A blog by runners. For runners.

Shut out of Boston? Consider these 8 spring marathons

Spring Marathons 2014

The Boston Marathon allowed 36,000 runners in for the 2014 race – that’s 9,000 more than last year’s race. Still, the field size wasn’t big enough to give everyone who signed up entry. Close to 3,000 time qualifiers were shut out of next year’s event. Runners who were 1 minute and 38 seconds or more below their qualifying standards got in, but the remainder of qualifiers did not.

If you were shut out of Boston but still have your heart set on a spring marathon, take heart. There are plenty of fun spring marathons open for registration (or opening soon). Consider one of these races:

  1. Go! St. Louis Marathon, St. Louis, MO, April 6, 2014. If you want a challenging race through a city’s downtown, check out the Go! St. Louis Marathon. From miles 6-8, runners participate in a race within a race up Holy Hill. You’ll receive a separate time for this portion of the race, and there will be age group winners. Register here.
  2. New Jersey Marathon at the Shore, Oceanport, NJ, April 27, 2014. If you want to run a flat course that winds through quaint, seaside towns and offers ocean views, the NJ marathon is for you. The great organization and temperate weather make this NJ’s most popular race. Register here.
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon (formerly the Country Music Marathon), Nashville, TN, April 27, 2014. Country Music Marathon runners claim they don’t even notice Nashville’s rolling hills because the live music at every mile serves as a great distraction. Register here.
  4. The Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, May 4, 2014. The Flying Pig Marathon is known for its fun pig theme, spectacular expo, quaint Cincinnati neighborhoods, and yes – hills. But it also has a reputation for being one of the most fun marathons with enthusiastic spectators. Register here.
  5. OC Marathon, Newport Beach, CA, May 4, 2014. If you love coastal views, sign up for the OC Marathon. The course takes you through several Orange County landmarks, including the pristine beaches of Corona del Mar. The best part? The marathon is a net downhill race, meaning that it’s a fast course and the perfect place to PR. Register here.
  6. Vermont City Marathon, Burlington, VT, May 25, 2014. The Vermont City Marathon is a smaller event, but don’t let the field size fool you. The race is known for its unbeatable crowd support and incomparable mountain views. Register here.
  7. Utah Valley Marathon, June 14, 2014. The Utah Valley Marathon is touted by experts as one of the fastest spring marathons in the country – helping thousands of runners BQ here every year. There’s also plenty of eye candy along the course – including picturesque canyons, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and mountains in every direction. If you set a PR, you get to ring the famous PR bell at the end of the race. Register here.
  8. Grandma’s Marathon, Duluth, MN, June 21, 2014. This popular mid-size marathon boasts the tagline “fresh air, fresh water, fresh race”. The course is point-to-point and runs along beautiful Lake Superior. The race is also known for its comfortable weather, animated volunteers and spectators, and live on-course entertainment. Register here.

For those of you on the other side of the pond, we’ll be following up with a list of spring marathons in the UK and elsewhere in Europe next week.

Are you running a marathon in the spring of 2014? Which ones and why?