Our guide to 10 of the top fall marathons in Canada

As the vibrant fall season approaches, Canada gears up to host an array of exhilarating 42.2K races that promise both speed and breathtaking vistas. From the picturesque city of Victoria to the charming Charlottetown, here's a comprehensive guide to 10 of the best fall marathons happening across Canada in 2023.

Georgina Marathon: Georgina, ON, Sept. 10 

Located just an hour north of Toronto, the Georgina Marathon & Half-Marathon offers Athletics Canada certified courses. Enjoy the flat and fast routes along Lake Simcoe's south shore, complete with music, cheering stations, and stunning lake views. Make the most of the fall season by participating in these incredible marathons across Canada. Whether you're aiming for a personal best or simply want to soak in the scenic beauty, these races offer an unforgettable experience for every type of runner.

 Queen City Marathon: Regina, Sask, Sept. 8 
Lace up for an exhilarating adventure at the 2022 GMS 42.2K Run – an event that promises both scenic wonder and competitive prowess. With its Athletics Canada certification, this run serves as a qualifying opportunity for the prestigious Boston Marathon. Traverse some of Regina's most picturesque locales, including the stunning landscapes of Wascana Centre, the vibrant heart of downtown Regina, and the charming older neighborhoods that add character to the route. The course seamlessly blends asphalt roadways and pathways, ensuring a varied and dynamic experience. With a minimum age requirement of 16 on race day, this run beckons both seasoned runners and aspiring enthusiasts alike to join in the spirited journey.

 Muskoka Marathon: Bracebridge, ON, Sept. 30
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Muskoka Marathon, an event that seamlessly blends athleticism with festivity. Located in the charming town of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada, this event offers a range of distances, including 5 km, 10 km, 21.1 km, and the signature 42.195 km marathon. The course is paved and level, taking runners along the Muskoka River, where the vibrant colors of early October enhance the backdrop for both personal achievements and a fun run. Beyond the thrill of running, the Muskoka Marathon promises a fusion of pre and post-race celebrations, delectable event cuisine, live music, and, of course, the cherished post-race treat: BEER! Don't miss out on the chance to be part of an event fueled by passion, strong partnerships, and a profound love for running.

 The County Marathon, Picton, ON, Oct. 1
The County Marathon stands out with its unique approach, mirroring the distinct character of "the County" it represents. This event is fully sanctioned and takes place on a fully closed course, aligning with the standards of premier running events across the globe. From the convenience of race kit pick-up on one day to the triumphant finish on the next, the experience is designed to offer the best to participants. As "Canada's largest small-centre marathon," it prides itself on providing support tailored for first-time runners and those aiming for Boston's qualifying times.

 Marathon P'tit Train du Nord, Val-David, QC, Oct. 1
Embark on a truly exceptional journey with the Marathon P'tit Train du Nord – a point-to-point course that stands as a testament to nature's breathtaking beauty. A rarity in the marathon world, this event offers a unique blend of adventure and natural wonder. Whether you're a seasoned marathon veteran or a passionate amateur, this is THE fall rendezvous that promises an unforgettable 42-kilometer experience. With a captivating start in Val-David and an exhilarating finish in Saint-Jérôme, the course unfolds amid a stunning setting that's sure to leave a lasting impression. The route seamlessly marries the picturesque charm of the Laurentian forest with performance potential, boasting a remarkable 220-meter negative drop. As if that wasn't enough, the marathon takes place on the renowned P'tit Train du Nord bicycle path, elevating it to the pinnacle of nature marathon courses worldwide – a remarkable journey where oxygen, nature, and adventure converge along the trail blazed by pioneers.

 Royal Victoria Marathon: Victoria, BC, Oct 8
Immerse yourself in the vibrant essence of Victoria's neighborhoods, parks, and oceanfront boulevards through the exhilarating Royal Victoria Marathon. The undulating terrain and abundant aid stations guarantee an unforgettable journey. With a history spanning 41 years, this event has become a staple for both global adventurers and local enthusiasts. Featuring a full marathon, half marathon, 8K, and a 1.2K Kids Run, it offers an array of challenges and triumphs. As a Boston Marathon qualifier, participants are in for a truly rewarding experience. Founded by three passionate marathoners and Prairie Inn Harriers' founding members, the event draws over 10,000 competitors annually, making it a must-attend occasion for all.

 Valley Harvest Marathon: Dartmouth, NS, Oct. 8
The Valley Harvest Full Marathon promises an unforgettable 42.2KM odyssey through Nova Scotia's captivating Annapolis Valley, showcasing the awe-inspiring autumn harvest scenery. Participants will traverse charming towns, meander past apple orchards, and witness the serene beauty of horse farms against gently rolling terrain. This certified Boston Qualifier course offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that beckons adventurers to immerse themselves in the season's splendor. Notably, the marathon holds the esteemed distinction of being an Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group Qualifier, providing contenders in nine distinct age groups the chance to compete worldwide and earn ranking points for the coveted Abbott World Majors Marathon Wanda Age Group World Championships. This is a golden opportunity to run amid the enchanting fall landscape!

 Niagara Falls Marathon: Niagara Falls, ON,  Oct. 15
Experience the exhilarating marathon set against the breathtaking backdrop of the scenic Niagara Parkway. This road route starts and finishes in Canada, providing stunning views of the river and elegant mansions lining the way. With a Boston Qualifier status, participants can expect a challenging yet rewarding course, while water stations along the route keep runners refreshed. The event offers varying distances and a lively race-day atmosphere, making it a must for any passionate runner seeking both competition and camaraderie.

 Prince Edward Island Marathon: Charlottetown, PEI, Oct. 15 
Discover the allure of the annual Prince Edward Island Marathon – a Boston Qualifying marathon that winds through the charming city of Charlottetown, highlighting the island's picturesque coast and rolling hills. This unique destination race, designed to support the Canadian Mental Health Association, offers more than just a marathon. The event encompasses various categories, catering to every family member's running and walking preferences. Soak in the stunning scenery as the full marathon course starts at Brackley Beach Entrance, inside the National Park, and concludes in the heart of downtown Charlottetown. Don't miss out on this uniquely Maritime event with its pre-race festivities and Kids Spud Run, offering an experience that's both competitive and heartwarming.

 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Toronto, ON, Oct. 15
On Oct. 15, 2023, participants will partake in the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon (pictured at top) immersing themselves in a dynamic urban experience. The 42K race, commencing at 8:45 a.m. on University Ave., winds through downtown and waterfront locales, traversing various neighborhoods along the way. Color-coded start corrals, reflective of finish times, enhance organization. Safety measures permit Nordic Poles and baby strollers solely in the 5K event. Stay refreshed with hydration stations every 3 kilometers and GU Gels at specific points. Medical services managed by Odyssey Medical ensure a secure race, with the main medical tent positioned at the finish line on Queen and Bay. This event stands as the climax of the Canada Running Series, fostering community, innovation, and sport participation across different levels.



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