Plenty of fall marathons to choose from in Texas.

Despite the continued oppressive heat, central Texas runners are already gearing up for fall marathons. Realistically, a later fall marathon is likely a better choice in Texas as 20-plus mile long training runs in the heat are very depleting. And there are more marathons to choose from in our state than you may think. Let’s take a look at what 26.2 races lie ahead.

Marathon2Marathon (26.2 miles north of Marathon on Hwy 385) on October 22 at 7:30 a.m. This race has several unique distinctions. For starters, how many marathons finish in a town called Marathon? It also has the claim of being the highest elevation marathon in Texas. But don’t let that scare you. It actually has a net downhill elevation. This point-to-point Boston Marathon qualifier runs through the wide-open scenic landscapes of Big Bend.

The Fort Worth Marathon, on November 13, 7:00 a.m. at the Panther Island Pavilion. Not to be confused with the Cowtown Marathon, this race is somewhat low-key. The course is two laps beginning and ending at Panther Island Pavilion heading southwest along the Trinity Trails to Acme Brick.

Shiner Beer Run, November 19, at 7:00 a.m. at the Spoetzl Brewery In Shriner. Who doesn’t want to run a marathon with the word “beer” in its name? The course has been described as running on the gently rolling hills around Shiner. It’s a hilly but scenic route through the Texas countryside that winds through Green Dickson park and includes a mile of loose gravel, offering participants “a true Texas country road experience.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon, December 4 (check race website for start time and location) is part of the well-established Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series around the country and is one of the bigger Texas marathons. Like the original San Antonio marathon of years past, the course takes runners by the city’s most iconic landmarks, in this case, including the Tower of Americas, River Walk, Torch of Friendship and much more. James Madison  won the race last year in 2:37:34, while  Ildi Gaal topped the women’s field in 2:50:46.

Squeeze in one more before the new year with the BCS Marathon on December 13, 7:00 a.m. at Wolf Pen Creek Park. Longtime Austin runners will remember a 10K race in Bryan College Station called the Straight Shot, known for its fast course. The marathon has a similar claim to fame. The flat and fast course runs through shady neighborhoods, several golf courses, and “enough crowd support to help you get to the finish for your first time or your fastest time.” Note: there are a few rolling hills miles 11 – 13.

Upcoming Races: Beat the Heat 5K Saturday, August 27 at 7:30 a.m. at Mary Kyle Hartson Park in Kyle. Saturday, September 3 at 8:00 a.m. the Oatmeal Festival 3.3 mile RUN for your OATS In downtown Bertram. Friday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m., the Zilker Relays, Zilker Park, Austin.