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Even in the midst of the summer months and high temperatures, runners know to always be looking ahead. Even though the leaves aren’t falling or changing colors yet, the winter marathon training season is quickly approaching. Still undecided about what races to toe the start line at? We have rounded up five of the best winter marathons across the country to get you in the spirit for cold weather, hot cocoa and multiple layers of your favorite running gear.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon
November 15, 2015
If Las Vegas is one of your favorite destinations, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon will let you experience the strip in a whole new way. And if you’ve yet to visit Sin City? Prepare for a view of the city that comes only once a year. In November, the Las Vegas Strip shuts down to cars, and runners take over the streets, experiencing live music and the sites and sounds the strip is known for—all after dark! While your version of resting your legs after the race may involve sitting in front of a slot machine, whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—except for that shiny new PR you’ll get on the flat, out-and-back course.
November 22, 2015
GORE-TEX is the perfect sponsor for this cold-weather race, making it their mission to get people out on the roads no matter what the season. History buffs will love the sites on course and the beauty of the city. The race ends with a view of the Art Museum, making the finish line truly majestic. As an added bonus, watch for Mayor Michael Nutter, who hangs out at the finish line every year to high-five and cheer on finishers—until every runner has taken their final step. Green lovers will appreciate the sustainability of the marathon, including composable cups and recycling runners’ bags.
Related: 5K To Marathon Training Plan
Walt Disney World Marathon
January 10, 2016
Ring in the New Year in Orlando and the happiest place on Earth. If you have never experienced a runDisney event, expect costumes, characters and plenty of cheers on course as you run through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks. The post-race party takes you into Downtown Disney, where you can prep for a day at the park. This is a race that everyone in the family is guaranteed to love, even as they cheer you on and help you celebrate your finish with a day at one (or all of) the parks. Start planning your epic costume now and kick off training by watching your favorite Disney movie.
January 17, 2016
Those currently experiencing the heat and humidity in the South will definitely be prepared for the cool winter months. The Chevron Houston Marathon takes place every January and the course is known to reward runners who have battled out the heat during training. The Boston Qualifier is usually about 45 degrees at the start line, and runners will appreciate the fast, flat course that takes you through the fourth largest city in the country.
Related: Build A Marathon Base!
February 14, 2016
The LA Marathon takes runners from the stadium to the sea and plenty of places in between. If you aren’t one for hills, the course offers runners a net-downhill as you make your way from Dodger’s Stadium to Santa Monica. Though the weather can be a bit unpredictable—racers have experience everything from heat waves to downpours—experiencing Los Angeles by foot is an experience like none other. Finishing with ocean views at the Santa Monica Pier isn’t bad, either.