Virginia Beach, VA has a flat marathon in mid March. I am thinking about running it in2010 for my 3rd marathon. I would do it in 09 but I have planned the ING in Atlanta as my first. Here is the link.
Check out Disney World Marathon in Jan. It was my first and I had a blast. There was so much entertainment, I gave up my time goal midway through and enjoyed the scenery, taking pics along the way with characters, ect. The course was relativley flat, with a stretch of boring road at about mile 10+. I plan to do the Disney Princess half next year. Disney knows how to entertain!
Myrtle Beach marathon In February was my first in 2007. It was 26 degrees that day at start ,but normally in 50's at start. Very little incline. Maybe a block at the most. Nashville was a killer with alot of hills. The atmosphere was helpful in both with good crowd support. Reviews on how well run an event is handled can be important also. Get a good training plan to work off of to be accountable. If planning on running in a warm climate train in the same if possible. Living in South Carolina makes for extremes,but helped me train for Maui in Sept 08 by enduring summer heat prior to it . Enjoy the event! It will be your first so you will have your personal best regardless of your finish. I also worked as a funraiser with Leukemia team for additional incentive and accountability,
I agree with Lenz on this one. Go to www.marathonguide.com and check things out. Sounds like you have some pretty specific criteria to fill, and the "find a race" feature there will help. I think all of us marathoners are pretty partial to one race or another (Go! St. Louis Marathon is my favorite in early April, fairly flat, but on a Sunday) so you may get some skewed advice.
I am running the Olathe Marathon in Kansas this year on a Saturday in late March. If you aren't planning on making marathons a regular part of your life I would stick with a destination marathon. That is just me personally, though.
Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.
- Jumbo Elliot
Smile, it confuses people.
If you find yourself ready by this fall, there is the Indianapolis Marathon on Oct 17, which is a saturday. It is mostly flat with "...one challenging hill in the state park". It is relatively low-key, with a cap at 6,000 runners. It'll be my first.
I know you'd like to run in the spring but I have to suggest the ING Hartford Marathon. It is held in October during peak foliage!
The course has some rolling hills, nothing horrible and the expo and race are expertly managed. Your get a "Big Marathon"
without all the "Big Marathon" hassles. The weather is usually perfect, there are elite runners without it being dominated by them.
Connecticut in October is hard to beat! (It is held on a Saturday)
I agree! I just ran in the ING Hartford Marathon this past October 2008 - well, I actually ran the 1/2 marathon, b/c I really AM just a beginner! haha! It was a gorgeous day and a totally fun run for me. Mostly flat... you go by the river, through a park, lots of bands playing every so often...fun!
I know, maybe Hartford doesn't seem like the happening spot, but here are some pros:
Not too many elite runners - so you feel like this is really "Your race"
New England is just GORGEOUS that time of year.
after you run, you are in a city with SO much history and many Hartford attractions - Hartford Stage, Bushnell Theater, Mark Twain house, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum... New Haven/Yale only 1.25 hours away (IKEA? )
You could make it a long weekend with the Columbus Day holiday and visit a lot of local places, and even Boston & NYC are just 2 hours away (in opp. directions).
I also need only Saturday runs for religious reasons - so if you would plan to stay over into Sunday and also need recommendations for good churches or whatever in the area - replay back and I'll give you a few listings!
Good Luck!!! Here are some photos of the start and of the 10th mile...
I ran my first half in September at the Quadcities marathon. It was great! Good flat course with only a couple of minor hills in the beginning. The volunteers were amazing! The whole route was packed with people. You never had time to think about how your body felt because you were too busy watching all the people. Needless to say, I'm hooked. I ran another half in December for the Memphis St. Judes run and it wasn't as much fun. More hills than I was trained for. April 11th there is a brand new one in Champain Illinois which is not far from where I live. It doesn't get much flatter than Central Illinois! I'm aiming for a full then. Good luck!
qcmarathon.org and illinoismarathon.com
A good starter marathon is any marathon in Utah... April hosts the Salt Lake City marathon, and Ogden has the Zions Bank marathon. I ran both of those last year, as did many of my fellow LDS-ers. So look at Utah and some of the marathons in Arizona for a Saturday run. Good luck!
If you are interested in an international event, the Dublin Marathon is run on a Monday (bank holiday), 26 Oct 2009. Relatively flat and easy course, very runner friendly, not too crowded, beautiful city.
This is in response to "Patriciabettis" who said to run the NYC marathon because it is relatively flat. What ???????? I've run it once and my wife has run it twice and it is anything but flat . My wife informs me that those "little " bridges and hills amount to about 6 miles of the marathon. She has run six marathons and her favorite "flat" marathon was Chicago. We both ran the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa and it is pancake flat, but the weather is unpredictable ( it went up to 84 deg. when we ran it)
I ran the Route 66 half marathon last year. It is a really hilly course but it was a lot of fun. I plan on running my first full marathon there this year. They also have a nice "My first marathon " medal for all first time marathoners.
I didn't see this thread until today so it's probably too late, but I have a good suggestion for you. The Bayshore marathon is on Saturday May 23, 2009 in Traverse City, Michigan. It's as flat as can be, the minimum elevation is 582 feet and the maximum is 627 feet. There are no bridges. It's relatively small (max 1,700 runners) but very well organized, with aid stations every two miles. It's also gorgeous, running along a beautiful bay off of Lake Michigan the whole way. Also, it runs along the eastern shore of a 15 mile peninsula that juts into the bay north to south, so there is virtually no wind (any wind is blocked by the hills on the runner's west). I had run six marathons before the Bayshore and my times were all in the 3:50-3:55 range. I did the Bayshore in 3:40 and qualified for Boston.
Texas Marathon at Kingwood near Houston is run/walked on New Year's Day is a great "starter" marathon. Beautiful weather, no hills, nice scenery, casual environment, very friendly organization and runners/walkers, no time limit, terrific medals.