Marathon popularity has grown tremendously over the past few years. Every year thousands of people across the country will run their first marathon. For many first timers, choosing the right marathon is very important. There are hundreds of great marathons in the US, but P.F. Chang’s Rock N’ Roll Arizona Marathon tops the list of marathons for first timers.
The criteria used to make the list were a flat course, at least 10,000 runners, unique sights and most importantly a fun atmosphere.
Rock N’ Roll Arizona - This Phoenix marathon lives up to it’s name. With a live band at every mile and a free headliner concert after the run, you’ll forget all about your iPod. The event is in January but the weather is usually great. About 20,000 runners turn out for this rockin’ good time.
Las Vegas Marathon - How could running on The Strip alongside hundreds of Elvis costumes get any better? Only with a run through wedding chapel that has a real reverend. This December marathon is capped at 10,000 runners but is the ultimate destination marathon for all the entertainment the city has to offer.
Walt Disney World Marathon - If you’re looking to make your first marathon a family vacation, there’s no better place that Disney World in Orlando. You’ll run through all four theme parks - Disney World, Epcot Center, MGM and Animal World - and are sure to see a host of Disney characters. A January run will mean less humidity and pleasant temperatures for all 12,000 runners.
New York City Marathon - If two million cheering spectators don’t get your excited, you should probably get a new hobby. This is the biggest marathon in the country. Runners go through New York’s five boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan and finish in the world famous Central Park. Crossing the finish line at the Tavern on The Green in November is something you’ll never forget.
Marine Corps Marathon - This Washington D.C. marathon is also referred to as the “Marathon of Monuments.” The route takes you along incredible sights in the Washington, D.C. area, including the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. The run finishes at the Marine Corps Memorial. It has become so popular runners have to enter a lottery for the 21,000 spots. This special marathon should be on every runner’s list to complete before they die.
There are plenty of marathons first timers should think twice about attempting but number one on that list is the Pike’s Peak Marathon in Colorado Springs. An 8,000 foot ascent followed by and 8,000 foot descent, topping out at 14,110 feet elevation, is no ordinary marathon. Runners often cross the finish line bloody and battered. Try the Pike’s Peak Ascent first before you try the full marathon.