathon. The LA Marathon is considered as one the greatest races in the United States.

The Boston Marathon – Oldest City Course in the World
Qualify for the Boston Marathon and participate in the world’s oldest marathon race. Discover details about the course and how to register.

Rock ‘N’ Run At The San Diego Marathon
Rock ‘n’ Run at the San Diego Marathon. Discover more about race history, course, preparation and how to register for the San Diego Marathon.

Bank of Chicago Marathon – The Run of a Lifetime
Discover everything you need to know about the Chicago Marathon. How to register, how to train and much more about the Chicago Marathon.

Portland Marathon – Race into Fall with the Portland Marathon
The Portland Marathon is considered as the ideal race in October. Find out everything about the marathon course, your preparation and the race itself.

Medtronic Marathon – A Fall Race in Beautiful Minneapolis
Are you in need of in-depth information on the Medtronic Marathon? Discover everything about this great race in Minnesota.

Why To Participate In The New York Marathon
Participate in the New York Marathon, the world’s largest and most famous marathon! Discover details about race history, race course and how to register.

Marine Corps Marathon – Marathon Training Tips
The Marine Corps Marathon is a tough challenge for any serious marathoner. Read everything about this marathon here, register and race!

Honolulu Marathon – Beat the Winter Blues
Participate in the Honolulu Marathon and enjoy this beautiful run with thousands of others. Discover everything about the history, course and preparation here.

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