A blog by runners. For runners.

Winter marathons + half marathons in cold places (plus indoor marathons)

winter-marathons-in-cold-placesA couple of weeks ago we shared some winter half and full marathons in warm places. But we know some of you are pretty tough and welcome running 13.1 or 26.2 miles when there’s snow on the ground.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many halves and fulls held in the wintertime in cold areas of the United States — or the rest of that world for that matter. But we found a few to share plus some indoor marathons. Yes, marathons run on an indoor track, which we think are just as hardcore as running in freezing temps.

Oh and as always, let us know the ones we missed in the comments below!

Cold winter races:

  • Watchung Marathon, Watchung, N.J., January 4, 2014. Why not kick off the New Year with a race? This trail marathon isn’t for the faint of heart though – temperatures at the start are typically around 20°F (-6.67 °C). The course consists of four 6+ mile loops for the full marathon. This is a no frills race with no shirts, medals, or a registration fee – just a suggested $25 donation per runner.
  • Redding Marathon, Redding, Calif., January 19, 2014. This race isn’t too cold. Temperatures at the start are usually in the high 30s. The marathon is a Boston Qualifier and a net downhill race, but be warned that the decent from miles 1.5-3 is pretty steep.
  • Hudson Mohawk Winter Marathon, Albany, N.Y., February 16, 2014. With average lows around 17 degrees Fahrenheit and highs only reaching the mid-30s, this race qualifies as a cold winter marathon. While runners don’t get a medal for finishing, the registration fee is only $25, it’s a flat, five-loop course, and a Boston Qualifier.
  • Birch Bay International Marathon, Blaine, Wash., February 16, 2014. Historically, this race isn’t too cold – temperatures range from the mid-30s to mid-40s. Birch Bay is a stunning Boston Qualifier – runners enjoy beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains, White Rock, and Canadian Gulf Islands.
  • Hyannis Marathon, Hyannis, Mass., February 23, 2014. Race day lows tend to hover in the low 20’s, but the high can sometimes reach the 40 degree Fahrenheit mark. This Boston Qualifier is the first marathon in New England of the calendar year and offers scenic views over a historical route.
  • Siberian Ice Marathon, Omsk, Russia, January 7, 2014. Doesn’t get much colder than Siberia — in fact this marathon has the unofficial status of the coldest race in the world. Temps can drops as low as -38.2°F (-39°C).  So don’t forget that hat. Or seven.
  • Antarctica Marathon & Half Marathon, Antarctica, March 9, 2014. (pictured above – amazing!) Of course we had to include this one because it’s … Antarctica. And while it’s technically summer in the Southern Hemisphere, we promise there will still be snow. And ice. And cold. Oh but you better plan early: it’s booked through 2016.

Indoor marathons:

  • Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon, Northfield, Minn., January 12, 2014. This marathon consists of 150 laps on St. Olaf Collage’s indoor track. If the sound of that makes your shins cry, don’t worry, runners change direction every 30 laps. Runners receive their own personal lap counter and there’s food and beverages every few meters.
  • Icebreaker Indoor Marathon, Milwaukee, Wisc., January 26, 2014. Runners for the Icebreaker compete on a 445.2 meter track that circles the Pettit National Ice Center. Because of the ice rink, temperatures on the track are cooler than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Race directors encourage runners to wear long sleeves.
  • Maple Lead Indoor Marathon, Goshen, Ind., February 22 and 23, 2014. Runners will run 204 laps around the indoor track of Goshen College’s Roman Gingerich Rec and Fitness Center. If you want to do this race, sign up as soon as possible. There are two marathon options, one Saturday and one Sunday, but each day’s event is only limited to 30 participants.

Has anyone ever run an indoor marathon?

Written by Jen Matz.