Best Marathons in Florida


Runners all over the world decide, all year, in which marathons they will participate!  Sounds simple, you say?  Well, not so!  Lots to consider before one begins that 26.2 mile trek!  While the national media promotes the New York and Boston marathons, in Florida, the options come down to either the Walt Disney World Marathon or the ING Miami Marathon.   I am proud to say that when runners are asked to compare all US marathons, BOTH are ranked in the top 5!!  (PikiRank compares the differences between US marathons and then ranks them).  In fact, the Walt Disney World Marathon was number one and the ING Miami Marathon was number 4 (NY was number 2; Boston, number 5!!).


When perusing the options, a runner considers the many features and benefits of each marathon.  Among them are registration cost, number of racers, weather, and course properties.  While these Florida marathons are very different from each other, it seems that the Disney World Marathon scored better in registration cost, number of racers and weather, while the Miami Marathon scored better because of its course properties.  (according to PikiRank).

The ING Miami Marathon is an annual marathon, hosted by the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, Florida, as well as the county of Miami-Dade.  It has been one of the fastest-growing annual marathons in the country, attracting world-class distance runners.  Anyone can qualify, male or female, from any nation, as long as that person is an official Boston Marathon qualifier.


The race begins on Biscayne Boulevard, next to the American Airlines Arena (home of the Miami Heat).  The course goes along MacArthur Causeway, past the cruise ships docked at the Port of Miami, to South Beach.  Then the runners travel along the famous Ocean Drive, through the City of Miami Beach, to the Venetian Causeway and back to the City of Miami.  Here’s where the Miami Half Marathon finishes and the full marathon continues.  Runners continue through the financial district, Brickell, into Coconut Grove, out the Rickenbacker Causeway towards Key Biscayne, then downtown Miami to complete the 42.2 kilometers (26.2 mi) run at Bayfront Park.  Total prize money is roughly $10,750, and there have been at least 18,000 racers.


Disney’s marathon is also annual.  It’s hosted, naturally, by Walt Disney World®.  It has also been a fast growing marathon in the US, as well as the world.  Anyone can qualify, male or female, from any nation, as long as the runner can run a 15-minute mile.  The course takes you through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, starting at Epcot, through the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios before finishing back at Epcot.  With over 50,000 participants, this popular race offers no verifiable prize money but participants in this race agree that the access to previous race champs and the race workshops is priceless!


The upcoming ING Miami Marathon will be held on Sunday Jan 29, 2012.  For more information, go to  You can also call (305) 278-8668 or email to request material.


The upcoming Walt Disney World® Marathon will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2012.  For more information, go to  For hotel and travel information for marathon weekend, call 407-WDW-IRUN.


Whichever you choose, this is just another example to note.  There’s no need to leave the peninsula to enjoy world class events!!