Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thinking About a Marathon? The 10 Best Beginner Marathons Part 1

View from the Honolulu Marathon
: Sunrise greets runners going down Kilauea Avenue in Kaimuki during the Honolulu Marathon

So, here is the list but I have reservations on some.

Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon
Feel the adrenaline rush as you finish off the last 12.8 miles running down The Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard. The course conveniently starts and ends at Mandalay Bay, and live bands and cheerleaders pepper the way. The one caveat: Because of road closure constraints, you now have to finish in less than 5 hours and 30 minutes.
The time limit is a bummer and a limiting factor for first time marathoners who probably should not be running or walking for a time goal. Las Vegas is usually cold in December and previous runners have told me that the course becomes quite boring after you leave the Las Vegas Blvd. strip.

I don't think I will ever run this marathon or even the half.

Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu is the ultimate beginner marathon. Nearly half of the runners are first-timers and, you know, it’s in Hawaii. There’s sun, surf, sand, and an ocean-side celebration at the finish at Kapiolani Park. Plus, there’s no time limit. “No one will pull you off the course no matter how long you are taking,” assures James Barahal, MD, race president.
Perfect for a first time marathoner as there is NO time limit. So, you WILL finish. But, it IS Hawaii and likely to be warm and humid - so prepare.

I will try to place this marathon on my schedule.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Disney pulls out all stops for their race weekend. Spot your favorite characters along the course and run to the tunes of bands stationed along the way. The route takes you past all the major attractions—Main Street USA, Hollywood Boulevard, the Cinderella castle—before finishing by gospel choir in front of Epcot.
There is a time limit but although they advertise and warn about it, the Disney folks are NOT that strict - as I understand. But, unlike the Honolulu, you will have to train and maintain at least a 16 min/mile pace.

There is the Disney Coast to Coast medal if run the Disneyland Half Marathon later in the year. Also, the Disney Goofy Medal for running the Disney World Half Marathon as well as the Disney World Marathon back to back.

This race will be on my schedule in a year or so, although the weather has been brutally cold the past few years - yeah, it is Florida in January. Then, there is tapering during Christmas. But, the wife, really wants that Goofy Medal.

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