MidwestThe Midwest is known as "America's Heartland," so why not get your own heart beating a little faster at one of these can't-miss marathons? These are some of our favorite 26.2-mile races with courses that cross picturesque rivers, stretch across rolling farmlands and wind through sleepy Midwestern towns.
Forrest Gump Challenge
August 31, 2019 in Reeds Spring, Missouri
Just feel like running? Run, Forrest, run...26.2 miles in the Forrest Gump Challenge. This race honors the Academy Award-winning movie and encourages runners to dress up in their best Forrest Gump costume. The course takes runners through the small town of Reeds Spring, with the marathon completing eight laps of a roughly 5K loop.
September 21, 2019 in Bismark, North Dakota
This race attracts runners from across the country—and Canada—as they shoot to qualify for the New York or Boston Marathon in a beautiful Midwestern setting. Runners will begin at Cottonwood Park in Bismarck, make their way across the Missouri River into Mandan and return to the capital city for the finish.
Proceeds from the race go toward different local charities each year, specifically those that give back to youth communities, so you can feel good about where your race entry fees are going.
Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
October 6, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This point-to-point course is flat, charming and a great opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Traveling through rural countryside and quiet north shore neighborhoods, the race finishes along the shores of Lake Michigan.
The race is capped at 3,500 runners, so early registration is encouraged.
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
October 6, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dubbed "The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America," the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is celebrating its 35th year in 2016. Runners will begin in downtown Minneapolis and make their way through the city and across the Mississippi River, finishing at the Capitol building in St. Paul. The course winds past five different lakes and along the Mississippi, so there's no shortage of spectacular views along the way.
Photo courtesy of Twin Cities In Motion.
October 13, 2019 in Boston, Ohio
Taking place entirely in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this race has quickly become one of Ohio's premiere marathons. This Boston qualifier runs on the historic Towpath Trail, showcasing breathtaking Midwest beauty between Akron and Cleveland.
All proceeds from the event go toward preserving, protecting and educating the public about local park systems.
Oregon Trail Run of Nebraska
October 26, 2019 in Hebron, Nebraska
What better way to experience the historic Oregon Trail by running along the route where the country's settlers traveled west? Not only does part of this race take place on the iconic Oregon Trail, runners will also cover the Mormon Trail and Pony Express route for an extra dose of history. The course is mostly flat, with just a few rolling hills, and takes you through canopies of cottonwood, oak, locust and ash trees.