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Is the Boston Marathon on your bucket list? Join the rapid royalty (or simply snag a new PR) with these 26.2-mile races famous for producing fast finishers!
Ever wonder how elite runners feel as they barrel toward the line? The Eugene Marathon lets you experience an epic finish on the historic track at Hayward Field, home of the Olympic Trials. Release your inner speedy chick as you take in the views of this incredibly scenic course, which traverses riverside trails in springtime. After the race, head over to the Terwillinger Hot Springs to soothe tired legs in the calming mineral water.
Where: Eugene, Ore.
Contact: (877) 345-2230, eugenemarathon.com
The Ridge to Bridge Marathon features almost 3,000 feet of gentle descent, helping runners finish in a hurry. Known for its nine-mile long “Goldilocks” section (not too flat, not too steep— but just right!), this race consistently boasts a high percentage of Boston qualifiers. Limited to 350 participants, you’ll have no trouble with congested streets or crowded water stops as you settle into your goal race pace.
Where: Caldwell County, N.C.
Contact: (828) 432-6664, my-bmrc.org
YES YOU CANADA!
Run for the border to chase down a fast finish! Ranked as the number-one Boston Qualifier in Canada, the Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope is a race worth crossing national lines. Set in a bustling port city of Ontario, this course has runners dashing down backcountry roads before finishing on the waterfront of Confederation Park. Afterwards, celebrate your speed queen status in regal style by exploring the nearby Dundurn Castle, built in the early 1800s.
Where: Hamilton, Ontario
Contact: (905) 308-4878, hamiltonmarathon.ca
Does the promise of fine wine put pep in your step? At the Santa Rosa Marathon, a complimentary bottle awaits you at the finish line. Located in the largest grapegrowing region of Northern California, this famously fast race winds through abundant vineyards and over trestle bridges. The two-loop course allows runners to take in the sights double-time, while knowing exactly where to turn up the speed in the second half.
Where: Santa Rosa, Calif.
Contact: (707) 542-4500, thesantarosamarathon.com