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Didn’t Get into the New York City Marathon? Here’s Four Excellent Races that You Can Run Instead

Some of these could even double as an escape from the cold New York November!

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After the New York Road Runners (NYRR) revealed that after receiving nearly 165,000 applications for the lottery, only 4% were offered entry into the race. While the odds of getting a positive email from NYRR yesterday were only 1 in 24, another 23 in 24, or 96%, of people are now left without a November race.

If the NYC Marathon was your big goal race for the year, but you weren’t one of the lucky ‘Congratulations’ email recipients, there’s no need to stress.

Now, these may not be as big as the NYC Marathon, but we’ve put together a list of four races taking place in November, which you may want to consider trying instead.

Didn’t Get into the New York City Marathon? Here’s Four Excellent Races that You Can Run Instead 1

BAA Half Marathon

If you weren’t lucky in the NYC Marathon lottery but still hope to race on American soil, the BAA Half Marathon could be the race for you.

The BAA Half Marathon, organized by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), is a prestigious road race historically held every November in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The race attracts thousands of participants from around the world, including elite runners, recreational athletes, and charity fundraisers.

The BAA Half Marathon course winds through scenic neighborhoods of Boston, offering runners picturesque views of the city’s landmarks, including the Charles River, Fenway Park, and the historic Emerald Necklace Park system. The race usually starts and finishes near Franklin Park, and its route showcases Boston’s rich history.

Participation in the BAA Half Marathon is highly sought after due to its well-organized logistics, professional race management, and the opportunity to run in one of the world’s most iconic cities. 

The event provides a challenging yet rewarding experience for runners of all levels, whether you’re aiming for a personal best time, hoping to raise funds for a charity you’re passionate about, or simply enjoying the camaraderie of fellow athletes.

A standout event in the world of distance running, the BAA Half Marathon is celebrated for its tradition and quality; it could be the perfect November race if you didn’t get lucky in the lottery.

Didn’t Get into the New York City Marathon? Here’s Four Excellent Races that You Can Run Instead 2

NN Zevenheuvelenloop

NN Zevenheuvelenloop, also known as the Seven Hills Run, is an annual road race held in Nijmegen, Netherlands. It is one of the largest and most popular running races in the Netherlands, attracting thousands of participants each year.

The event typically takes place in November and features both a 15-kilometer race and a shorter 7-kilometer race.

Although the Netherlands is known for being pancake flat, the NN Zevenheuvelenloop course is renowned for being a challenging route, which winds through the picturesque landscape of the Nijmegen region, including rolling hills and wooded areas. 

The highlight of the race is the seven hills that participants must conquer, hence the name Seven Hills Run.

The event has a festive atmosphere, with enthusiastic spectators lining the streets to cheer on the participants. Additionally, live music and entertainment along the course add to the energetic environment of the race.

The NN Zevenheuvelenloop has a rich history dating back to its beginning in 1984 and has since become a beloved tradition in the Dutch running community. 

It has developed a reputation for its well-organized logistics (among some of the most organized people in the world, the Dutch), professional race management, and the opportunity for runners to challenge themselves against a scenic yet demanding course.

If you’re keen to try something new and take a trip to the land of tulips, this could be the November race for you!

Didn’t Get into the New York City Marathon? Here’s Four Excellent Races that You Can Run Instead 3

EDP Porto Marathon

The EDP Porto Marathon is an annual marathon held in Porto, Portugal. It is one of the most significant marathons in Portugal and typically takes place in the fall, often in November. The marathon attracts thousands of participants from around the world, including elite athletes, seasoned runners, and amateurs.

The EDP Porto Marathon offers runners a scenic and varied course through the streets of Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, and its surrounding areas. Participants pass by iconic landmarks such as the Douro River, the historic Ribeira district, and the famous Dom Luís I Bridge, providing a nice distraction as you inch closer and closer to the ‘wall.’

In addition to the marathon distance, the event often includes shorter race options, such as a half marathon and a family run, so you can easily make a family trip out of it.

The EDP Porto Marathon is known for its vibrant atmosphere, with enthusiastic crowds lining the streets to cheer on the runners. Live music, entertainment, and cultural performances add to the festive feel of the event.

If you’re looking to escape the cold weather this November, consider the sunny EDP Porto Marathon, which could also serve as a much-needed getaway.

Didn’t Get into the New York City Marathon? Here’s Four Excellent Races that You Can Run Instead 4

Hangzhou Marathon

When someone asks where you’re headed for your November race, people likely wouldn’t expect you to say China. If you’ve got the travel bug, the Hangzhou Marathon could be for you.

The Hangzhou Marathon is an annual marathon held in Hangzhou, China. As one of the most prominent marathons in China, it typically takes place in November and attracts thousands of participants from across the country and around the world.

The marathon course showcases the beauty and cultural heritage of Hangzhou, a city renowned for its scenic West Lake, lush greenery, and historic landmarks. Runners navigate through the city streets, passing by iconic sights such as the West Lake, Lingyin Temple, and the Qiantang River, providing a visually stunning backdrop to the race.

The Hangzhou Marathon offers multiple race distances, including the full marathon, half marathon, and shorter races, such as the 10K and 5K, so if you’re not feeling up to a full marathon, you’ve still got an excuse to take a trip to China

The event is known for its enthusiastic spectators lining the route to cheer on the participants. Local residents, volunteers, and performers contribute to the vibrant experience, creating an environment you probably haven’t seen at any other race.

It has become a prestigious event in the Chinese running calendar, attracting elite athletes as well as recreational runners seeking a memorable race experience in one of China’s most picturesque cities.

So, if you’re looking for an excuse to travel somewhere less mainstream, the Hangzhou Marathon could be just that.

Although missing out on the NYC Marathon lottery is a bit of a disappointment, it could have opened the door to another race and even a trip to a new exotic destination.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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