Chicago Marathon, Chicago, IL
The course is flat and fast but the race is so large that the logistics of race weekend are very stressful.
Austin Half Marathon, Austin, TX
Run in February, the weather is almost always perfect. The half is run in conjunction with the marathon and ends at the half-way point – how cool is that?!
Park Forest Ten Miler, Park Forest, IL
Run on Labor Day, this is a fast ten mile course on paved paths through one of the Chicago-land area’s forest preserves.
Tussey Mountainback 50 Miler, Boalsburg, PA (State College area).
The race is run in October (although in 2007, it was moved to September because of a schedule problem). Take notice of the word mountain in the name of the race because this is a tough course. It runs through a forest preserve on dirt fire roads and the course is stunningly beautiful. The race is well-organized, too.