New England Marathons Fall 2020

Looking for a great fall marathon in New England? This extensive listing of marathons all over New England is continually updated and features registration discount codes.

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All of my spring races were cancelled or went virtual.  With COVID-19 hanging around all we can do is hope that things change before Fall.

Some races have posted COVID-19 statements. Please read these statements and refund policies before registering for a race.

The Cape Cod Trail race has already cancelled.

Autumnal equinox will be September 22, 2020. The days will continue to grow shorter and cooler until the Winter Solstice on Saturday December 21, 2020. Winter Solstice is the day of the year with the fewest minutes of day light. 

Fall is a great time for marathon running in New England. In late September the air begins to cool and we usually do not have many major storms. By the end of Autumn on December 21st, the leaves have all fallen and the air has a crisp coolness to it.

Looking for a winter run? There aren’t many marathons in New England over the winter but check out New England Winter 2019 marathons HERE.

GREEN RACE – I am designating any race that makes a serious effort to reduce waste and keep recyclable materials out of a landfill.

Let your friends know about these great fall marathons! Click To Tweet

New England Marathons Fall 2020

Cape Cod MOVES “Y-Not” Trail Races

Sandwich, MA | 26 September | Saturday | 8:00 AM

CANCELLED

GREEN RACE

COVID 19 strikes again.

The course is rolling with a nice variety of single track and double track. There are some short paved road sections. The course is a 5K loop almost entirely set on the YMCA Camps Hayward and Burgess. Some sections have sticks, roots and ruts. Trail shoes are recommended but not needed for this course.

There will be a short loop to make up the distances needed for the half marathon and marathon.

Base Camp for the race will be Camp Hayward, 52 Pinkham Road, Sandwich, MA.

This event has something for everyone. Ranging from a 50K to a 5K and a marathon relay.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Stay by the Race!
Three season cabins will be available for rental! These will be for $25 per person, per night. They have electricity but no heat. There are showers on the property. These can be reserved when you register.

This is a Green Event!
There will be no cups allowed on the course! We will be composting out of the race and using only compostable materials (e.g. forks and spoons!). Bring a container to fill with fluids.

Race shirts were available for $10.

Registration closed May 7th.  Registration was $50 for the Marathon and $40 for the Half. 10K is $30 and the 5K is $20.

The Ultra 50K is $60 and the 8 person marathon relay is $75.

Clarence Demar Marathon and Half-Marathon

Keene, NH | 27 September |  Sunday

Start times: 7:00 AM FULL, 8:00 AM HALF

new england fall marathons, Clarence demar, New Hampshire MarathonThis point to point marathon is almost as legendary as the man. In Melrose we run by the monument to Clarence Demar on our winter running route and on many Sunday Long runs as well. Many runners in my club make it a point to touch the monument as they run by.

This race encompasses an entire weekend if you want it to. You can drive up to Keene Friday night and pick up your bib at Ted’s Shoe & Sport on Main Street. Drive the course or go for a short run on Saturday. Saturday night there is a pasta dinner at the Courtyard Marriott.

On Sunday buses take runners to the starting line in Gilsum. Marathon buses leave at 6:15, Half-Marathon buses start leaving at 6:30AM.

If you have never heard of Clarence Demar here is a brief bio.

The Clarence Demar Marathon is USATF Certified, a Boston Qualifier and a  Runner’s Choice Award recipient from runnersgoal.com!

Registration is open: $90 for the full and $60 for the Half. Frees increase by $10 on August 16th and another $10 on September 13th through race day registration. The field is limited to 600 runners for each race.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, Half and 10K

Newport, VT | 3 October | Sunday | 9:00 AM

Fall New England Marathons, Vermont races, Vermont marathonRun it – Bike it – Hike it – But do it!
Doin’ the dirt through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom – 26.2 miles, 17 miles, 13.5 miles and 6 Miles courses.

2020 Registration is open:

Marathon Distance and 17 Miles: $75

Half Marathon is $60 and the 10K is $25.

Registration is limited to 50 runners each for the marathon and 17 mile Iconoclast. The half marathon and 10K are limited to 75 runners each.

There are four great routes, offering four very different options to all types of athletes, runners, bikers, and hikers of all ages and all abilities.

A tough, “vista riddled,” and spectacularly beautiful full marathon that will challenge the best marathon runner.

The 13.5 distance is also the course for the family bike challenge is perfect for kids and parents of all ages.

The 17 mile Iconoclast for something just a little different. (It’s a great training run for the NYC Marathon) And, new in 2016, a 6 mile walk, run, or bike from Irasburg Common to Parker Pie.

For one day in September, we fill these dirt roads through “the gut” of The Northeast Kingdom. Everybody but the 6 milers start at Lakeview Aviation at the Newport Airport in Coventry and heads one way or another to Parker Pie in West Glover, with a great pizza party, great beer, and great music. 6 milers start at Irasburg Common. Shuttle service back to the start is provided by our friends at Jay Peak.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

28th New Hampshire Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K

Bristol, NH | 3 October | Saturday | 9:00 AM       

New Hampshire Marathon, Fall New England Marathons

This event features a Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K, and Kid’s Marathon. Truly something for everyone.

This is a hilly race with less than 200 finishers in each of the past four years and less than 10% of marathoners BQ.

You may want to drive up Friday and enjoy the pasta dinner at 5:00pm at the Union Lodge, and get a good night’s sleep.

This race takes place around Newfound Lake, and lodging options are listed on the race website.

The New Hampshire Marathon is a Runner’s Choice Award recipient from Runnersgoal.com!

All three races are USATF Certified and the New Hampshire Marathon is a Boston Qualifier!

Cash prizes for the top finishers of all three races!

Viewtherace.com NH Marathon course video

Registration is open: $70 for the marathon, $55 for the half and $30 for the 10K.  All prices increase by $5 on September 1st and an additional $5 on October 3rd.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

NipMuck Trail Marathon and Relay

Ashford, CT | 4 October | Sunday – 8:00 AM

The NipMuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race taking place along a northern section of  the Nipmuck Trail. The race aims to preserve many of the qualities from the early days of the New England trail racing scene.

The race site warns of rough terrain and that in some areas an injured runner may wait an hour or more for medical assistance. This is not for the casual runner!

EVENT RESULTS 2019

87 runners finisher the race in 2019.

Registration is open! 

$35 for the marathon and $60 for the marathon relay. On August 1st the marathon goes to $40 and the marathon relay to $70.

Maine Marathon Half-Marathon and Relay

Portland, Maine | 4 October | Sunday | 7:45 AM

Maine Marathon, New England Fall Marathon, portland marathonBoth races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

The marathon has some nice prize money!

All three races are on an out and back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Atlantic Ocean, and plenty of fall foliage.

All participants are together for the first 6.5 miles before the half marathon breaks off and returns to Portland. The marathon and relay continue along Route 88 to Yarmouth before the return trip to Portland.

This is a Maine Track Club event and approximately 40% of gross revenue is donated to charities each year.

Registration is open –  The marathon is $80 and the half is $55. The Marathon Relay is $140. 

In the event that this race is cancelled runners have the option to donate their registration, defer to 2021 or get a refund minus processing fees.

Next price increase has been pushed out to July 1st, 2020.

The combined races are capped at 3,500 runners. 

Viewtherace.com Maine Marathon course video

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Joe English Twilight Challenge

Amherst, NH |  TBD October | Saturday   

The Joe English Twilight Challenge is an evening/night trail run hosted by Freestyle Farm in Amherst, NH. The event consists of a marathon, a half-marathon and a 6-hour ultra-marathon. The marathon and half-marathon may be run individually or by relay teams. The relay teams (half or full marathon) consist of 2 or 5 runners completing either 5 or 10 laps on a 2.62-mile loop beginning at 7:00 p.m. The 6-hour ultra-marathon begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Ultra participants run the 2.62-mile loop continuously for 6 hours.

Most of the race will be run at night on the groomed equestrian trails at Freestyle Farm.

The event is expected to draw 350 runners ranging from casual athletes to experienced ultra-runners. The event is set within a unique venue with high quality trails around a 50-acre pond. The course will be marked with fluorescent light sticks, ground flags and signal fires.

joe-english-challenge, ultra marathonRegistration for 2020 is not open

Medals will be awarded to the first and last place finishers.

All proceeds benefit the Amherst Land Trust.  The trust protects rural, scenic, and open-space lands for future generations. Founded in 1975, the trust has worked to educate the public about conservation and protect thousands of acres of land similar to the lands across which most of the challenge runs.

This race is USATF Sanctioned. 

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Hartford Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K

Hartford, CT | 10 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

GREEN RACE

hartford marathon, new england fall marathons2020 marks the 27th running of the Hartford Marathon. I ran this marathon in 2012 and can verify that it is very well-organized with lots of community and spectator support.

You can read my race recap HERE.

All three races start at 8AM. The kids fun run, HMF FitKids Run starts at 9:30AM.

Registration is open! $105 for the Marathon, $100 for ages 16-22, $80 for the Half, $75 for ages 12-22 and $30 for the 5K.

Additional price bands are available for younger 5K runners. $10 for the HMF Kids Run and don’t forget the Marathon Relay if you don’t feel up to a full marathon. There is no race day registration.

They charge $18 to mail your packet and strongly encourage you to visit the Expo Friday to pick up your packet and visit all the cool vendor booths. There is no race day packet pickup. My 2012 race was a bit of a mess because of this, so pay the fee or pick up your bib!

Check the registration page for relay team and youth prices.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation takes sustainability seriously. Click HERE to see how they are making their races eco-friendly.

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Amica Newport Marathon & Half

Newport, RI |  11 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM

Registration is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Race management is monitoring the situation and will take a decision soon. 

New England Fall Marathons, Newport Marathon

Race along the ocean and help support six local charities.

The Amica Newport Marathon was voted as the “Best Marathon in Rhode Island” and a “Top 20 Half Marathon in the USA” in 2018. In 2016 the race was voted as the “Best Half Marathon” and “Best Race Swag” in the Northeast.

Registration for 2020 is open:  Marathon $97, Half Marathon $77. Second price increase is July 31, 2020– TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED  –

Both races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

Shuttle service to the start begins at 5AM. FREE PHOTOS and bag check will be available.

ALL EVENT RESULTS 2019

Green Mountain Marathon & Half

South Hero, VT  | 18 October | Sunday | 8:30 AM

The marathon and half-marathon begin and end near the house where Clarence H. Demar, 7 time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived.

vermont marathon, fall new england marathonIt is out and back on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle; a land of farms, apple orchards and summer cottages. The terrain is flat to rolling and about half dirt road (hard packed and well maintained).

The half marathon course is an out and back that finishes at the Folsom School (same as the full marathon).

Infinite Pasta-bilities Dinner is Saturday night  at Folsom School, 4 – 7PM.

This is a race for runners by runners and has a reasonable registration fee of $60 for the marathon and $40 for the Half. Day of registration is $70 and $50, respectively.

Registration for 2020 is open!

Field is limited to 750 runners.

CircumBurke Trail Challenge

18 October | 8:02 AM 

Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge,East Burke, VT

Circumbruke Trail Challenge, fall new england marathons, vermont marathonThe Marathon Trail Run is one 27 mile lap and starts at 8 AM. The CircumBerzerk Bikers
MTB Challenge starts at 10 AM.

This 27 mile circuit brings athletes through single track and logging trails on Burke Mountain, the Victory Hill Sector and Kingdom Trails.

The one lap event is for runners or bikers. The two lap “CircumBerzerk 50+ miler is for bikers only.

Elevation gain on the course is more than 3,000 feet.

Registration is open and is $65.

Late (onsite) registration is $160. Number pickup & late (onsite) registration is at Sherburne Lodge from 5:00 to 7:30 PM and on race day from 6:45 until 9 AM. 

All proceeds go towards building and maintaining trails along the route!

Start/Finish Venue: Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge, East Burke, VT 05832

EVENT RESULTS 2018

Mohawk Mountain Races

Cornwall, CT |  17 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

In cooperation with Mohawk Mountain, the Mohawk Mountain Race is sponsored by Steep Endurance at Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall, CT.

Normally a ski mountain in the winter, the mountain will be transformed into a super fun course! With its challenging ascents and descents on the ski mountain, it is sure to be a race to remember with sweeping viewpoints of the popping Fall foliage at every turn. With several distances to choose from (5K/10K) and NEW this year, Half Marathon/Marathon options, there’s something for every member of the family!

Registration is not open – $70 for the Marathon, $60 for the Half, $40 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K.

Prices increase on August 1st, 2020.

Trapp Lodge Mountain Marathon

Stowe, VT |  17 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

This race will challenge you! Although Trapp lodge has some of the smoothest, most runnable trail around, they also boast some incredible single track. Steep climbs and descents and a newly updated climb to the highest point on the Trapp Lodge Property; Round Top Mountain!

The 13.1 mile loop course is approximately 2/3 double track wide trails and dirt roads, and 1/3 serpentine, rugged single track. Full marathon racers will traverse this loop twice. This is a challenging trail race with significant elevation gain and loss and some steep scrambling segments.

Registration is open! Full Marathon is $90 and the Half is $75. 

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Mount Desert Marathon, Half and Relay

Bar Harbor, ME |  18 October | Sunday – 8:00 AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay,
Half begins at 8:30 in Northeast Harbor

MDI Marathon, Maine Marathon, fall new england marathons

Named ‘Most Scenic & runner-up Best Overall Marathon’ by Runner’s World

New England Runner Magazine’s Race of the Year! And many other accolades, too many to list here.

The Marathon and Marathon Relay begin in Bar Harbor, hits the half-way mark near Northeast Harbor and ends in Southwest Harbor.

Miles 12 through 19 are run along the eastern shore of Somes Sound, the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast. While the entire island is beautiful, Somes Sound has always been one of my favorite areas on MDI.

The Half Marathon begins at 8:30AM in Northeast Harbor and runs north along Somes Sound for five miles.

The marathon had 737 finishers in 2018, and the half had 632 finishers. The Marathon is USATF Sanctioned & Certified: ME12018JK. 

Registration is open. $105 for the Marathon, $90 for the Half, Two-person relay is $95, three-person relay is $85. 

PAST RESULTS – All races

Baystate Marathon & Half Marathon

Lowell, MA |  18 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM

baystate, bay state marathonThis marathon always sells out. There are very few flat marathons in New England, but Baystate is one of them.

If you are looking to qualify for Boston, this is a good choice. The race is mostly flat with the bridges over the Merrimack having the most elevation gain. Part of the course is a double loop, so it can be challenging to see the “Mile 22” sign when you are at Mile 12 and starting to feel it.

This is a well supported race with local high schools competing to have the best water stop! There is plenty of parking at the Tsongas Arena garage.

This is a favorite race for many GBA runners and had about 1,300 finishers in 2018. I’ve run Baystate four times. Baystate Recap – 2014

Registration is open – $110 for the marathon, $90 for the half and $130 for the Half Marathon relay. No race-day registration.

Next price increase is August 1st.

Viewtherace.com Baystate Marathon course video 

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Ocean State Rhode Races

Narragansett, RI |  25 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM

GREEN RACE

rhode island marathon, fall marathons

The Marathon starts at 7:30AM, Half at 8AM and the 5K at 8:15AM.

These races feature FREE PHOTOS and a secured bag check at the start.

Registration is open –   $90 for the Marathon, $60 for the Half and $28 for the 5K.

Exclusively for Omni Running readers – get 15% off of registration when you use code OMNIFAN. Click here to go to the registration page.

First price increase is July 5, 2020.

The Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The Ocean State Rhode Races Half is the final stop of the Rhode Race Series, a four stop series of Rhode Island Half Marathons.

This race harkens back to the original Ocean State Marathon with the start in Narragansett Beach.

It follows beautiful Rt 1a and showcases wonderful ocean views, old stone walls, working farms, estuaries and kayak stands. It really is a pretty one.

It is a smaller marathon so if you are looking to BQ – you won’t have to fight through crowds of people at the start.

Rhode Races & Events is committed to recycling at this year’s Ocean State Rhode Races. Road Races create a lot of waste, but we’ll reduce our footprint by diverting hundreds of pounds of cardboard boxes, water jugs, and plastic bottles from the landfill.

To learn more about our race day efforts and how you can help – please click this link.  Additionally – all clothing discarded at the start of the race will be donated to North American Family Institute.

Rhode Races offers a variety of discounts and packages for companies looking to foster their corporate health and wellness initiatives.  Employees training and participating together helps promote team camaraderie, increased branding and a sense of goodwill.  Join our Corporate Fit Challenge and compete to be the “Most Fit” or the “Most Philanthropic” business. Learn more 

2019 EVENT RESULTS

Cape Cod Marathon and Half Marathon

24 October | Saturday – 8:00 AM – Half Marathon
25 October | Sunday – 8:00 AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay

Falmouth, MA

GREEN RACE – see what they are doing

cape cod marathon, new england fall marathons, Massachusetts marathonThe marathon course was changed in 2019 to a flatter, faster, safer and more scenic course. In 2019 The Cape Cod Marathon was the USATF – New England Marathon Championship race in their 2019 Grand Prix Race Series

Marathon registration is open.  $90 through June 30th. The field is limited to 1,000 runners.

Marathon relay registration is: $225 for 2 to 5 person teams. The field is limited to 200 teams.

The marathon was named “The Best Marathon in Massachusetts” by the RaceRaves in 2018.

If you want to run with the big dogs, this is the marathon for you!

2019 MARATHON RESULTS

Cape Cod Half Marathon

24 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM

The Cape Cod Marathon Half race course is a fast and scenic route that hugs the Falmouth coastline of Nantucket Sound. Designed to maximize runners’ view of Martha’s Vineyard and the beautiful waters of Nantucket Sound this out and back course is limited to one hill.   But don’t be alarmed this one hill occurs at miles 3.5 and 9.75 and is over before you know it.

Registration is open. $75 through June 30th or when the 1,750 runner limit is met. No Race-Day registration.

2019 HALF RESULTS

Clam Chowdah Challenge

Falmouth, marathon, half, clam chowder, chowdah

Why not make a weekend on The Cape out of it and run both the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday?

For $185, 100 lucky runners will get to face the ultimate challenge and go for the Clam Chowdah Challenge mug. There is no race day registration for this event.

All finishers of the Clam Chowdah Challenge will receive a chowdah bowl and “medal” spoon, medals for both races and a race shirt.

Previous Marathon and Half Marathon results

In 2019 the organizers implemented changes to minimize the environmental impact of these races. They are reducing waste by:

Replacing plastic bags with Eco-Friendly for Number Pick Up bags
Providing compostable cups at all water stops
Replacing single-use plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles at the finish lines
Creating Compost/Recycle/Trash stations at the finish line
Providing compostable bowls and spoons for the soup and chowder at the marathon and relay finish line
Recycling left over medals when needed

As runners it is up to us to make these efforts work. Don’t throw your trash in the recycle or compost bins. Think before you toss!

LOCO Half and Full Marathon

Newmarket, NH | 25 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM

loco marathon, new hampshire marathon

The 7th Annual LOCO half and full Marathon is a spectacular 13.1 mile loop course run completely on tree-lined rural roads.

It travels through four local coastal towns:  Newmarket, Lee, Epping and Newfields New Hampshire.

Not only is a scenic course, it is designed to be fast and easy. Half marathoners run one loop. Marathoners run a second loop.  For the past two years over 32% on average of marathoners qualified for the Boston Marathon.

The Marathon is a double loop of the Half-Marathon. It’s all country roads and 3 miles of rail trail.

This is a runner’s race. The finish time cut-off for 59 years and under is 4:30. For 60 and older it is 5 hours even.

Most marathons have a 6 hour cut-off time. If you are running to see the foliage, you may want to pick another race. If marathon runners cannot make the half-way mark by 2:15 or 2:30 for 60+ years, you will be pulled from the course!

Oh, and marathon runners MUST bring photo ID. So no faking 60+ to get the extra 30 minutes to finish the race!

Cut-off time for the Half-Marathon is 2:30.

The course is USATF Certified at 13.10938 miles. Combined registration is limited to 1,000 runners. Finisher’s medals for all marathon finishers!

Hot food will be served after the race and Smuttynose Brewing will be pouring!

Registration is open $89 for the marathon and $69 for the half marathon. 

2019 EVENTS RESULTS

Nor’Witch Halloween 25K, 50K and 100K

Norwich, VT | 31 October | Sunday | 9:00 AM

Registration has been suspended. Please check back for updates.

Challenging in true Vermont tradition, expect elevation gains between 1400′ and 3550′ !

The course is not, repeat, NOT certified! Being hilly, you can also expect to run between 30-45 minutes slower than your average flat marathon time making a BQ pretty unlikely for many if not most.

The Half’witch time limit of 6-hours and gentle downhill final portion of the course are a great combination for walkers, even with all those 1,400 feet of hills thrown in! You’ll feel like Superman or Wonder Woman at the finish line!

Registration was suspended on April 3rd: 100K – $150, 50K – $95, 25K – $60

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon

Roxbury, CT |  November 2020 8:30 AM

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon are hilly, no-frills foot-races that are run over some of the roads used by the Roxbury Races annual series (about 40 races from February into early December each year).

The entry fee is $35 for the half marathon and $40 for the marathon to cover costs.

Registration opens July 15th – We hope.

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relays & 5K

Manchester, NH |  8 November | Sunday | 8:50 AM

The largest New Hampshire marathon, Manchester is USATF Certified and a Boston Qualifier.

manchester marathon, new england fall marathons, new hampshire marathonThe web site describes the race as hilly, challenging and scenic. Many friends have run this race and only had good things to say about their experience.

Registration is open – $90 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half, $160 for the 4-way Marathon Relay and $110 for the 2-way Marathon Relay. The 2-way Half Relay is $95. The 5K is $25.

Next price increase is May 29th.

The first 2,000 runners will receive a long sleeve event shirt. All runners will enjoy Sam Adams beverages as well as flat bread pizza, Dasani water and Stoneyfield yogurt.

Free race photos and bag check will be available.

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Viewtherace.com Manchester City Marathon course video

The Millinocket Marathon & Half

Millinocket Marathon, New England Marathon, Maine marathon

Millinocket, ME |  5 December 2020 –  Saturday

Marathon starts at 10AM
Half Marathon starts at 10:10 AM

There is no registration fee for this race. This New England Marathon was conceived of as a way to help the economy of a Northern Maine former mill town: Millinocket.

When I was growing up the paper industry made Millinocket a bustling town. While I was attending college at The University of Maine the mill was on it’s last legs. Everyone knew that hard times were coming, just like they did in so many other mill towns across America.

Just like other mill towns across the country, Millinocket is working to reinvent itself.

This race allows you to be a part of that revival and run a great marathon or half marathon.

This race is at least five hours north of Boston. Throw in some traffic or weather and you’ll be well beyond five hours. Just keep that in mind.

Oh, it it’s guaranteed to be cold. It’s just a question of how cold. Keep this in mind before you register.

A note from the Race Director:

Important: Please don’t register unless you are somewhat serious about traveling to Millinocket in the first place. Although our race is FREE, we still prepare bib numbers and accrue expenses to prepare for your participation. We totally understand that life happens, but if you can’t come, don’t just NOT show up; it’s very important to officially cancel your registration in a timely manner so that those volunteering their time and funds do not expend them unnecessarily. Thank you for your understanding — we can’t wait to see you in the Magic City!

2020 registration is open!

Looking for a Winter 2019 marathon? Click HERE.

Run well my friends!

Andy

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Philadelphia Marathon 2019

The 2019 Philadelphia Marathon was a destination race for me. State number six of 50! It was cold and wet, but not as bad as Boston in 2018!

The Philadelphia Marathon was a destination marathon for me.

At age 55 I still hold onto the dream of running a marathon in all 50 states. Pennsylvania was my sixth state.

Friends have run Philly and had good things to say about it, so why not? I’m not getting any younger!

The 25th Philadelphia Marathon for 12,985 registered runners. The official results show that 10,061 runners completed the course.

At the Expo Bart Yasso mentioned that he had run the marathon in the 80’s. It had either been discontinued for a few years or held in a different location for a few years. We didn’t get the details on that.

Philadelphia Marathon Weekend

Like all big city marathons, Philadelphia makes it a weekend event.

The Expo opened on Friday with meet and greats with Meb Keflezighi and Desiree Linden. Meb and Desi also participated in discussions moderated by Bart Yasso on Friday and Saturday.

Bart and Bill Rodgers also spoke on Friday and Saturday on “Marathon Running Over the Years.”

Three Olympians with six Boston Marathon wins between them!

Marathon weekend running begins with the The Rothman Orthopaedics 8K and the Dietz & Watson Half Marathon on Saturday for a combined 20,000+ runners. The half begins at 7:30 AM and 8K begins at 10:40, so you can run both races and the marathon on Sunday.

Running all three races constitutes the Freedom Challenge. 

You can also run the marathon and the half or 8K for the The Independence Challenge, or the half and full for The Liberty Bell Challenge, respectively.

Also on Saturday morning they had the Dunkin’ Munchkin Runs for kids from 3-12. There are non-competitive age-group dashes and then a 1.5 mile run for kids 6-12.

On Sunday at 7:00 AM The Philadelphia Marathon begins.

The Road to Philly

I registered for the Philly Marathon on June 10th and planned to go with Durm Cahill and Mike Sikkema. 

We made hotel reservations and bought train tickets. Then about four months ago Durm got broke.

On one of his long runs he torqued his hip and barely ran all summer. Everything was paid for, including the marathon and he had to take a pass. It just wasn’t  going to happen.

About two weeks before the race another friend Jose Viveiros heard us talking about the marathon and Durm offered him his number. It was totally last minute.

Jose has had his own health issues over the summer and wasn’t really in marathon shape. He’s more of an Utra guy and I guess those are quite different than a marathon.

Philadelphia Marathon, Andy Nagelin, Mike Sikkema, Jose Viveiros
Three Amigos at Philadelphia Marathon

We met at South Station in Boston for the six-hour Amtrak ride to Philly.

Mike put in some good training over the summer but didn’t feel fully prepared. I ran most of the Sunday Long Runs and then used half marathons on most weekends for my long run training. Jose hadn’t really done much distance training in a few months.

Mike was shooting for a 3:05 finish but didn’t feel like that was going to happen. Jose just wanted to finish before the six-hour cut-off. I was hoping for four-hours but knew that 4:30 was more likely.

We had fun talking and watching the cities and towns go by. It was a very comfortable ride.

The Notary Hotel Entrance - Philadelphia We stayed at The Notary which was only about five minutes from Union Station. The building was the former City Hall Annex which was built in 1926 and turned into a hotel in 1986(?) by Marriott. In the deal with the city Marriott kept many of the historic details.

It was a great location and not just another hotel.

Hanging and Chillin in Philly

Mike lived in Philadelphia for a few years and Jose had hoped to do some sight seeing.

We arrived in Philly late in the afternoon and took a short cab ride to our hotel.

I made the reservation for three adults and requested a roll-away bed. When we arrived the roll-away was not on the reservation and it took several hours and two requests to get it delivered.

While the guys waited in the room, I got in a much needed 3.2 mile treadmill run. My taper had been quite severe!

After I showered and changed and the bed arrived we headed out for dinner. We were up for an adventure, but needed to save our legs. We ended up eating at a sports bar down the street from the hotel. The food was really good. I had one beer and helped Jose finish his.

On the way back we stopped at a 7-11 for some food for the room.

We got to bed around 10PM but Mike and I woke early. Mike went out for a five mile run and I took a shower. Jose got up after Mike showered and we headed for the Expo after Jose showered.

Philly Marathon Expo

Saturday morning we headed for the Expo. Durm and I had paid the $20 fee to have our packet mailed to us. When we registered travel arrangements were unknown. Mike needed to get his packet.

It was a short walk to the Convention Center in the crisp fall air. Mike got his packet quickly and we started walking around.

The Boston Marathon Expo is packed. Those vendors pay a small fortune to be there and they get about 40,000 runners and friends looking for cool stuff.

The Philadelphia Marathon Expo was more like the Honolulu Marathon Expo. Honolulu had about a third of the vendors of Boston. Philly had about the same space as Honolulu, but there were empty booths!

We got there around 10AM so all vendors should have been in place. The vendors that were there didn’t have many hand-outs. We all love free samples.

We did stumble upon Meb Keflezighi and Desiree Linden’s presentation at 10:35. I really wanted to see them speak and it turned out to be worth it.

Both of them are so humble and normal and they have both reached the highest heights of our sport.

Desiree Linden, Meb Keflezighi, Bart Yasso, Philadelphia Marathon Expo 2019Meb talked about growing up literally dirt poor in Eritrea. No running water or electricity and they ate dirt sometimes. Just to survive.

In six months he learned Italian when they finally made it to Italy. Eventually they made it to The United States and pursued The American Dream.

One day in gym class the gym teacher had them run a mile. The winner got a t-shirt and a medal. Meb ran something like a 5:20 mile and the gym teacher told him that he was going to The Olympics!

Meb didn’t know what The Olympics were, but he wanted that t-shirt and the medal!

Desi talked about loosing The Boston Marathon by two seconds! Instead of being defeated, she used that memory to win the 2018 Boston Marathon.

She told us how she almost dropped out of the 2018 Boston Marathon because she didn’t feel it that day. We all felt the pride when she won the race less than two hours after that moment of doubt!

I have to tell you that when Meb was telling his story, my eyes were not dry! He has such gratitude for what this country has given him. And he gave us Boston in 2014.

The three of us loved their talk.

After the Expo we headed to Reading Market for lunch. We tried to get in Friday night, but they closed at 6PM.

Mike got a Philly Cheese Steak and I got some of the best ribs eva! Jose got a smoothy. We headed back to the hotel to eat and hang out.

When room service showed up we were laying on the beds watching TV with our feet up. We had to explain that we only needed more coffee.

Later we went to Mariano’s for dinner and then went to 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts for race day supplies.

Running The Philadelphia Marathon

Cold Streets of PhiladelphiaWe got to bed around 10PM but we all woke up several times during the night. Around 3AM I gave up and started checking my email and the weather.

It looked like the rain would hold off until after or late into the race.

By 5AM we were all dressed and ready to run. Since we were so close to the start, Mike and I didn’t leave until 6AM. Jose headed over after us.

The security seemed tighter than Boston. We had to take off our stuff and walk through a metal detector. I used magnets to hold my bib on and they didn’t set off the machine.

The entire start area was dark and chaotic. We made our way through a lawn of mud to UPS trucks for the bag drop. Good idea for the trucks, poor idea for their location.

Then we looked for porta-potties inside the perimeter, but most of them were outside of the start area! WTF! What genius decided to separate runners from the porta-potties?

We managed to find about 10 tucked off to a side. Fortunately the line moved along. As we got our shot, Mike had five minutes to his start. I was a few corrals back and had an extra 10 minutes.

Andy Nagelin, Mike Sikkema, 2019 Philadelphia MarathonI didn’t see Mike until I got back to the hotel!

I headed for my corral through the sea of chaos. I found an opening in the barricades and made my way to my group. About five minutes before the start I started my watch.

As the group before us left, we moved up and then they started us. It was freakin cold!

I was on the wrong side of the road, but Meb was on the announcers platform giving high-fives as runners went by! How awesome is that!

The first two miles were packed and wound through the historic district. We passed the US Mint and close by the National Constitution Center. At about 2.5 mile we turned right to run along the river at “Race Street Pier.”

We ran along the water front for about a mile and turned right near the US Coast Guard Station. We looped back and ran about half a mile to “Head House Square” where we turned left onto South Street.

South turned right onto 6th Street. As we ran passed the Mother Bethel AME Church I heard this pumping, gospel, R&B, funk music pulsing through the air.

Philadelphia Marathon mapI was waiting for “Cool and The Gang” to break into “Celebrate Good Times” but it was the church choir with a drum kit and a popping bass line that made me want to dance! They kept repeating “God is in you”.

I don’t know about god, but that popping beat got the groove into me! It was awesome.

Just past the church we hit mile five and my average pace was 8:50. Just where I wanted to be.

At about 5.25 miles we turned left onto Chestnut Street and began an almost two mile run to cross the Schuylkill river. We hit mile seven just before the bridge and my average pace was 8:41. A little too fast.

After we crossed the river we started to hit the hills. Mile eight gained 67 feet and mile ten gained 100.

Mile eight ran through The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. We hit mile nine in The Philadelphia Zoo.

In Honolulu we ran past the zoo but the Philly Zoo had a much stronger odor. And we spent more time in proximity.

After The Zoo we ran through The Central District and hit those 100 feet of elevation gain. It was beginning to feel like a run!

Miles 11 and 12 wound through Fairmount Park. I had finished one of my bottles and was dipping into the second one. I began to take water at the stops and was happy to get a gel out here.

After mile twelve we ran along the river again until we reached the MLK Bridge to cross the river at mile 14.

At mile 13.1 they had a timing mat, but no special signs or anything.

My goal was to hold onto a 9:00 minute pace until the half-way mark and my watch said I still had that pace as I crossed the mat.

I knew that this was an overly ambitious pace and I knew it was going to slip away from this mile on. It was beginning to feel like survival time!

Surviving Philly

A marathon doesn’t really begin until twenty miles have been run. But on this day 13.1 was where my race began. The care-free tourist miles were behind me. It was time to get down to work.

I had done what training I could and was now paying for too much time at my desk and not enough long runs.

After we crossed the MLK Jr Bridge we headed up the north shore of the Schuylkill River towards the hair-pin turn around. For some reason I thought it was a mile or so up to the turn.

It turned out to be about seven miles! When you think something is a mile away and it turns out to be seven miles away and can really mess you up!

Over those seven miles we had about 200 feet of elevation gain and 140 feet decline. Lots of rolling hills.

I was enjoying the scenery as much as possible. Pennsylvania is different than Massachusetts. The houses, businesses and names on those businesses often are different than what I see daily.

When you run somewhere new you should take in as much as you can. Running is a great way to see a lot of an area, even if your feet hurt!

All the way out to Manayunk, PA I took water and often Gatorade at the stops. I even did some walking!

I tried to keep running until the turn but I wasn’t sure where the hell it was.

At some point the lead runners started passing us and then the lead of the heard started passing us on their way back.

I knew that if I saw Mike he was having a rough day and if I saw Jose, I was having a rough day. I didn’t see anyone!

About a mile before the turn I saw a house under construction with a porta-potty out front. The official ones were blue. This one was brown and white.

The official ones always had a line and for some reason I felt waiting in line would kill my time!

I ran to the left side of the road, saw that the handle was green and went in. It was reasonably clean but I was a stinking mess anyway.

As I sat there I heard people yelling and it seemed like someone pulled on the door. But it was the gusting wind trying to pry the door open.

I pulled myself together and managed to avoid dropping anything. Unlatching the door, I ran back into the race like nothing had happened. I never even noticed if anyone said anything or even looked my way. I was on a mission.

The Second Half of Philly

We hit the turn around in Manayunk at about 20.5 miles. There was a small crowd at this turn. Not as many as I expected. But what was I expecting?

Mike said a guy in front of him had slipped on a man hole cover at the turn and he grabbed a-hold of a sign post to swing himself around!

I just did a sloppy turn and felt grateful to be heading east. Philly was somewhere down that freakin road.

As I ran along I realized that we were now past mile twenty and there was less than a 10K to run. But could I?

I was out of juice. Nothing hurt beyond what one would expect from running over three and a half hours.

I had fueled properly, but it wasn’t enough. My cardio conditioning just wasn’t up to par.

Even though I did not need them, earlier in the race I had been taking deep breathes. When I am out of shape sometimes I experience shortness of breathe.

To avoid this, I do deep breathing.

Now it was an essential part of my finishing this race. The last thing I wanted was to visit a medic station or to get hauled off of the course. A fate worse than death!

I jogged, walked and ran the best I could the rest of the race.

My four-hour race was out of the question. Now it was just a question of getting in under 4:30.

I felt that it was possible, but I had to be careful and manage every step.

Finishing Philly

After the turn around the thought popped into my head, “I took a dump in Many-yunk” I laughed out loud with the little breathe I had to spare. That pit stop was a necessity and it kept me laughing!

At several places people had Dixie cups of beer. Even just a little beer seems to give me lead legs.

At mile twenty-five my legs were beyond lead. A group of Canadians were giving out beer, so I took one. It only had two swallows in it, but it was some of the best beer I’ve ever had.

The beer didn’t effect me at all.

I was aware of my muscles contracting and swelling with each step. Each step forced more blood into my muscles and my legs felt like they were bulging.

Getting to mile twenty-three was a relief. We only had 5K to go. Anyone can run 5K even a guy whose legs felt like plump sausages could do it.

I just had to do it. I walked some, I ran some and I jogged some.

The world closed in around me and I didn’t pay much attention to anyone or anything. All I wanted to do was put one foot in front of the other and hope that the back foot would continue to come off of the ground and land in front of the other. That’s all I wanted. Simple stuff.

It seemed like all of a sudden the crowd grew and I could hear the finish line announcer. Even though I now knew that the turn around was seven miles out, it still hadn’t clicked that this meant there were only five miles to run to the finish line.

Philadelphia Marathon new the finish, Andy NagelinAnd I had run almost all of them. I was coming to the finish line!

Somewhere near the finish my friend Courtney Koschei took this photo.

When you are this close to a finish, you have to run.

I ran 26.55 miles somehow and my last 0.55 mile was at a 10:25 pace.

Nothing special, but better than the previous six miles!

I just really flamed-out the last five or six miles.

Running so many half marathons lulled me into complacency. There is a reason that half marathons are the most popular distance.

I can probably run a half marathon every weekend for a year and feel pretty good during the week.

As I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel pretty good. It had been raining the last hour or so, it was getting colder and the wind had picked up. Conditions deteriorated considerably.

A guy rolled out a Mylar sheet for me and helped me get it over my shoulders. A few steps further on a lady put the medal around my neck. Even before this someone gave me a 500ml of water which I sucked down in three guzzles.

I made a B-line for the UPS trucks and got my drop bag. All it had was my fleece which I promptly put on. Then I headed for the Deitz & Watson tent for a hot sausage. They were all out! WTF!

They were a major sponsor of the race and they ran out of food? I was far from the last person to cross the line. I felt bad for the 5,6 and 7 hour runners.

The weather was getting bad and the hot food was gone. Brilliant.

I asked about the beer tent and immediately decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

At this point I looked for a way out of the finish area and headed for my hotel.

Not exactly a festive finish area. I’d say it was more than a bit of a let down. Boston is stingy with their post race food, but this was beyond the pale. A bottle of water? Come on!

As I hobbled back to the hotel the rain turned into wet snow! This went on for about ten minutes, all the way back to the hotel.

Apre Philadelphia Marathon

When I got to the hotel, Mike had already showered and packed. Before I headed for the shower Jose showed up. He ran much better than the six hours he had expected.

We didn’t have a lot of time to be tourists or even get something to eat.

We were checked out by 2:30 and in a cab to the train station.

Normally I can eat and drink all kinds of beer after a race. This time I just wasn’t hungry and had to force my self to drink water.

The train wasn’t full so we had room to get our own double seats and stretch out a bit. Being able to walk around on the train was nice also.

When we got to South Station I called an Uber and the guys headed for The Red line. As I was headed for my Uber they came out of the Red Line. They needed to take a shuttle bus to the ext station. Gotta love The T!

Philly had a few issues in the start/finish area, but I would recommend this race if you are looking for a Pennsylvania marathon.

Run well my Friends,

 

Andy

Renting a car in Europe?

Renting a car in Europe? Get the best rates from the major rental companies and 24/7 support from Auto Europe. Auto Europe can answer your driving questions also

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you. This helps me to cover the blog maintenance expenses. Thanks for your support.

Many runners dream of traveling to Europe and running a World Marathon Major such as the Virgin Money London Marathon and the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON

There are countless other marathons across Europe and other ways to have a running adventure/vacation of a lifetime.

If you are flying six and a half hours to London or over 10 hours to Berlin, why not make the most of it and stay a few extra days?

You’ve paid for the flight and a few nights in a hotel, a few more nights could turn a destination race into an European adventure!

Renting a car in Europe

Imagine driving across France or Germany and stopping whenever and wherever you want? You can go from town to village to town all the way across The UK or Spain.

Imagine finding a cool trail or park for a run as you travel along?

How about driving to another race? In another country?

How about a road trip across Europe? How many countries can you run in in one week?

Pretty exciting isn’t it?

The idea of renting a car in a foreign country can seem daunting. What are the rules and requirements? Will your US license be valid? What about insurance?

How do you make sure you’re getting the best price?

Auto Europe

<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-7778295-12970023" target="_top"> <img src="http://www.ftjcfx.com/image-7778295-12970023" width="160" height="600" alt="Auto Europe Car Rentals" border="0"/></a>Auto Europe has been assisting travelers with their car rental needs for over 60 years and provides the industry’s best service before and during your rental.

Auto Europe has long-standing relationships with the top names such as: Hertz, Avis, National, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise and Europcar. Companies you know.

This allows them to offer you the best rates at over 20,000 pickup locations in 180 countries worldwide.
Their primary focus is providing a quality rental experience for those traveling abroad, primarily to Europe.

Auto Europe allows you to compare all of the top rental companies and know your price when you make your reservation without any hidden fees.

Auto Europe also offers a Ready-to-Go Pickup Guarantee and 24/7 service hotline from pickup to drop off.

Who wants surprises or hassles during vacation? It should be all about the fun and adventure.

With over 60 years of experience Auto Europe can help you through just about anything.

Rules of The Road

Auto Europe has been helping travelers for over 60 years. They know the rules of the road and can help you prepare before you go.

Their website has rules of the road for every country they operate in. Have questions about driving on The Autobahn? How about driving on the left side of the road in The UK? They have your answers on their web site.

Click the image to get the best price and best support on your European auto rental. And don’t forget to check the rules of the road and have a great journey!

Drive well my Friends,

Andy

Honolulu Marathon 2017

Hawai’i Dreamin!

On occasion I’ve written about destination races. In 2017 I finally signed up for and ran my first official destination marathon: The Honolulu Marathon!

Hawai’i always seemed too far to travel and has a reputation for being expensive. Lucky for me, my sister recently moved to Hawai’i and I was able to book a reasonably priced flight. So the Honolulu Marathon turned out to be relatively inexpensive. Relatively.

Honolulu Marathon Training

I’ve run enough marathons to respect the distance. You can’t just will your self to complete a marathon. It will break you both physically and mentally. Grown men have been known to cry and I’ve seen more than a few runners hauled off in an ambulance.

As I was starting my training for the Honolulu Marathon the Sunday Long Run (SLR) program was winding down. The last one was October 15th.

Knowing that I wouldn’t have an organized long run each week, my plan was to run half marathons as often as I could.

The last of the SLR runs were 22 and 14.8 miles. One of my top goals was avoiding injury so I skipped those runs and ran the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon on October 1st and the BAA Half Marathon and on the 8th. I ran the last SLR on the 15th and it was 14.05 miles.

Then on October 22nd I did a 14.26 mile run from my house. Getting out of the house by my self was the real challenge for that run.

Four good long runs over four weekends, I was off to a good start.

Then I didn’t run further than 6.6 miles at a time until the Howling Wolf Half on November 12th. That was the first long-distance race of 2017 where I ran under 9 minute miles. Running a 1:53 Half and not being beat up was the confirmation of my fitness level that I needed.

Just the week before, I face-planted at the Friends of the Fells 10K. During the Howling Wolf Half my right hand and wrist still hurt and I had a massive shiner under my right eye. The fact that I was able to run that half marathon confirmed that everything was okay.

On November 19th I ran The Cambridge Half Marathon at 1:56. That race didn’t beat me up too much either and the crowds kept me from going out too fast.

I ran most of the Sunday Long Runs over the summer so picking up my training for a marathon wasn’t that difficult. I was a little heavier than I wanted to be but in fairly good shape.

To avoid injury, I didn’t push my self too hard. I managed just over 100 miles in October and just under 86 miles for November. The first week of December I managed two short runs.

I was happy with 100 miles in October but wanted to get in 100 miles for November also.

For many runners, 100 miles a month is taking it easy. For a casual runner like me it took planning to hit those numbers.

The lesson I learned from this training cycle is that half marathons are a great way to train. While they never go beyond 13.1 miles, I always run harder at a race and I never stop for water or a bite to eat.

The next time I have an off-cycle marathon I plan to run a half marathon each weekend if I can. Four halfs was pretty good, but with better planning I could do a lot more.

Honolulu Marathon Morning

I flew into Honolulu on December 6th. This gave me a few days to acclimate and adjust for the 5 hour time difference.

My sister and I had a few days to tour Oahu and catch up. We haven’t lived in the same time zone for quite a few years.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, Hawaii marathonDecember 7th turned out to be a low key day. To see any of the ceremonies at Pearl Harbor, you had to be at the stadium by 5 AM to be shuttled to any of the ceremonies. While I really wanted to see a Pearl Harbor Day, I was there to run a marathon.

On Marathon day my sister and brother-in-law drove me into town and dropped me off near the start line around 3:15 AM.

The marathon starts at 5 AM and it was supposed to be in the 60s before the race, so I wore an old shirt to keep the “chill” off.

The temperature turned out to be quite comfortable even though I was wearing running shorts and a singlet under that old dress shirt.

The humidity wasn’t bad either. Reports on December 9th predicted a cooler than usual day for the race and possible rain. They also predicted a record finish for the race as well.

I really expected it to be much warmer. It was Hawaii and the race web site had all kinds of warnings about the heat. They even cautioned veteran runners. I guess I was expecting jungle conditions. Starting at 5 AM before sunrise didn’t hurt.

The Honolulu Marathon starts on Ala Moana Boulevard, which in Hawaiian means “path by the ocean.” This phrase is an appropriate description for the entire race course. At the Starting Line is Ala Moana Beach Park, a local recreation area encompassing over 100 acres of park, beaches, swimming and surfing spots.

Honolulu Marathon 2017. Oahu MarathonsMost people took a bus from the Honolulu Zoo to the Ala Moana Park near the start. When I showed up most of those people were still in the park. I found a place to sit on a low cement wall and waited for the start.

The MCs for the event were the anchor from the local TV station and a Japanese woman making the same announcements for the Japanese runners.

As I sat on that wall waiting for the race to start I joked around with the runners next to me. They just smiled and nodded. Before long it dawned on me that they were Japanese and didn’t speak English.

For the past 30 years, Japanese runners have been more than 50% of Honolulu Marathon runners on average. In 1991, 70% of runners were from Japan.

Japan Airlines is the primary sponsor. I am guessing that they sell a travel package to Hawaii that includes the marathon.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, Porta PottiesThis was the 45th running of this race and they were well organized. There were plenty of porta potties and they assigned waves based on self reported finish times.

I was in the third wave behind the elites and the first wave. While I was in a good position near the front of my wave, runners from other waves kept walking past me to the front.

I guess there is no honor among runners with the honor system of self seeding!

As 5 AM approached the announcers kept calling the runners from the park to the start area. It took a long time for the area to fill up. Around 4:15 the announcers told us to clear the road so the wheel chair atheletes could get to the starting line. Around 10 atheletes made their way through the crowd.

Running Honolulu Marathon

Around 4:30 I got in line for the porta-potties one last time. The line was short and moved quickly. I was starting to make my way to my wave as they played The National Anthem. I walked across the grass median to the right side of the road. Somewhere in all the announcements I heard them say the Moana (ocean) side was for the 10K runners and the other side was for the marathon.

While there were a lot of runners in front of me, there must have been 30,000 behind me. The announcer said this was the 4th or 5th largest marathon in America. And I was in the 3rd wave! I’d never get this in Boston!

At 5 AM they announced the start with a volley of fireworks! The elite runners took off and we began to walk forward.

It took about four minutes to cross the start line. Like most big races, it was very congested at the start. A lot of those people walking to the front were not supposed to be there and some of them were walking already.

While Hawaii may be a chill California, I’m from Boston. I tried not to run into anyone but did brush a few shoulders as I squeezed between runners and walkers. I kept my comments mostly under my breath.

Honolulu Marathon Starting Loop

As we ran through downtown Honolulu the fire works continued. We were well into the loop back before they stopped.

In many ways downtown looked like any other downtown. They even had a few pot holes to look out for.

Even at 5 AM there were people cheering us on. Everywhere I looked there was something new to see. Running is a great way to tour a city!

The temperature and humidity were mild, but by mile two I was sweating. I had a 500ml bottle of water with me and took the occasional swig and avoided all of the early water stops.

To keep my self from over-heating even before the sun came up I took off my hat a few times. Occassionally we got a nice breeze off of the ocean. It felt so good!

As we crossed the Ala Wai canal into the Waikiki neighborhood I started to think about sun rise. How hot would it get? Would it rain?

As we approached Diamond Head we took a left onto Monsarrat Ave and passed the Honolulu Zoo. It was a unique experience to be running up that hill in the dark in the warm musky air. We had some elevation gain in mile two in downtown, but at mile 7.5 we climbed 131 feet in about a half mile on Monsarrat Ave.

We only had the left side of the road and volunteers held yellow tape to keep us on one side. I stayed to the right of the pack and managed to keep up with everyone.

Mile 8 came in at 9:24. All my previous miles were in the 8:40 range. I was doing good.

Doesn’t that diagram look frightening? The first big hill is that 131 foot climb around Diamond Head. It was a good climb but I felt very comfortable. Then we had about a mile of downhill with a net loss of 60 feet. The hill at mile 9, after Diamond Head, looks killer also but was actually a net loss of 50 feet. Miles nine and ten came in at 9:00 and 9:04 respectively.

Honolulu Marathon, hawaii, elevation map

Diamond Head, Honolulu MarathonOn the way out we took a left and stayed on Diamond Head Road. This took us behind the extinct volcano and back into residential neighborhoods. Then we took two consecutive rights and went through the Waialae Kahala neighborhood and headed for the H1.

I had envisioned seeing the sunrise as I crested Diamond Head and hearing “Let The Sun Shine” blasting from my internal boom box. Alas, it was all a romantic notion.

We ran around Diamond Head in the dark. When the sun came up around mile 12 there was a bank of clouds on the horizon shielding us from the full fury of the morning sun. It turned out to be a blessing from the cloud gods.

At this point in the race I was carrying my singlet and my shorts were totally drenched with sweat.  While I had two 9 oz bottles with Hammer Head mix on my belt, I was now taking water at the stops. I also took my first kit of salt capsules and Hyland cramp tablets.

When we hit the half marathon mark it was daylight, getting warmer and beginning to feel like a race.

I felt okay and my energy level was still good. I had five Honey Stinger Gold gels with me and had taken two before the half-way mark. It’s always better to fuel early then to hit the wall early.

The H1 just ends and turns into the Kalanianaole Highway. Starting around 11.5 miles, the Kalanianaole Highway ran along the Maunalua Bay. The funny thing about Hawaii is that you can’t smell the ocean even when you are right next to it.

I could see water once in a while, but as we approached the half-way mark I was more focused on my running. Even with a relatively flat course my pace was dropping. My average pace was now around 9 minutes and I was getting worried about hitting my goal.

Honolulu Marathon 2017, destination marathons

Around mile 15 we took a left onto Hawaii Kai Drive which took us through a development that looked like Florida. Lots of water ways, docks and boats. As we made the turn I noticed the line of porta potties.

As we ran through the development my stomach began to really act up. I kept taking water and a little Gatorade once in a while.

My left knee was also acting up and I had to walk some. Mile 17 came in at 9:45. Not good. When we got back to the intersection where the porta potties were, I had to make a stop. Mile 18 came in at 11 minutes even. I told my self I lost two minutes in the porta pottie.

When ever I walk late in a race my muscles always tighten up. I know this and try to avoid stopping. But I had to stop this time. Some things just cannot be avoided.

Between my knee and tightened muscles, mile 19 came in at 10:04.

As we made our way back down Kalanianaole Highway it was now daylight. It had been raining for a while now and it felt good.

I had wrapped my toes in tape to prevent blisters, but something was going on in my right shoe. It felt like something was loose in my sock. Had the tape slipped off? Had I lost a toenail? As I ran I watched the water fling out the front of my shoe and waited for it to turn color. Thankfully it never did.

Mile 20 and 21 came in at 10:54 each. At mile 21 my time was 3:17 and I had 5.2 miles to go. There was no way I was going to run 8 minutes miles to the finish and get my four hour marathon.

Between mile 21 and the finish I had to make two more porta pottie stops. I used my second kit of salt capsules and cramp tablets, but they didn’t seem to help.

My knee hurt, my bowels were in full revolt and I even had stomach cramps. My energy level was typical for this stage of a marathon. This is the time when a runner normally has to muster their courage and inner strength to push on and give their best effort.

When your body has pain that cannot be ingnored and you are worried about shitting your shorts, there isn’t much you can do. Will power cannot over come these issues. I wasn’t going for a gold medal or a big check, so I wasn’t willing or sufficiantly motivated to be that guy running to the finish with shit running down his leg.

Finishing the Honolulu Marathon

I walked most of the hills on the way back. Normally I would have dug deep and passed a lot of runners on those last hills. I’m a pretty good hill runner. My knee was so bad that I even walked some of the down hill. The pounding was just too much.

I did my best to avoid injury while training, but something is going on with my left knee. I knew this when I signed up for this marathon. I used all the tricks I know to minimize issues with my knee, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

I’ve walked a lot of the last few miles of the Boston Marathon before in great pain. Over the years I’ve figured out how to eliminate those pains. This knee pain was something new and something I need to have checked out.

When we hit mile 25, I was that guy walking. So close to the finish, but no way to make a go of it. Every time I started to run I could barely lift my feet and the pain was unbearable.

I made up my mind to walk to mile 26 and then jog to the finish line come hell or high water.

As we entered the Kapiolani Park I started jogging and looking for the finish line. As I got closer I could hear the finish line announcer. We were running along Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world, and I couldn’t have cared less.

The clock had something like 4:43 on it, but I knew that I had crossed the starting matt atleast four minutes after the clock started. I had finished the Honolulu Marathon with my dignity, but I had missed my goal by a wide margin.

I managed to get a cold bottle of water and found the finishers medals and people giving us shell necklaces. The area had lots of temporary fencing, so you had to walk a laborynth to get to the shirts and malasadas.

One of the many cool features of this marathon is that you did not get a finisher’s shirt untill you finished the race. Why give shirts to people who havn’t even crossed the starting line?

The malasadas are a local donut and sometimes have a fillling.The one I got was hot, greasey and covered in granulated sugar. Perfect! I could have gone back for another but there wasn’t any filling and I was worried about how the grease would effect my stomach.

It was one of the best damed donuts I’ve ever eaten. But I knew better. When I was making my final approach I was thinking more about finding a porta pottie than I was about getting water. I even worried about throwing up. It was that bad.

I knew that my sister and her family were somewhere in the park, but I was too busy to check my phone. I finally wandered out of the park and ended up sitting on a bench in front of the Starbucks at Waikiki Beach. When I tried to tell her where I was the street names looked the same to me and I couldn’t make them sound different when I read them outloud. It was like I was totally hammered.

I was on the corner of Kalakaua Ave and Kapahulu Ave. I just couldn’t make those words sound different when I said them.

I finally told her I was in front of the Starbucks. Soon enough I could see them walking towards me.

They had parked in a garage just a block or so away and the walking was good for me. I still didn’t have a shirt on and I didn’t really care. I wasn’t bleeding and that was the important thing.

Honolulu Marathon, Waiola Shaved Ice, Hawaii Five-0We drove to Waiola Shaved Ice which is supposed to be the best one on Oahu. It’s so popular that the show Hawaii Five-0 actually shoots street scenes there.

The owner told us that he had run the Honolulu Marathon a few years ago. We had a few laughs but no comp for my shaved ice on ice cream.

It was delicious and cold.

Hopefully I didn’t horrify my nieces with my flabby middle-aged gut.

Out of 20,350 finishers, I came in 3,038. In the Mens 50-54 group I came in 277th out of 1,204. All things considered, that’s not a bad finish. FULL RESULTS.

4,283 runners finished the 10K. Nine athletes completed the wheelchair division marathon.

I could write another 5,000 words about my trip to Hawaii and my time with my sister’s family. I will always have so many great memories from this trip. It was a moment in time.

Mahalo and run well my Friends!

Andy

New England Fall Marathons 2016

It’s time to look forward to New England Fall Marathons. For many people summer is too hot for running marathons, and many runners look forward to the more comfortable fall running season.

The fall crisp air is perfect for running. Sometimes we get rain and sometimes we get snow. It’s never perfect, but fall can be an enjoyable season to run marathons or any distance race.

New England Fall Marathons

Clarence Demar Marathon and Half-Marathon

Sunday, September 25th, 2016  –  8AM start time

Keene, NH

new hampshire fall marathons, clarence demarThis is a race almost as legendary as the man. In Melrose we run by the monument to Clarence Demar on our winter running route and on many Sunday Long runs as well. Many runners in my club make it a point to touch the monument as they run by. This is a popular race with Melrose Running Club members.

This race encompasses an entire weekend if you want it to. You can drive up to Keene Friday night and pick up your bib at Ted’s Shoe & Sport on Main Street. Drive the course or go for a short run on Saturday. Saturday night there is a pasta dinner at the Courtyard Marriott.

On Sunday buses will take runners to the starting line. Marathon buses leave at 6:15, Half-Marathon buses start leaving at 6:30AM.

If you have never heard of Clarence Demar here is a brief bio.

The Clarence Demar Marathon is USATF Certified, a Boston Qualifier and a  Runner’s Choice Award recipient from runnersgoal.com!

New Hampshire Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K

Saturday, October 1st, 2016  –  9AM

Bristol, NH 

new hampshire marathon, fall marathon

This event features a Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K, and Kid’s Marathon. Truly something for everyone. You may want to drive up Friday and enjoy the pasta dinner at 5:00pm at the Union Lodge, and get a good night’s sleep. This race takes place around Newfound Lake, and lodging options are listed on the race website.

The New Hampshire Marathon is a Runner’s Choice Award recipient from Runnersgoal.com! All three races are USATF Certified and the New Hampshire Marathon is a Boston Qualifier!

Cash prizes for the top finishers of all three races!

Viewtherace.com NH Marathon course video

NipMuck Trail Marathon and Relay

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016  –  8AM

Ashford, CT

The NipMuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race taking place along a northern section of  the Nipmuck Trail. The race aims to preserve many of the qualities from the early days of the New England trail racing scene.

Now in it’s 33rd year this out and back double loop race is not for first timers. The race site warns of rough terrain and that in some areas an injured runner may wait an hour or more for medical assistance.

The relay is new for 2016 and is for teams of two only. You can also run a double marathon by running the Cat’s Tail Trail Marathon on Saturday and then the NipMuck on Sunday. Cat’s Tail registration is separate. They only accept 100 runners and you have to qualify to run!

Only 150 runners may register for NipMuck. Additional details and warnings are on the registration site. Registration is $45.

Maine Marathon Relay and Half-Marathon

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016  –  7:45AM

Portland, Maine

fall new england marathons, maine marathonRegistration is $90 for the Marathon, $65 for The Half and $160 for the Marathon Relay. The combined races are capped at 3,500 runners. Registration closes when that number is met or September 27th, which ever comes first. So don’t wait!

Both races are USATF Certified, the marathon is a Boston Qualifier and has some nice prize money!

Viewtherace.com Maine Marathon course video

Hartford Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K

Saturday, October 8th, 2016  –  8AM

Hartford, CT

hartford marathon, new england fall marathonsI ran this marathon in 2012 and had a great and very eventful experience. The race is very well-organized with lots of community and spectator support. They have some very cool features as well.

The Hartford Marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

Hartford offers a “Pre Perks Package” that will make you feel like an elite runner. For $65 you get:

a VIP heated , indoor space with access to real toilets
Race packet and shirt mailed to you
Race Day VIP Parking
Personal baggage check
Option to personalize your bib

They limit this to 500 runners, click the link for details.

All three races start at 8AM. The kids fun run, HMF FitKids Run starts at 9:30AM.

Registration is $115 for the Marathon, $80 for the Half and $35 for the 5K. Prices increase on September 30th and there is no race day registration. They charge $15 to mail your packet and strongly encourage you to visit the Expo Friday to pick up your packet and visit all the cool vendor booths. There is no race day packet pickup.

Check the registration page for relay team and youth prices.

The HMF FitKids Run is $10.

Check out this info graphic on the HMF sustainability efforts. Some really cool stuff here that more races should be doing.

Viewtherace.com Hartford Marathon course video.

Newport Marathon & Half

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 – 7:30AM

Newport, RI

newport marathon, fall marathon

Race along the ocean and help support six local charities.

These races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

Shuttle service to the start begins at 5AM. FREE PHOTOS and bag check will be available.

Registration is $95 for the Marathon and $75 for the Half-Marathon. Race Day registration begins at 5:15AM!

Joe English Twilight Challenge

Saturday, Octoberber 15th, 2016   –   6 Hour Ultra, Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Relay

Freestyle Farm, 188 Mack Hill Road, Amherst, New Hampshire

The Joe English Twilight Challenge is an evening/night trail run hosted by Freestyle Farm in Amherst, NH. The event consists of a marathon, a half-marathon and a 6-hour ultra-marathon. The marathon and half-marathon may be run individually or by relay teams. The relay teams (half or full marathon) consist of 2 or 5 runners completing either 5 or 10 laps on a 2.62-mile loop beginning at 7:00 p.m. The 6-hour ultra-marathon begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Ultra participants run the 2.62-mile loop continuously for 6 hours.

Most of the race will be run at night on the groomed equestrian trails at Freestyle Farm.

The event is expected to draw 350 runners ranging from casual athletes to experienced ultra-runners. The event is set within a unique venue with high quality trails around a 50-acre pond. The course will be marked with fluorescent light sticks, ground flags and signal fires.

joe-english-challenge, ultra marathonRegistration is $35 and $45 day of the race. That’s a great price for a half marathon, or run a 6-hour ultra and see how many miles you can do.

All proceeds benefit the Amherst Land Trust.

This race is USATF Sanctioned and part of The Trail Runner Trophy Series.

 

 

Ocean State Rhode Races

Sunday, October 30th, 2016 – 7:30AM

Narragansett, RI

rhode island marathon, fall marathons

The Marathon starts at 7:30AM, Half at 8AM and the 5K at 8:15AM. These races feature FREE PHOTOS and a secured bag check at the start.

Registration is still open and is $100 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half and $35 for the 5K.

The Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The Ocean State Rhode Races Half is the final stop of the Rhode Race Series, a four stop series of Rhode Island Half Marathons.

Green Mountain Marathon & Half

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 – 8:30AM

South Hero, VT 

The certified (VT15006JK and VT15005JK) marathon and half-marathon begin and end near the house where Clarence H. Demar, 7 time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived.

gmaa marathon, vermont marathonIt is out and back on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle; a land of farms, apple orchards and summer cottages. The terrain is flat to rolling and about half dirt road (hard packed and well maintained). The half marathon course is an out and back that finishes at the Folsom School (same as the full marathon).

Infinite Pasta-bilities Dinner is Saturday night  at Folsom School, 4 – 7PM.

This is a race for runners by runners and has a reasonable registration fee of $55 for the marathon and $35 for the Half. Field is limited to 750 runners.

This is a great destination race for GBA runners.

Baystate Marathon & Half Marathon

Sunday, October 16th, 2015 – 8AM

Lowell, MA

baystate, bay state marathonThis marathon always sells out. Registration is still open for both races with only marathon 500 spots and 1,000 half spots left as of this writing.

If you are looking to qualify for Boston, this is a good choice. The race is mostly flat with the bridges over the Merrimack having the most elevation gain. Part of the course is a double loop, so it can be challenging to see the “Mile 22” sign when you are at Mile 12 and starting to feel it.

This is a well supported race with local high schools competing to have the best water stop! There is plenty of parking at the Tsongas Arena garage.

This is a favorite race for many GBA runners.

Viewtherace.com Baystate Marathon course video 

Mount Desert Marathon, Half and Relay

Sunday, October 16th, 2016 – 8AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay,
Half begins at 8:30 in Northeast Harbor

Bar Harbor, ME

maine marathon

Named ‘Most Scenic & runner-up Best Overall Marathon’ by Runner’s World

New England Runner Magazine’s Race of the Year!

This popular race begins in Bar harbor, hits the half-way mark near Northeast Harbor and ends in Southwest Harbor. MDI has some of the most beautiful scenery and you will get to take it all in at the perfect pace.

As of this writing both races are sold out!

Cape Cod Marathon

Sunday, October 30th, 2015 – 8:30AM

Falmouth, MA

cape cod marathon, new england fall marathobsThe one-loop course begins and ends at the Village Green in Falmouth center. The first part is easy, the latter is a test. The people who do well on this course follow the following formula: go out easy, take plenty of fluids, and save energy for the hills. Although the course is not closed to traffic, it is run on secondary roads and monitored by the police and numerous volunteers.

Registration is $90 and limited to 1,200 runners.

Cape Cod Marathon and Half

Saturday October 29th – 7:30AM

The Cape Cod Marathon Half race course is a fast and scenic route that hugs the Falmouth coastline of Nantucket Sound. Designed to maximize runners’ view of Martha’s Vineyard and the beautiful waters of Nantucket Sound this out and back course is limited to one hill.   But don’t be alarmed this one hill occurs at miles 3.5 and 9.75 and is over before you know it.

Registration is $80.00 and limited to 1,700 runners. No Race-Day registration.

Clam Chowdah Challenge

Falmouth, marathon, half, clam chowder, chowdah

Why not make a weekend on The Cape out of it and run both the Half Marathon on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday?

For $175, 200 lucky runners will get to face the ultimate challenge and go for the Clam Chowdah Challenge mug.  There is no race day registration for this event either. 

Registration for the Clam Chowder Challenge is 50% full as of September 10th.

All finishers of the Clam Chowdah Challenge will receive a chowdah bowl and “medal” spoon, medals for both races and a race shirt.

LOCO Marathon and Half

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 – 8AM

Newmarket, NH

loco marathon, new hampshire marathon

The LOCO half and full Marathon is loco marathon, new england fall marathonsa spectacular 13.1 mile loop course run completely on tree-lined rural roads.  It travels through four local coastal towns:  Newmarket, Lee, Epping and Newfields New Hampshire.

Not only is a scenic course, it is designed to be fast and easy. Half marathoners run one loop. Marathoners run a second loop.  For the past two years over 32% on average of marathoners qualified for the Boston Marathon.

The Marathon is a double loop of the Half-Marathon. It’s all country roads and 3 miles of rail trail.

This is a runner’s race. The finish time cut-off for 59 years and under is 4:30. For 60 and older it is 5 hours even.

Most marathons have a 6 hour cut-off time. If you are running to see the foliage, you may want to pick another race. If marathon runners cannot make the half-way mark by 2:15 or 2:30 for 60+ years, you will be pulled from the course!

Oh, and marathon runners MUST bring photo. So no faking 60+ to get the extra 30 minutes to finish the race!

Cut-off time for the Half-Marathon is 2:30.

This USATF Certified marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The half is also USATF certified and combined registration is limited to 1,000 runners.

This race is a Runner’s Choice award recipient from runnersgoal.com

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relays & 5K

Sunday, November 6th, 2016 – 8:50 – 9AM for the 5K

Manchester, NH

Now in its 10th year, Manchester is the Marathon Championship for the 2016 USATF-New England Grand Prix. Obviously USATF Certified and a Boston Qualifier.

manchester marathon, new england fall marathonsThe web site describes the race as hilly, challenging and scenic. Many friends have run this race and only had good things to say about their experience.

On-Line Registration is $85 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half, $180 for the Marathon Relay and $90 for the Half Relay. The 5K is $30. Race day registration begins at 7AM and is $110 – marathon, $100 – half. Check site for relay and 5K race day registration rates.

Free race photos will be available

Viewtherace.com Manchester City Marathon course video

Have you picked a fall marathon yet? I’m only running half marathons this fall. Writing this post makes me want to sign up for a few marathons!

Run well my friends!

Andy