Every year, over half a million Americans take part in long distance running events such as Marathons and Half Marathons.
Only those that have trained and sufficiently built up their physical fitness will ever reach the finish line at the end of their 42.195 kilometer (26 miles) race.
If you are a long distance runner and are looking for your next marathon, then you will find there are hundreds of events taking place all across the 50 states of the USA.
Washington is one of the few states in America named after a president, and ironically it is located at the opposite end of the country to the capital city, Washington, D.C.
The terrain is mostly characterized by temperate forests and mountain regions in the Western areas, with agricultural landscapes in the Eastern portion of this state.
As such, there are lots of incredible sights for marathon runners to enjoy as they make their way to the finish line.
There are a wide range of exciting marathons held every year in Washington state. Events range from road races through major cities, to cross country treks across dirt trails.
As such, marathon runners of all skill levels and ages will be able to find a race that works for them.
So without further ado, here are some of the best marathons for runners to participate in that take place in Washington state.
Location: Orcas Island
Date: April 16th
If you are looking for a challenging course that offers panoramic views of the St Juan islands just off the coast of Washington state.
Runners will get the chance to explore Moran State Park, and run up to the summit of Mount Constitution.
While it is a difficult trek up to the top, it is completely worth it for the spectacular view you will have from the top.
As well as being mostly uphill, this race takes on forest trails, so it will help to have a bit of experience with cross-country running.
There are plenty of aid stations located along the way, offering snacks and drinks to keep you fueled during your run.
Date: April 16th
If you want to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon, you can do so by completing this event in under 3 hours.
This course takes place mostly on Asphalt trails that follow the Columbia River, offering a breathtaking view of the Cascade Mountains in the distance.
The loop around the river will give contestants a great chance to explore the town of Wenatchee.
All runners who take part in this event will receive a medal for crossing the finish line within the race’s time limit.
There is plenty of room for spectators at the start/finish line, as well as at Confluence park, so your friends and family can watch you as you run.
Location: Whidbey Island
Date: April 24th
The Whidbey Island marathon is another event that can be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon and takes runners all around the picturesque island of Whidbey.
This route will offer a variety of great scenery to enjoy while you run, from open farmland to coastal paths with a view of the sea.
Participants need to finish this race within the 6 hour and 15 minute time limit if they want to receive a commemorative medal celebrating their achievement at the end.
This Marathon is one of four races that make up the Salish Sea Road Race series.
Those looking to try and run a marathon in all 50 states will find this series a great way to knock four states in the North West of America off their list with one event.
Date: April 30th
Tacoma city is one of the most beautiful cities in Washington state, located in the Puget sound, with Mount Rainier looming over the urban landscape.
The city’s annual marathon starts at Narrows Bridge and goes all the way to the Dune Peninsula Park.
Along the way, runners can expect mostly flat roads with plenty of gorgeous sights along the way.
The Tacoma city marathon can be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon as long as contestants can beat it within half of the specified time limit.
The price of registration increases as it gets closer to the event, so if you want to take part, you can save some cash by booking in advance.
Location: Cle Elum
Date: May 1st
If you want to get out of the cities and enjoy a pleasant marathon through the countryside, then the Teanaway Trail Run is the race for you.
This course is set in the stunning Teanaway community forest where participants will climb up a moderate incline along old logging roads and forest trails.
At certain points along the route, runners will be able to peak into neighboring valleys and drink in the luscious scenery that surrounds Cle Elum.
Runners have 8 hours and 30 minutes to complete the race, with several aid stations scattered along the course providing drinks and snacks.
This is a great choice for marathon beginners who want a gentle race that will ease them into long distance running.
Date: May 15th
This race has a bit of something for everybody, with gentle paved roads through woodland making up most of the course.
Along the way, runners will run past Boston harbor, and Capitol campus as well as several other scenic locations on the outskirts of Olympia city.
The biggest challenge in this race are a few hills, and as such this is a great event for anybody looking to take on their first marathon.
If you complete this race within 3 hours, you can use this achievement to qualify for running in the next Boston Marathon.
This event has been voted by some as one of the ‘Best Marathons In The Northwest’.
Date: June 4th
The Green River marathon is a very low-key event that offers a friendly environment for people attempting their first long distance runs.
The course is mostly flat with only a few hills here and there, and is set along the beautiful rolling banks of the Green river.
There is no entry fee for this event, meaning you will only have to pay for your travel and accommodation if you want to take part.
Despite being a comparatively casual race, this marathon can be used to qualify for the Boston marathon.
Aid stations are located at the turn-arounds, offering food and water for the weary runners as they make their way to the finish line.
Location: North Bend
Date: June 12th
This is another Boston marathon qualifier that also makes a great experience for those looking to run their first marathon.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel marathon follows a mostly downhill course that starts at the Hyak Lot near Snoqualmie Pass and ends just east of North Bend.
Since it takes place in June, runners can expect sunny weather and some amazing scenery to enjoy as they make their way to the finish line.
Those who finish the race will receive a special t-shirt and medal to commemorate their achievement.
Spectators are allowed at the starting lines and two other locations along the main route, so that your friends and family can watch you take part in this exciting downhill race.
Date: July 30th
As the name suggests, this is a challenging race that mostly certainly won’t be suitable for the faint of heart.
The tiger peaks challenge will take contestants up to the peak of two mountains located near the town of Issaquah.
As they progress, runners will get to enjoy the gorgeous woodland of the Tiger Mountain state forest and push themselves to the limits of their physical fitness.
There are only two aid stations along the way, and it is recommended to take advantage of them to at least refill your water bottle when you can.
Any seasoned long distance runners looking for a race that will test their abilities should definitely consider registering for this awesome event.
Date: September 10th
This race takes place near a beautiful little town called Carnation, located just 35 minutes outside Seattle.
The course is mostly flat, and the event was inspired by an old comic, hence some peculiar traditions runners will witness along the way.
For a start, you will be running alongside a person wearing a giant Blerch costume, and all the aid stations are stocked with cake to keep you energized until you reach the finish line.
While it isn’t the most challenging course, this is a unique and quirky race that is worth participating in just to experience something a bit different from your usual long distance run.
These are just a few of the marathons and running events that take place every year in Washington state.
As you can see, there really is something for everybody, from gentle courses for first time marathon runners, to grueling mountain treks that will push you to your limits.
Next time you are planning to run a Marathon, why not visit the North West coast and try one of these amazing events in the state of Washington.