I didn’t want to register for any 2022 races until after I the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend because I did the Dopey Challenge and was worried that I’d get injured or burnt out. I figured I’d want to take a break after running a 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon on consecutive days! Turned out – I mainly wanted to catch up on sleep (ahem… 2:30am wake up calls for crazy early start lines).
But… I did hold off a bit to make sure I was of sound mind and body before planning my training and races for this year. I think that was a smart choice for my physical and mental health. And now it’s time to decide if I want to run any ‘big city’ marathons this year because they often sell out fast! (Some of them are already closed for the year.)
And one of the races I’ve always thought about doing isn’t a ‘big city’ race, but is very popular and on many runners’ ‘Bucket List Marathons’ – Big Sur. I looked it up last week and realized it was sold out. So, that inspired this list of the most popular full marathons in the US with their race dates and registration deadlines.
Some of them already sold out for this year, but put a reminder in your calendar to register for 2023 when it opens. If a race was sold out for this year they don’t have the next year’s exact registration period listed yet, but I put an estimate based on previous registration times.
What is a Marathon Lottery Registration?
Many Major Marathons have a lottery registration = you register during the open time period. Then, the race organization picks at random a set number of runners that ‘get in’ to run the race. This is based on chance/luck and you’re not guaranteed a spot. They notify you either way and then you can starting training and planning your race weekend.
If you don’t get picked for the major marathon you can often find other races held that same weekend. (So, you can still run a marathon, just not your #1 choice.)
Races that do this lottery for entry include the NYC Marathon and Chicago Marathon.
This list of the biggest marathon races in the United States is in order of the race date. The day you register for the race and where to register is under the name of the run. There are a few races listed where REGISTRATION OPENS SOON. So, take note and put a reminder in your calendar if you’re hoping to run one of these. Good luck!!
Los Angeles Marathon – March 20, 2022
- Registration: The race is only a few weeks away, but there are still open spots. The LA Marathon doesn’t usually sell out, but race registration may close before race day.
- LA Marathon Race Registration Info
Boston Marathon – April 18, 2022
- Registration: Usually opens up in September – but it is available in phases based on qualifying times.
- Registration Requirements: Runners must qualify to run the Boston Marathon with a time standard. Then, register for the race on the date allowed (runners with the fastest times get to register on day 1, next group on day 2… until it’s sold out). So – running a qualifying time doesn’t mean you are guaranteed entry. If you run the time standard – register as soon as you are allowed. This race sells out.
- There are also charity spots and opportunities for sponsored runners. See the race website for information.
- Boston Marathon Race Registration Info
Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon – June 5, 2022
Chicago Marathon – October 9, 2022
- Registration: General registration for the Chicago Marathon 2022 is closed. Registration usually opens mid-October of the previous year (so you can sign up for next year’s race in October). It is a lottery – so not everyone who signs up is guaranteed a spot.
- Time qualify: You can get a guaranteed entry to the Chicago Marathon if you run a qualifying time. You still must register before the deadline for this opportunity. It’s usually in line with the general registration.
- Chicago Marathon Race Registration Info
Marine Corps Marathon – October 30, 2022
New York City Marathon – November 6, 2022
- Registration: March 9-23 Lottery Applications are open in that time frame. (There are guaranteed entry options if you time qualify OR complete the NYRR requirements for local runners.)
- Time qualify: You can get a guaranteed entry to the NYC Marathon if you run a qualifying time. You still have to apply during the open registration period and submit proof of time. Note: Time qualifications change and seem to be getting faster every few years. I’ll share the current times below, but double check the current info if you’re aiming time qualify
- NYC Marathon Race Registration Information
Philadelphia Marathon – November 20, 2022
Big Sur Marathon – April 24, 2022
- Registration: General Registration for the 2023 race will open in August 2022 (according to their website ‘late summer’ – no specific date is listed yet). This race sells out every year. It’s a smaller field than a lot of the big city races, so sign up as soon as registration opens if you want to run this one.
- Big Sur International Marathon Race and Registration Info
California International Marathon – December 4, 2022
Honolulu Marathon – December 11, 2022
Walt Disney World Marathon – January 8, 2023
- Registration: General Registration opens April 19, 2022
- This is one of the few big marathons that also offers a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon race (on the days before the Full Marathon). There are also 2 challenge options to run the Half & Full (called the Goofy’s Race and a Half) or to run ALL the RACES (called the Dopey Challenge).
- All the race distances often sell out quickly so it’s important to register as soon as it opens. The challenges didn’t sell out as quickly for the 2022 races (I registered for the Dopey Challenge several days after it opened).
- WDW Marathon Run Disney Registration Information
Run Disney Half Marathon, 5K and 10K Races – Various Dates
The Run Disney Race Events held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL often sell out on or near the registration open dates. You can find each event listed with it’s deadline here – Run Disney Events and Sign Up Info
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