- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Marathon Pub; 2 edition (November 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965518728
- ISBN-13: 978-0965518727
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,543,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ultimate Guide to Marathons 2nd Edition
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So you've run the New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco marathons. Now what? Or maybe you're a first-time marathoner with certain prerequisites, such as beautiful scenery, mild temperatures, uplifting crowds, and a fast course. The Ultimate Marathon Guide gets up-close and personal with 100 top destination and 80 smaller, local races that will help you choose your next--or first--marathon. Harriers will find details ranging from course records to entry fees to landmarks you'll encounter en route such as "the country's oldest lighthouse" (Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon). Course highlights allow readers to quickly determine the appropriateness of the event. For instance, a first-time marathoner looking for beautiful scenery may be drawn to the Leadville Mosquito Marathon based on its "Course Beauty" score of 9 out of 10. However, the novice should be wary: "This mosquito bites! Actually, mosquitoes are the least of your concerns at the Leadville Mosquito Marathon, named for a recurring obstacle on the course--Mosquito Pass. Quite simply the toughest marathon in North America, Mosquito runs above 11,000 feet for 80% of the race." Ouch! The guide concludes with bar graphs showing per mile elevation gains and losses, preparing the budding marathoner for those flat and fast stretches as well as the mid-course Mt. Everest climb. --Cate Bick --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I really do hope the authors get someone to publish an update, because it was (as the authors rightfully state) the ultimate guide back in 1997 - 1999. A shame.
This book ranks 110 marathons from across the United States and bases the rankings on such categories as fan support, race organization, course beauty, course difficulty, and how appropriate the race is for a first time marathon runner. The description of each of the 110 marathons includes sections on the history of the race, the race course itself, what sort of awards and accommodations there are, and other details about the race. This is excellent information. While every major marathon in the country is included in these rankings (as of 1998), there are also quite a few small marathons that make the list. As a Minnesotan I was pleased to see that all four Minnesota Marathons were included (Twin Cities, Grandma's, Med City, Walker North Country) and was surprised by Med City and Walker North Country because these are small marathons. W.N.C. in particular is a trail marathon and trail races are included and ranked right along with the big ones like Boston and New York City.
There is also a listing of approximately another 50 marathons that are typically smaller than the ones included in the ranking, and are "destination marathons", but as one that I recognized (Marathon to Marathon in Iowa) is not really a destination most people would want to go to, my guess is that these are just marathons that the authors were not able to fit into their ranking and that they ran out of time to get them included. I may be wrong about that, though. Either way, it is nice to see such a listing of marathons. I am aware of other regional marathons that were not included, but I do not know when these marathons were founded.
While the information provided in this book is several years out of date, the rankings and descriptions can be used as a guide to see if this is a marathon you are interested in running. If so, I would then recommend looking online at the race's website or perhaps finding another online marathon guide to see if there are any changes or significant drops in runner participation. But this book can be used as an excellent guide to get marathon ideas and if most major marathons are not changing their course or management you can expect that the rankings would stay fairly consistent overall. That makes me happy because Minnesota had the number 2 (Twin Cities, behind only Big Sur) and the number 13 (Grandma's) marathons according to these rankings.
This book has been the backbone of inspiration for me. I keep it by my bedside and read it constantly. I have numerous pages folded down of marathons I would never have known of, but now plan on running, thanks to this book.
The authors have done an incredible job detailing so many marathons - you absolutely will not be disappointed if you purchase this book!!!