LOCATION: St. George, Utah
DATE: October 5
In theory, there’s no faster 26.2-mile race in the U.S. than the St. George Marathon, which loses 2,600 feet in elevation from start to finish, as it winds down the Pine Valley Mountains into the town of St. George. But downhill running poses rigors of its own on your quads and knees. If you downhill train appropriately, though, and the conditions are right on race day, expect a personal best time here. One challenge: more than 10,000 runners enter the lottery for 7,400 race bibs.