What Makes for a Good Marathon?

What Makes for a Good Marathon?

I’d say for a handcyclist there are a few components that make a marathon great:

  • Location:  The key is to find a marathon that you are able to get to and preferably one that is scenic.  The Long Beach International Marathon is one of my favorites because it is relatively close to where I live and you get to race alongside the Pacific Ocean.
  • Well Supported:  When a community turns out to support their marathon, it really makes a difference.  Having volunteers to assist the athletes through the packet pickup process, make sure everything is ready before the race, and providing nourishment and support after the race is paramount.  Having a well-supported race really can make the difference between a race that is very enjoyable and one that is not.  The St. George Marathon is one of the most well supported marathons I’ve ever been a part of and the community shows up in droves.
  • Great Course:  Some marathons are not very handcycle friendly because they have tight turns that require a 3-10 point turn.  That really takes away from the racing.  Road quality is also important because bad roads deplete speed and shake you and the bike to pieces…not good for either.  The Mt. Charleston Marathon was one of my favorites.  It was downhill, had great roads, what straight, and fast.
  • Cool Medals:  I had to say it….Everyone likes a high quality medal.  It’s a great way to memorialize your accomplishment.  The Los Angeles Marathon has probably the best medals of all of the marathons I’ve participated in.