17 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. [New for 2023]

If you’re looking for a great way to explore the US this fall, you might want to consider taking part in one (or more if you’re feeling adventurous) of their upcoming marathons.

With a number of great events being hosted across the country, it’s a surefire way to take in the epic scenery and explore some new places. And of course, take on what will be an incredible challenge.

This guide will give you an insight into when and where the best US fall marathons are taking place, as well as what to expect on the day. The only question is, which one will you sign up for first?

Why Take Part in a Fall Marathon?

Marathons are, without a doubt, a great way to challenge yourself and push your limits. Each one promises to test your physical and mental endurance, whilst providing an opportunity to explore new places and meet new people.

And these US fall marathons will not disappoint on either level. These races not only showcase some of America’s most beautiful sights but also bring runners together in camaraderie.

The runs are well-organized and well-supported by locals, who endeavor to make visitors from across the globe feel welcome. It really is no wonder that so many people choose to take part in them every year.

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Marathons are, without a doubt, a great way to challenge yourself and push your limits.

From the landmark loaded runs of Ohio’s capital city, Columbus, to the breathtaking views of Folsom Dam in California, fall marathons provide an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for years to come.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a complete newbie to the scene, there’s a marathon listed below to suit everyone. They range in distance and difficulty, with some acting as a qualifier for even bigger marathons.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your running shoes and get ready for an adventure with the best fall marathons in the US.

1. St. George Marathon

Date: October 7, 2023
Location: St. George, Utah
Website Info: St. George Marathon

Experience the beautiful scenery of St. George, Utah, as you run through Pine Valley Mountains and descend into the city.

Expect a fast, net downhill, point-to-point course that starts about a mile up and drops 2,600 feet to the finish line, making the St. George Marathon one of the fastest marathons in the US.

With an organized and well-supported race, the marathon and the local community truly create a fantastic running experience for you.

2. Twin Cities Marathon

Date: September 29 to October 1, 2023
Location: Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
Website Info: Twin Cities Marathon

Known as the “Most Scenic Urban Marathon in America,” you’ll be treated to a backdrop of stunning fall foliage and vistas of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The course takes you past historic landmarks and along the beautiful Mississippi River. To keep you entertained and motivated, live art, course entertainment, and a Summit Beer Garden will be available throughout the weekend.

This marathon is perfect for runners of all ages and paces, so make sure to add it to your list of must-run races this fall season.

3. Wineglass Marathon

Date: October 1, 2023.
Location: Bath, NY to Corning, NY
Website Info: Wineglass Marathon

The Wineglass Marathon takes place in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, with the course running from Bath, NY to Corning, NY. This full marathon is not only picturesque but also known for its flat and fast course. It’s perfect for seasoned marathoners and newcomers alike.

You can expect excellent organization, plenty of cheering spectators, and a fantastic post-race celebration in Corning’s historic downtown area.

4. Chicago Marathon

Date: October 8, 2023
Location: Chicago, IL
Website Info: Chicago Marathon

Feel the excitement as you run through the beautiful city streets and diverse neighborhoods.

With a flat, fast course, Chicago Marathon is perfect for setting new personal bests or qualifying for other prestigious marathons.

Soak up the electrifying atmosphere as you’re cheered on by more than a million spectators throughout the race.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is an unforgettable experience you don’t want to miss!

5. Marine Corps Marathon

Date: October 29, 2023
Location: Arlington, VA
Website Info: Marine Corps Marathon

Set in the beautiful Arlington, VA and the nation’s capital, the Marine Corps Marathon offers an experience for runners to tour the nation’s most recognizable landmarks.

This race is known for its virtually flat course, looping through some of the most iconic sites in Washington, D.C., and its flawless organization. As a Boston Qualifier, you can expect a top-notch event that has earned accolades such as “Best Marathon in the Mid Atlantic” and “Best Marathon for Charities.”

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Running a marathon requires a lot of aerobic activity, which helps to strengthen your heart and lungs and improve overall cardiovascular health.

During your run, you’ll be supported by the men and women of the United States Marine Corps, making this event unique and unforgettable. So, lace up your running shoes and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime in the Marine Corps Marathon.

6. Prairie Fire Marathon

Date: October 8, 2023
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Website Info: Prairie Fire Marathon

Experience the Prairie Fire Marathon in the heart of Wichita, Kansas. This race will take you through the lively Old Town district, past the Douglas Design District, and into the popular College Hill area.

As a Boston Marathon Qualifier and a USATF Certified Race, the Prairie Fire Marathon offers a fast, double loop course design. You’ll love the electronic bib timing with the MyLaps chip timing system, ensuring precise results at both the start and finish lines.

7. Columbus Marathon

Date: October 13 to 15, 2023
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Website Info:
Columbus Marathon

Your incredible 26.2-mile journey will start in downtown Columbus and will take you past several notable landmarks, such as the Ohio Statehouse, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, German Village, and The Ohio State University.

In addition to these attractions, the race has minimal elevation changes and offers ample support with aid stations and enthusiastic spectators along the way.

Join thousands of others in raising funds for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as this event has already raised over $12 million in the past 12 years for this worthy cause. Tie up your running shoes, and take part in a meaningful race that celebrates not only personal accomplishment but also the positive impact you can make on children’s lives.

8. Grand Rapids Marathon

Date: October 15, 2023
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Website Info: Grand Rapids, Michigan

This flat and fast course not only showcases the downtown area of Grand Rapids but also takes runners through serene trails in Millennium Park. You might even secure your spot in the prestigious Boston Marathon, as nearly 20% of runners qualified in the past.

9. Baystate Marathon

Date: October 15, 2023
Location: Lowell, Massachusetts
Website Info: Baystate Marathon

Set in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Baystate Marathon offers a picturesque course along the Merrimack River.

The Baystate Marathon is known for its flat course and fast pace, making it an ideal choice if you’re looking to set a personal record. Participants can expect a well-organized event with easy packet pickup, accessible parking, and friendly volunteers to guide you throughout the race.

As a race that prides itself on being “for runners, by runners,” the Baystate Marathon is one of the few events hosted entirely by volunteers, ensuring that all proceeds go back into the local running community.

With its great organization and stunning views, the Baystate Marathon promises an unforgettable race experience, whether you’re a first-time participant or an experienced marathoner.

10. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Date: October 28, 2023
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Website Info: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is one of the 20 largest marathons in the US and is a USATF-certified course. Along the way, you’ll run through historical neighborhoods and cultural districts of Indianapolis, including iconic landmarks such as the Indiana State Capitol.

Known as a flat and fast course, this marathon is ideal for everyone, from first-time marathon runners to elite athletes. Participants may also use this event as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

11. Richmond Marathon

Date: November 11, 2023
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Website Info: Richmond Marathon

This marathon takes place in beautiful Richmond, Virginia, and offers a breathtaking course that runs through scenic and historic sections of the city, including along and across the stunning James River.

Known as “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” the Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon is definitely one of the best fall marathons in the United States.

The Richmond Marathon is a USA Track & Field sanctioned and certified race, making it a top Boston Qualifier. The course is a great choice for first-timers and includes some rolling hills to keep you challenged.

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Running a marathon burns a lot of calories, which can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.

With over 80 entertainment groups and spirit squads lining the course, you’ll have plenty of motivation along the way. After the race, don’t miss the CoStar Group Post Race Party on Brown’s Island from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate your accomplishment!

12. Philadelphia Marathon

Date: November 17 to 19, 2023
Location: Downtown Philadelphia
Website Info: Philadelphia Marathon

Challenging and historic, the Philadelphia Marathon offers a picturesque, captivating course perfect for fall scenery.

You’ll love the variety of race options, including a full marathon, half marathon, 8K, and even a kids fun run. While running, you’ll pass by historic sites, allowing you to soak in Philadelphia’s rich heritage while achieving a personal fitness milestone.

13. California International Marathon

Date: December 3, 2023
Location: Sacramento, California
Website Info: California International Marathon

The California International Marathon takes place in Sacramento, California, starting from Folsom Dam and finishing at the State Capitol.

The marathon, organized by the Sacramento Running Association, boasts a fast, scenic, and downhill course. While running, you’ll experience beautiful landscapes such as:

  • Folsom Lake shoreline views
  • Rural countryside settings
  • Tree-lined streets of Sacramento
  • Historic neighborhoods

Top-notch organization ensures there are water stations, sports drinks, and energy gels available throughout the race. You may even achieve a personal record or a Boston Marathon qualifier time thanks to the course’s gentle descent!

14. Rehoboth Beach Marathon

Date: December 2, 2023
Location: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Website Info: Rehoboth Beach Marathon

The race starts and finishes near the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, with a course that passes through beautiful wooded areas and scenic coastal views.

With both full marathon and half-marathon options, you can challenge yourself according to your preferences and abilities.

Running in the Rehoboth Beach Marathon has the added perk of potentially qualifying for the Boston Marathon, as it’s known for having a relatively high percentage of qualifiers compared to other marathons in the U.S..

Stay comfortable during the race with long-sleeve, bright yellow race shirts available for all participants on race day.

15. Honolulu Marathon

Date: December 10, 2023
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Website Info: Honolulu Marathon

This marathon, known as the fourth largest in the U.S., is a must-run if you’re seeking a true Aloha spirit experience. The race offers no time limit, ensuring that runners of all levels can participate and enjoy the scenic course.

Starting in early December with the Kalakaua Merrie Mile on December 9, 2023, the Honolulu Marathon Weekend caters to a variety of running preferences. From competitive racers to walkers embracing the spirit of Aloha, there’s an event to suit your pace and style.

Soak in the breathtaking views, as you run along gorgeous beaches, through lush parks, and past stunning landmarks. Remember to stay hydrated and enjoy the hospitality at aid stations throughout the course.

16. Rocket City Marathon

Date: December 9 to 10, 2023
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Website Info: Rocket City Marathon

The Rocket City Marathon takes place in Huntsville, Alabama, and guides you through scenic parts of Downtown, Old Town, and the Medical District.

Hosted by the Huntsville Track Club and Huntsville Sports Commission, this prestigious marathon offers a fantastic chance for you to challenge yourself and experience the vibrant community of Huntsville, Alabama.

17. Dallas Marathon

Date: December 8 to 10 ,2023
Location: Dallas, Texas
Website Info: Dallas Marathon

The Dallas Marathon takes place in the heart of Dallas, Texas, providing you with an incredible opportunity to explore this vibrant city through its stunning, scenic course. This long-running event, established in 1971, is the largest marathon in Dallas and the longest-running marathon in Texas.

As a nonprofit organization, the Dallas Marathon promotes health and physical fitness through various running events and related activities. The racecourse offers a perfect mix of urban landscapes and beautiful neighborhoods, making this marathon truly unique.

Whether you’re an experienced marathoner or a first-timer, the Dallas Marathon offers a fantastic running experience for all participants. With great crowd support and a well-organized race, you’ll find that this event meets all your expectations for a top-notch marathon experience.

Final Thoughts on The Best Fall Marathons

An exciting and rewarding experience awaits those who partake in a fall marathon. The season brings with it cooler temperatures, stunning views, and the chance to challenge yourself alongside fellow runners.

And with so many marathons available throughout the US, you’re bound to find one that suits you. So dig out your running shoes, sign up for a marathon or two, and see just how far you can run this fall.

And for more great marathons ideas, check out these blog posts:

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