For women, the marathon is still a relatively new sport. Up until the 1970s women were actually prohibited from entering some races. Today you have many marathons to choose from around the world. Some target women specifically, while others have other features that make them top choices.
Nike Women's Marathon
The Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco is a great marathon for female runners, according to ESPN W. As of 2013 the event has approximately 22,000 participants of different abilities and is held in October. The weather doesn't usually get too warm in San Francisco, so it is pleasant to run. The first 10 miles do have some tough hills, so train accordingly. But there are great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific ocean to enjoy. Every athlete gets a technical runnnig t-shirt and a necklace, which make for nice perks.
26.2 With Donna: National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer
This women's only marathon is held in February in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. It was started by Donna Deegan, a breast cancer survivor, and is held each year in her hometown. You can really help make a difference in cancer research with this race as 100 percent of all raised funds are donated for patient care services through the Mayo Clinic and Donna Foundation. This course is along the scenic coast and two and a half miles of the race are on packed sand, giving your joints a break.
The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the most prestigious.This race is rated as one of the Top 10 marathons in the U.S. by America's Best. It is an experience for runners, especially for women. Females were not allowed to compete officially before 1972. Because of it's age it is a very well organized race, and one of the busiest. To compete at Boston you need to qualify by running marathon under a qualifying time on a certified course; the qualifying time varies by age and women's qualifying standards are more lax than the men's.
The Disney Marathon course takes you through all four Walt Disney World theme parks. Participants dress up and run past Disney characters with entertainment throughout the course. This marathon is held in January and has a weekend full of events for the whole family, culminating in the marathon at the end of the weekend. This race is fun, and participants are there to not only compete but enjoy the parks and the run itself.
- Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images