13 Long-Distance Fall Races That You Can Still Register to Run
Here are our favorite Philly-area runs still taking sign-ups this season.
Whether you’re a lifelong runner looking to get back to it or a newbie hoping to put yourself to the test, there’s a race for you on the calendar in the coming months — from full-on marathons to 10Ks and 10-milers. Haven’t registered yet? No fear! Below is a list of Philly-area long-distance races happening this fall that you still have time to register for. Happy training!
October 22nd and 23rd
The third oldest continuing marathon in the United States, the AmeriHealth New Jersey Atlantic City Marathon has you pass through the shore towns of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport and see the signature boardwalk casinos, ice cream shops, and arcades. Register for the October marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K by October 9th to secure your spot.
This year, the Bucks County Marathon weekend — which is actually a one-day event — takes place on November 13th. There’ll be out-and-back full and half marathons that see you through Washington Crossing Historic Park and New Hope, and along the Delaware Canal. Registration for both races ends on August 19th.
Boston Marathon qualifiers Chasing the Unicorn Marathon and Half Marathon follow the same course as the November Bucks County races (above). The full marathon course time is limited to five hours and 10 minutes, while the half is limited to three hours and 15 minutes. Registration for both ends on race day, September 11th.
The Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Half Marathon is not just a race, it’s a real-life history lesson. This 13.1-mile trail along the Lehigh River starts at Riverview Park in Palmerton and follows the former Lehigh Valley Railroad, an 1800s rail line which saw its height in America’s Gilded Age. As you run, pass through lush autumn forests, hear freshwater creeks, and spot stacks of old railroad timbers. The marathon is following a new, totally flat route this year — meaning you don’t have to deal with any hills. Registration ends October 31st.
Long ago, mule drivers, or “muleskinners” would walk beside their animals as they traveled up and down the Delaware River, distributing important supplies across the region. Muleskinners preferred mules to horses because mules (just like marathon runners) paced themselves in order to not get overheated and overtired. Today, the Muleskinner Endurance races — a marathon, a 50-mile race, and a 50-kilometer race — take runners through that same beautiful Delaware River valley. This out-and-back course follows in the footsteps of Bucks County history right as the leaves start to change. Registration ends September 19th.
Ocean City, New Jersey is welcoming runners for its half marathon, 5K, and non-competitive 10-mile run/walk this October. The races pass through Ocean City’s serene streets, downtown business district, beaches and boardwalk. Register online for any of the three until 4 p.m. on September 28th or in-person at the pre-packet pick-up location on September 30th or October 1st. Note: Race-day registration is only allowed for the 5K.
Think you can go the distance? This September, the historic Philadelphia Distance Run returns. After its start in 1978, the race quickly became a favorite for record-breaking runners. After a stint under the direction of the Rock ‘n’ Roll race team, local groups relaunched the race last year, hoping to bring its energy and history back into the Philly running scene. Runners can register for the half marathon or 5K until September 17th.
November 19th and 20th
The official Philadelphia Marathon started as a small, local race with 1,500 participants back in 1994. Today, it’s one of the top 10 marathons in the nation with a lively urban course and thousands of participants. Join some of the nation’s top runners as you wave hello to the rowhomes of Rittenhouse, traverse the Schuylkill, and channel Rocky at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the full marathon, half marathon, or 8K. Registration closes on November 7th.
Okay, we know this isn’t a fall race, but we couldn’t leave out fan-favorite The Philly 10K. Back for its ninth year at the end of this month, the 6.2-miler begins at 8th and South streets and sees you through parts of South Philly like Passyunk Square and Hawthorne. Once you’ve crossed the finish line, enjoy a complimentary beer or non-alcoholic brew. Registration ends August 25th.
The Pocono Mountains Marathon Race Festival is located at Promised Land State Park in Greentown. While the park is about 2.5 hours away from Center City by car, it’s certainly worth the drive, especially as the full marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K will take runners through oak, maple, and hemlock trees, two lakes, bubbling streams, and the vibrant colors of fall in the mountains. There will be day-of registration, barring the event does not sell out.
This very-Philly race consists of three separate challenges: a 5K, a 10-miler, and a half marathon. Each begins and ends in front of the Art Museum, but channeling your inner Rocky Balboa by going up the iconic steps is totally your choice. Registration ends on November 11th.
Run the Bridge is a great run with an even better mission. This 10K starts at the base of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the New Jersey side, crosses the Bridge, doubles back, and takes runners through the waterfront area in Camden. All proceeds go to supporting the Larc School, a New Jersey nonprofit that serves children living with disabilities. Registration ends October 23rd.
The Run the Vineyards Half Marathon is like no other race in the region. Run through Blue Cork Winery and Vineyard, an Italian- and Greek-owned vineyard in the heart of South Jersey. Afterwards, sip a complimentary glass of wine and enjoy fare from food trucks. Day-of registration is an option, but the race is capped at 400 participants
This guide has been updated since originally posting in 2021, and includes additional reporting by Laura Brzyski.