Which fall marathon to run?

Okay, the bug has officially bit me hard.  I want to run a marathon this fall!

I’ve been having some confidence boosting workouts lately and am ready to tackle the sub 3:20 marathon goal again.

I’ve been looking at races in the northeast and would love your input.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Richmond Marathon (November): I don’t know much about this race or the course, but my sister recently moved near Richmond so it would be a great excuse to visit!

Philadelphia Marathon (November): The Philly half was my first ever race.  I would love to go back and do the full!

Mohawk Hudson Valley Marathon (October): This race is only a couple hours from me.  I had some friends who ran it this fall, and it’s a flat and fast course… ideal for a pr.  But an October race means lots of hot long runs this summer!

Wineglass Marathon (October): This race as been on my bucket list since living in Ithaca, NY.  However, I’m already signed up for a 5k and kids race the day before, and this is the very first weekend in October- again, hot, summer training!

These are the top four I’ve narrowed it down to, but I’m open to other suggestions.  I’m going to skip Steamtown this year and try something new.

Have you done any of the above races? Which do you recommend?

Are there other races in the NJ, NY, PA and surrounding area that I should check out?

19 thoughts on “Which fall marathon to run?

  1. The only one of these Ive done is Philly (twice) and I love it! There is usually nice cool weather and the course of pretty flat. I think its a good one for aiming for a PR!

  2. I live inRichmond and have run the richmond marathon multiple times! It’s a wonderful home town race, not crazy huge, but very well run. Takes you through the entire city, and the views along the James River are gorgeous, especially if the trees have just turned! It’s not especially flat, but I’ve run hillier marathons, just check out the elevation map. I’ve had multiple friends BQ on the course. Spectators don’t line every mile of the race, but they are out there for the majority, along with coaches of the local marathon training team. Tons of people there when you really need them! And a wonderful long downhill finish!! Highly recommend!

  3. I’m not keen on two of those races: Philadelphia and Wineglass. One year, Wineglass messed up race results and refused to acknowledge it. I know people love it, and it is flat and fast but it’s not personally one I recommend. I also found net downhill courses to tear up my quads!

    Philadelphia has been so dicey lately and the course is not easy.

    I’ve heard nothing but positive things about Richmond and Mohawk though. 🙂

    *These are all just personal opinions of races and like you said, each has their plus and negative.
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  4. I’ve only done Disney and NYC, but I’ve heard great things about Wineglass and Philly. I LOVE running Philly, the course for the half there takes you through the city and the zoo area so the scenery is really varied. Good luck choosing! I’m running Chicago this fall!
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  5. I have spent a lot of time in Richmond va and love it!!!! So that’s me vote 😁

  6. I’ve considered all of these at one point or another, they all look great! I loved the Philly Half so I can imagine the full would be great as well, and late enough that the peak of your training wouldn’t be in the summer, and same for Richmond. Another great small race is the Hamptons Marathon in late September, although that is definitely peak summer training! It would be a nice beach weekend in the off-season, and not too far away.
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  7. I have friends that have run Wineglass & Philadelphia. The ones that ran Wineglass loved it, but one year, it was really hot. I guess you run that risk everywhere. My friend that did Philadelphia loved it. I would love to try to break 3:35 in my next marathon. However, I am hoping for Boston in 2018 and don’t feel ready for a fall marathon yet. May have to wait until late 2018 or early 2019 to go for a speedy marathon!

  8. I have run Richmond many times and Wineglass once. I LOVE the Richmond marathon! It’s a beautiful course and very friendly. It does have rolling hills, but the course is much flatter than where I live near Charlottesville, Va. My coldest ever marathon was Richmond. The temps that time of year could be warm, but I don’t think they have had a really hot day for the race in almost ten years. Wineglass has less crowd support, and it is smaller so you really can be running a lot on your own. The year I ran it, the temps were unbearably hot. I find heat for a marathon a lot worse than cold. For a PR goal race, I would probably pick one later in the fall than Wineglass.
    Funny you used to live in Ithaca – we visit there almost every summer!

  9. I ran Richmond last year. It was chilly so if you don’t want heat…this would be a good choice. Such a friendly race and a pretty cool city. One pretty long bridge crossing uphill but super downhill finish. A pretty course for sure. Good luck!

  10. Richmond is so great! I’ve done the half several times and my husband has done the full. It’s known as a BQ course and Runners’ World calls it America’s friendliest marathon! Would LOVE to cheer for you at the race!

  11. I would definitely go for a November race for just the reason you mentioned – lots of HOT summer training runs! I have run marathons in Oct and Nov and I can tell you the Nov ones seem so much more manageable. Just my two cents 🙂 Of course I would love for you to run the Las Vegas RNR marathon but that would be purely selfish as I will be running the half 🙂
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  12. I love that you had the marathon bug! It makes ME excited for you! I’ve always heard good things about Richmond and Wineglass. Last year they made some changes in Philly. Granted I ran the half but the changes made the course much hillier. They also split up the half and marathon to two different days so that helps with some of the congestion of the race. I can’t wait to hear which one you pick!

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