Friday Five 9/4: Five Fall Races…

Good morning and happy Friday! As usual we’re linking up with Cynthia, Mar and Courtney for the Friday Five! This week we look at our favorite time of the year, Fall, and discuss five races that are unique in their own right and highlight fall at its peak.


1. Chicago Marathon: October 11, 2015  –Chicago, Illinois

A world marathon major is where we begin our list. A pinnacle race by many, myself included, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon allows you to toe the starting line with 45,000 of your closest friends and explore 29 Chicago neighborhoods along the course. General lottery entries are available and with a selection rate of about 47%, the odds are in your favor.

On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. You can follow my journey to the finish of the 2015 Chicago Marathon here.

2. New York City MarathonNovember 1, 2015 – New York, New York

Another world marathon major slides in at number two. The TCS New York City Marathon is the world’s largest, with over 50,000 finishers! The course is deceptively hilly and runs through all 5 burroughs of the city.

New York – like Chicago – has guaranteed, lottery and charity entries available for runners. This is the toughest lottery to get selected from statistically speaking and I would encourage you to guarantee your entry with a qualifying time or as a charity runner. Charity entries require a minimum of $3,000 in fundraising.

3. Empire State Marathon: October 18, 2015 – Syracuse, New York

Started in 2011, the Empire State Marathon hits Oneida Lake during the peak of fall colors and is an amazing race. I should know, I ran it last year, albeit with a poor performance.

Not the biggest race in New York, the race has been growing steadily since its inception and offers nice features at a reasonable rate. If you’re not up for 26.2 miles by yourself then grab some friends and compete in the Marathon Relay. And don’t forget the kids fun run – Taking it to the Max! – benefiting the Max Cure Foundation.

4. Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival: October 16 – 18, 2015 -Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The Runner’s World Half course features Bethlehem’s historic neighborhoods, including some of the town’s original 1741 settlement, Moravian College, and the former Bethlehem Steel complex–where the backbone of the nation was literally forged.

The festival weekend will include:

Seminars, live music, prerace dinner with Runner’s World editors, kids races and children’s programming (Friday), 3.8 mile trail run (Friday), 5K and 10K races (Saturday), dog run (Saturday), and Half Marathon (Sunday)

And if that’s not enough for you, complete the Hat Trick (5K, 10K, and Half Marathon) or the Five & Dime (5K and 10K).

5. Wineglass Marathon and Half:
October 4, 2015 – Bath, New York

Named one of the country’s top destination marathons and the 10th Best Marathon in the World (The Active Times), the Wineglass Marathon is on many runners’ bucket list, including ours.

The wildly popular Wineglass Half Marathon is in its fifth year and Competitor Running named the Wineglass Half Marathon one of the “25 Half Marathons Worth Running” (2014). The races small field of 6,000 means it sells out quickly, so plan ahead and register the day it becomes available.

Do you agree with our list? What’s on your fall calendar??

6 thoughts on “Friday Five 9/4: Five Fall Races…

Add yours

  1. Despite the fact that I live in NY, I haven’t done any of them!

    Still trying to decide just what half I want to do in NY. Ironic, no? My husband gives me a hard time about it all the time.

    Sometimes just doing one per state can be limiting!


    1. Where in NY are you? If you don’t mind a winterish (totally a word, right?) race Id definitely recommend Syracuse! It’s been in March but rumor has it it’s being pushed back a week or two to April. We’ve done it 2 years and will be back next year for sure!


      1. Near Albany. I kind of lean towards wineglass. But I haven’t decided yet (obviously). And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Syracuse in March / probably not on April, either! I went to school in Rochester. That was enough western NY for me!


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