7 Under-the-Radar Fall Marathons and Half Marathons to Mark on Your Calendar

Trenton Half Marathon

Trenton Half Marathon

Now that you’ve got your plans down for your fall 5Ks, I thought we should take a minute to discuss your marathon and half marathon schedule for the next few months. I won’t waste my breath on the Philadelphia Marathon (November 23rd) and Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (September 21st), since I’m assuming that if you don’t live under a rock, you already know these two big races are on the horizon. So I’m going to focus on upcoming half and full marathons you may not know about—ones that offer the same tough distances, but fewer crowds, good views and great courses.

Get your calendars ready, people.

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Update: Where to Find Donation Boxes for Your Race Medals

Philadelphia Pressroom

Runners in the Philadelphia Marathon | Photo via GPTMC

Just a quick update to our post a few weeks back about the newly rekindled Medals4Mettle program in Philly, which invites runners to donate finishers’ medals to be redistributed to sick kids at CHOP. When last we talked about it, you were instructed to mail your medals to Philly chapter leader Malinda Hill. But now she tells me she’s worked with a few local businesses to install donation boxes so you can avoid the mail costs.

Here’s where to find them:

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What to Do With Your Old Race Medals: Donate Them to Sick Kids


Malinda Hill’s race medals for Medals4Mettle.

I don’t know about you, but I have a drawer full of race medals that I haven’t looked at since I got them. They’re fun to grab at the finish line and pose with for a few photos, but after that, what are you really supposed to do with them?

I’d almost forgotten they were there, until I saw a tweet from Philly runner Malinda Hill earlier this week putting out the call to fellow runners in the area who might like to donate their medals to sick kids at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Turns out, Malinda is the newly minted (i.e. she took up the post just this week) Philadelphia chapter coordinator for a nonprofit called Medals4Mettle, which takes old race medals and redistributes them to kids and adults facing chronic and life threatening illness. “The idea is to celebrate their courage for fighting for their lives,” says Hill.

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Philly’s First-Ever Love Run Half Marathon on Pace to Sell Out

love runOrganizers for the Love Run Half Marathon on March 30th say their race is poised for a sell-out—an impressive accomplishment, considering this is a first-time race for Philly.

As of now, there are a handful of the 10,000 spots left, but spokesperson Kate Matheson says they’re on track to sell out in the next week or so. She says they’re also a contender to become the largest inaugural half marathon in the country in 2014. Go, Philly!

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PHOTOS: The Gayest Snaps from Boston’s Santa Speedo Run

Snow blanketed New England this weekend, but that didn’t deter the scantily clad runners taking part in Boston‘s 14th annual Santa Speedo Run on Saturday. The annual event raises funds for The Play Ball! Foundation, an org that works to “create and expand team sports opportunities for middle school age urban youth who are at a pivotal time of physical and emotional development,” and, as you can imagine, it’s gay, gay, gay. Here are a few of the homo-est photos I found searching various tags on Instagram. Enjoy!

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Philadelphia Marathon: Where to Drink (and Brunch) Near the Finish Line



Fact: There’s no reward for 26.2—or 13.1, for that matter—quite like an ice-cold beer. Marathon runners often swear off the stuff for weeks or months leading up to the event. It dehydrates. It slows recovery. But, gosh, does it taste good.

So if you’re jonesing for a brew after you cross the finish line on Sunday, here’s a list of watering holes (most serve brunch, too!), all of which  no more than a half mile from the finish line. You earned it.

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How to Fuel Up for the Philly Marathon Without Carb-Overloading

Honeygrow's noodle stir-fry strikes the right nutritional balance // Photograph by Amanda Jaffe

Honeygrow’s noodle stir-fry strikes the right nutritional balance // Photograph by Amanda Jaffe

The first time I ran a half marathon, I couldn’t wait for dinner the night before. I had visions of the mounds of pasta I would greedily consume in the name of carb-loading. Come race day, I felt the effects of my three heaping servings of pasta primavera: one decidedly uncomfortable—and wholly immovable—carb boulder in the pit of my stomach. Not exactly the jolt of energy I’d been hoping for.

“A lot of people have this misconception that pre-race fueling is all about what you eat the night before—sort of a Last Supper mentality,” says Juliet Burgh, vice president of Philly-based Unite Fitness and nutrition guru for Team Philly Race Training. But to carb-load effectively (i.e., to maximize your body’s glycogen energy stores) you should steadily increase your intake of complex carbs (think whole grains, not candy bars) over the course of a week.

And the day before the race, it’s not just dinner you should be worrying about: All your meals count. “Your body runs off carbs, then fat, then protein—in that order,” Burgh says. In other words, if you don’t have lots of reserves stored up, you’ll be running on fumes by mile five.

Avoid that fate by fueling up smarter. Here’s what Burgh suggests for your pre-race breakfast, lunch and dinner, to turbo-charge your marathon performance.

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