Here they are:
1. Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusetts
I earned the qualification and will run it in 2007. The course is point-to point from Hopkinton to Boston and is lined with spectators. Also, full of runners, it's my kind of race. One of the five world marathon majors.
2. Athens Classic Marathon , Athens, Greece
Original course that goes from the city of Marathon to the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens. Historic.
At least one of the scenic downhill marathons:
3. Top of Utah Marathon, Logan, Utah
"The course starts at Hardware Ranch Elk Refuge, and travels down Blacksmith Fork Canyon and on into downtown Logan. The course drops approximately 1045 ft. over the 26 miles but is only a 1% to 2% grade and won't beat up your legs."
4. Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon, Redwood City, California
This marathon is in a remote, pretty part of California with meadows, canyons, trees, and rivers. I wish I can steal the pictures from their website and show them here. Not only is the course mildly downhill, the surface is packed dirt and fine gravel, therefore soft and knee- and ankle-friendly. By the time I get around to doing this, the race will be bigger.
5. Bolder Boulder 10K, Boulder, Colorado
40,000+ runners for a 10K. 73 waves. Scenic course. Entertainment. Crowds. Hills. Memorial Day = no work for me. Plus, I've never been to Colorado or run in real altitude.
6. Hood to Coast Relay, Oregon
The relay is 197 miles long from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean. 8-12 people per team run 36 legs of the relay. Over 12,000 runners. Since we don't live on the left coast, doing this relay would take a lot of planning. I will wait until I grow up.
7. A Turkey Trot
A thanksgiving tradition for runners, but I've never done it. There's one in every city, it seems. Turkey Trots are casual 3-5 mile races held on Thanksgiving day. They give runners an excuse to get away from their families or to start cooking late, and presumably to work off some calories before the moment of truth - when tongue meets stuffing.
Now, for the honorable mentions, these are races I have done that I think everyone should do:
- New York City Marathon
- Penn Relays
- Broad Street Run
- A 24 hour relay on the track