Lace up your running shoes for the Crossroads of America. From the state capitol, to the southern hills, to the pancake-flat north, there’s a marathon for everyone in Indiana.
Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Located in the state’s capitol and largest city, the Monumental Marathon is one of the 20 largest marathons in the nation and has sold out in recent years, so be prepared to register quickly or wait until the next year. The race is a 501(c) 3 non profit and has donated more than $675,000 to public education and helping educate Indianapolis youth on the benefits of healthy living. Click here to learn more.
According to the marathon, the course is nationally recognized as flat and fast with a few small hills. Runners will go past several Indy landmarks and buildings, including the State Capitol, Lucas Oil Stadium, Circle Center Mall, Butler University, Indianapolis Museum of Art and more.
“Fast, flat, well organized marathon. Big enough yet still has a small race feel. Great place to get a BQ. Course is great but some of the roads need to be paved and fixed in spots. Good crowd support. Gear check, start corrals, expo, parking, pre and post race activities were all extremely fluid and easy. Nice t-shirt, hat, and medal as well.” — W.S., Marathonguide.com Review
“The finishers area was awesome — tons of FREE Jimmy Johns, water and gatorade as soon as you cross the line, CHOCOLATE MILK!, Chili, massages, a free stocking hat, and instead of a heat sheet they gave out those disposable windproof white hooded zip up jackets. My legs were totally smoked and my body temp started falling quickly, so I unfortunately couldn’t get in on the massages or chili. But I was damn satisfied with all the food and amenities at the end.” — Tim, BibRave.com Review
Tecumseh Trail Marathon – Bloomington
Held in the Morgon-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests, the Tecumseh Trail Marathon is a challenging point-to-point course in the hills of southern Indiana. Highlights include a post-race meal of hot soups, bread, fruit and more, a sweatshirt provided to each runner registered by October 21, and a shuttle to the start line in the Yellowwood Lake area. Click here for more information.
The race says a major portion of the 40-mile Tecumseh Trail is used for the course, with the trail surface varying from narrow forest trail to gravel, dirt and paved roads. The trail is groomed for safety by the Hoosiers Hikers Council before the race. It’s a hilly course, with a total ascent of approximately 3,500 feet. Aid stations are every 2-3 miles and offer water, Gatorade and snacks.
“I’ve run this race twice. Once in 18 degree temps with an inch of snow and this year in upper 50s and a muddy trail. The weather keeps it interesting, but the race itself is truly one of the hardest (yet most rewarding) things you can put yourself through in 26.2 miles.” — J.M., Marathonguide.com Review
“I love this marathon: the trail, the aid stations, the glitches, the warnings, the weather, the twisted ankles, the wet feet, the muddy legs, the scenery, the other runners and, oh yes, the soup at the end. Do it.” — J.E., Marathonguide.com Review
Mill Race Marathon – Columbus
Having donated more than $240,000 to various charities in its first three years, the Mill Race Marathon benefits different organizations dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles in Columbus. The marathon is also known for its giveaways — marathoners and half marathoners who cross the finish line are entered for a chance to win a truck.
Former racers say the course is fairly flat and even passes through the Columbus Municipal Airport tarmac. A full map detailing the whole course is available on the website.
“So much community support throughout the race. The course was fun with lots of turns and jogs through the quaint downtown neighborhoods; never boring! The finish line was incredible. I certainly felt the love! I had a medal around my neck, my chip removed, a banana in one hand and a water in the other before I even caught my breath! The whole day was exhilarating… a real goose bump inducing experience!” — Naomi, Facebook.com Review
“The race direction was great and I even qualified for Boston. I think this is one of the fastest and flattest courses in the Midwest. Water stops and fan support were perfect, and the Expo and information was very professional and well organized.” — D.V., Marathonguide.com Review
Honest Abe Trail Marathon – Lincoln City
The name comes from the location of this trail marathon — Lincoln State Park, just west of Santa Claus, Indiana. The race is environmentally friendly, as the race organizers believe that environmental awareness is one of the most important issues facing the world today. As such, the race no longer provides a t-shirt option for runners and does not provide discounted parking, to encourage carpooling. More information about the race and its environmental efforts is available on its website.
Marathoners will run a clockwise loop that encircles the park three times. Consisting primarily of double-track trails with a little bit of gravel and a few road crossings along the way, the route will take runners through a nice wooded tour of the park. Race organizers say for a trail race it is a “fast and forgiving course,” with mostly rolling hills and a couple notable climbs.
Image Source: Honest Abe Trail Run Marathon
“The race director and his volunteers are tops. I love that the race starts and finishes just steps from your car. The race starts with a lap around a large parking lot to ‘seed’ the racers as they start the 3 loops around the trail. Be prepared to run most of the race out of sight of other runners. There are a few major hills too. Overall a great experience.” — G.R., Marathonguide.com Review
“The course was marked well. There was only one aid stop but it provided essential items. Also, since it was a three loop course, it was possible to make your own provisions at the end of the loop. The race was within Lincoln State Park and it is beautiful. The trail is double wide. This plus the relatively small number of runners makes passing no problem.” — C.L., Marathonguide.com Review
Circular Logic Marathon – West Lafayette
Unlike most marathons, running the full 26 miles is up to you. The event is held on a one-mile course around a scenic, 62-acre park in West Lafayette and participants can run as many loops as they like. Pricing for this marathon is also one of the lowest, with opening registration costing just $26.20. To be environmentally conscious, marathoners can choose to pay for a medal or t-shirt, so orders don’t go to waste. Free hi-res photos are also included. Learn more about the Circular Logic Marathon here.
The race is held in Cumberland Park on the West Lafayette Trail System. Since it’s held in a public park, the course is open to non-racers on race day. Runners say the one-mile loop is completely flat. The course is certified accurate by USA Track & Field.
“It was a surprisingly enjoyable course. You are always with other runners and crowd support. I really liked how you were given your pace for each mile loop. Surprisingly, it was not boring to run 1 mile loops. In fact, it helped you plan your strategies.” — D.M., Marathonguide.com Review
“This is my new favorite race. I’m a back-of-the-packer and find the back half of a marathon an isolated effort. Not so at CLM. You are surrounded by fellow marathoners all day, sharing in the run together. And the energy of the volunteers and spectators cheering you on with each lap is energizing. Also, the ‘litter-free’ aid station is a wonderful touch. CLM is a gem among marathons, unique in many ways, well organized and just an absolute blast!” — J.W., Marathonguide.com Review
Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon – Goshen
Runners have their choice of running this indoor marathon on Saturday morning, Saturday evening, or very early Sunday morning. Each race is only open to the first 35 registered runners. Held on the Roman Gingerich Rec/Fitness Center’s upstairs running track, there are tables set up in each corner where runners can place their own water bottles, energy packets and food.
Image Source: Good of Goshen
Marathoners will run 204 laps on the 208-meter running track. Chip timing is used to keep track of the laps completed and there will be a digital display clock at the start/finish line. Course direction changes every 30 minutes.
“The top-end, new running surface on the four lane, 208 meter track was very easy on the feet. The race was very well organized by experienced runners. The field size of only 30 runners was just right…more and the traffic would have been difficult with all the passing going on. The lap counting was superbly done…no way any sane human could keep track of his/her own laps.” — J.E., Marathonguide.com Review
“This is a well run race, organized and staffed by people who run and who know how to do it right. No hassle registration pickup on the mornings of each race; favorable ‘weather’ conditions; a good running surface; a great variety/mix of music with something for everyone … a supportive group of fellow runners; a supportive (but small) group of spectators and a race director who responds to emails and enjoys the races as much as the rest of the field.” — F.L., Marathonguide.com Review
Veterans Marathon – Columbia City
Held in honor of those who have served our nation, the marathon holds a moment of silence, plays the national anthem and also shoots a cannon prior to the start. Medals are in the shape of Indiana and every year they choose a different branch of service to represent on it. Click here for more information.
The race takes marathoners from the Whitley County Courthouse, through Columbia City and out into the countryside for two 13.1-mile loops. While the course is mostly flat, out in the farmland the wind can be a factor. Runners can view the course here.
Image Source: Veterans Marathon’s Facebook Page
“This is a small town race that takes you out into the countryside. Whitley county is blessed with long rolling hills, making for a challenging course. The coordinators did an excellent job with the aid stations, and police and fire were present for traffic control. Well marked with signs and painted arrows, you will not get lost here. I recommend this for anyone looking for a challenging run.” — Bob, BibRave.com Review
“The new company running this marathon did a great job. Plenty of parking, a race start that was on time, a clearly marked course, and great soup at the finish.” — N.B., Marathonguide.com Review