Which Fall Marathon Should You Run?

If you’re thinking about running a fall marathon, now is the time to start finalizing your plans.


I often get asked which marathon to run, and of course the answer differs depending on what your goals are for the race, and what type of marathon you’re looking for — big, small, downhill, what month, etc.


To help give you some ideas, I put together the following flowchart (because I love flowcharts).


Start with whether you have a time goal in mind and work your way through the questions to get some suggestions and ideas on races you should look at.


A couple of things to note:


  1. The cut-off between “small” and “large” marathon is 5,000 finishers in 2017
  2. I couldn’t find good options that met the criteria for big races in Sept or a fast, small, non-downhill marathon in Dec. If you have suggestions, let me know!


And on the subject of suggestions — that is all this is, my suggestions. I don’t mean to offend by leaving your favorite marathon off this list, but I would like to know what you recommend!


Check it out, see what suggestions you get, and get planning! It will be time to start training before you know it!


(Links to race websites are below the chart)



To download a PDF version of the chart, click here.


Marathon websites:


California International (CIM)






Marine Corp

New York City

Peak to Creek




Tunnel Light

Twin Cities




About Coach Carl
Coach Carl is a USA Track & Field Level 2 endurance coach who works with runners of all ability levels to reach their goals. He has been featured in Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and Competitor. For information on his coaching services, click here.