Marathon Running for Beginners

The 10 Best Beginner Marathons

These courses are fun, flat, and friendly to first-timers

Love Your First Marathon

The 10 Best Beginner Marathons // Happy women hugging and finishing marathon © Getty

Image: Getty

No doubt about it, marathon mania is in the air. Every year thousands of runners lace up their sneakers to run 26.2 miles—467,000 people crossed the finish line in 2009 alone—and it looks like 2010 will be no exception. It’s just enough to inspire you to sign up for one, even if you don’t know where to start.

The 8-week beginning runner's training program

A marathon may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle to the finish. Good beginner races are flat, well-organized, cool in temperature, and, of course, a ton of fun. We handpicked the ten best marathons for the newbie runner. So get set—these events have stellar crowd support, stunning views, and extra perks that’ll make the miles fly by.