Guide to major US marathons in October 2013

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Joel Fulleda

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If you are about to leave for the USA, in October, don't forget to pack a nice pair of comfortable sneakers and clothing suitable for an intense sporting undertaking, such as a marathon. In fact, this month numerous competitions are scheduled, scattered here and there in the largest cities: the ideal opportunity to jump into the crowd, share the competitive atmosphere and - at the same time - do some healthy sport.

Saturday 12 October, a Brooklyn – New York - the highly anticipated marathon promoted by Rock'n'Roll Marathon Series, the best and most famous organization in the industry, will be held.

The race will take place completely in Prospect Park: departure (7.30am) is at E. Lake Drive near Lincoln Road Playground and arrival at The Nethermead; both half and full marathon courses are included.

Finely organized in the details, it promises to be a high-level event and above all very scenographic, thanks to the suggestive setting of the park in the autumn guise. For those wishing to participate, there is the obligation to collect the racing material in the days preceding Manhattan (Metropolitan Pavilion 125 West 18th Street, 10 October from 12 to 19) or in Brooklyn (Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, 11 October from 12 to 17). Only for those who are absolutely unable on these two dates, there is the possibility to ask the organization for the withdrawal on the day of the race, at Prospect Park.

Sunday 13 October, Chicago hosts the annual and awaited edition of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon: great champions, as well as amateur sportsmen, from all over the USA and from over 100 nations around the world, will gather in Grant park. Event accessible to all, it provides for the first departures (7,20) reserved for athletes with disabilities, followed by - at 7,30 and 8,00 - those for the able-bodied. There will be awards for the athletes who will score the best times in relation to their age, as well as the possibility of competing in a team; for those of you who want, can join a Nike+ Pace Team where he will be supported and motivated during the race, which will make the race more cheerful and engaging.

For participants and not, from 9,00 to 15,30 the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 27th Mile Post-Race Party, with entertainment and lots of good music as background to the sporting event; the afternoon and evening will be spent full of fun in one of the five clubs participating in the 312 Participant Celebrations (Goose Island Brewpub in Clybourn and Wrigleyville; Lizzie McNeal's; Hard Rock Café Chicago; The Plaza at Park Grill).

On Sunday 27 October, the focus is on Washington DC, where the 38th edition of the Marine Corps Marathon, considered the fourth marathon in the nation and the ninth in the world in importance.

In the years following the Vietnam War, the US military experienced widespread unpopularity among public opinion which prompted Colonel Jim Fowler to launch the idea of ​​the marathon to increase the number of children entering the army and, in particular, to the Marines. The idea proved to be a success from the very beginning, registering 1.175 participants in the inaugural edition of 1976.

If you are in Washington, therefore, you cannot miss this exceptional event that ends at the Marine Corps War Memorial, a monument dedicated to the memory of the heroic American conquest on Mount Suribachi (February 23, 1945) when US soldiers raised the first flag in Japanese land.

Among the numerous collateral events, I would like to point out the cheerful marathon dedicated to smaller (ages 5 to 12) at the Pentagon North parking lot and the party following the October 27 marathon along Meade Street.

Just to give you an idea of ​​the importance of this event, consider that in 1994 it participated Oprah Winfrey, in 1997 the politician Al Gore, in 1998 the wife of current Vice President Joe Biden, Jill, and in 2010 TV chef Art Smith.

Also on Sunday 27, the tour of Rock’n’Roll Marathon Series touching Los Angeles. The competition includes the marathon and mini-marathon, both starting at 7:30 am from LA LIVE at Figueroa Street, while the finish is at LA LIVE at South Flower Street - West Olympic Boulevard.

The route winds along the streets of the city, with the affected areas closed to traffic: which makes the competition absolutely suggestive, but at the same time imposes strict deadlines to be respected by the runners, under penalty of exclusion from the race; the event promises to be excellent thanks to the experience of the organization that always knows how to give an extra touch to each proposed race.

So, if you are a marathon runner, you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to measure your endurance in one (or maybe more than one) of these prestigious races; if - on the other hand - you are not physically ready for these hardships, do not fear. Witnessing the tenacity and endurance of the athletes, as well as the enthusiasm of the supporters and the efficiency of the organizers will be a show that will be truly worth experiencing first hand.

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