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Best Walker-Friendly Marathon - Readers' Choice Awards 2013

Winner and Finalists

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Updated March 22, 2013

Walkers nominated their favorite walker-friendly marathon with a time limit of 6.5 hours or more. The finalists were selected by our walking expert panel, then the readers voted. Results shown during voting may not reflect the audited final counts used to determine winners. For more information see our FAQ.

1. Winner: London Moonwalk

"It's all walkers, through the night with bras on to show in support of breast cancer charities," said one nominator. What's not to love about that? It's a purely walking-only event, no running allowed. It's not a race and is not timed. The London walk is held in May and attracts 15,000 walkers. Walkers can choose the marathon or half marathon course. Men are welcome as well as women and they also get into the spirit, wearing decorated bras. In fact, you get the bra to decorate as part of your registration packet. This fun event is spreading in 2013, coming to New York City and Edinburgh.

2. Mount Desert Island Marathon

This Bar Harbor, Maine race is held in mid-October. Our nominator said, "Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor, Maine is very walker-friendly but the course is a b*tch!" The course has an 8-hour time limit, with an early start for those who will take more than 6.5 hours. It's a smaller race limited to 1200 racers, and about 80 finished on a walking pace in 2012. The course looks gorgeous, but does include hills.

3. Portland Marathon

Portland Marathon Finisher Shirt and Medal
Wendy Bumgardner © 2001

This October marathon in Portland, Oregon knows how to celebrate racers of every speed. "I don't call it a race, it's an event. I don't call them runners or walkers, I call them participants," says Les Smith of the Portland Marathon. It's a true grassroots, volunteer-run race that attracts a big field. The finish stays open till the last racer comes in, and ensures they get a full goodie bag of finish line snacks. If you are on a pace of over seven hours, you are put on an alternate course on the sidewalks for safety, but still have full on-course support. Come walk it in Portlandia.

4. Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon

This June event debuted the Rock 'n' Roll series of marathons and half marathons, now operated by The Competitor Group. You can rock out to bands on every mile of the course. The course time limit is 7.5 hours after the last corral starts. There are three cut-off points where slower racers get diverted when not on pace, but they are allowed to finish. It's a big race with as many as 30,000 people.

5. Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon

This October event is held in Columbus, Ohio. It has a marathon course time-limit of 7 hours (16:00 minutes per mile pace). They enforce the time cutoff by diverting slower racers to the half marathon finish at Mile 13 (where they receive the half marathon medal) or are picked up at Mile 17.5 and transported to the finish as a did-not-finish. A nominator said, "They added a competitive walk division to the race & they are very walker friendly! I've enjoyed doing both the full & half at Columbus."

6. More Walking Readers' Choice Awards 2013

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2013
About.com © 2013
See more categories of walking events and gear that were our walkers' favorites.

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