A very, very tough marathon (General Comments) Course: 1
A Runner from Springfield, VA (3/5/02)
I have a funny story about this race. I signed up for this marathon with no idea what the race was like. I had previously run the Marine Corps Marathon which had 18,000 runners and over 100,000 fans. I just assumed that all marathons were like this.
When I shoud up for this race, I was shocked to see how few runners (about 120) and virtually no crowd support. Another runner says, there is only one hill on this course...but it is 17 miles long.
He wasn't joking. The first 8 or 9 are up a steady hill. Not to steep, but a long, slowly inclining hill. When you get to mile 13 you go straight up a mountain. When you are at the top, you see a sign that says, 'Welcome to Denton Ski Resort.' I will never forget that sign. Once you get to mile 17, you then go down a hill for 3 miles, which is great, except your legs are completely killed from running up the hill. The last 6 miles are straight and through a neighborhood.
There is vertually no crowd support, expect for a few wives and kids every couple of miles. You run on the side of the road, with cars and trucks whizzing right next to you. You basically run the whole thing by yourself, so there is no 'synergy' feeling you get at the big marathons.
Despite all this, I came back the next year. I felt like I had a score to settle with the marathon. It was just as tough the next year, although I paced myself a bit better and handled the hill stronger.
I would not recommend it for a first timer. If you plan to do several marathons in your lifetime, then I think it is a great challenge, but wait until you are ready!
It's Named God's Country for a Reason (about: 2001) Course: 4
A Runner from Massapequa, NY (6/4/01)
It's a long way from anywhere; It's mostly uphill for 17 miles, getting steeper as you go; you will not be running in a crowd; the running surface (side of road) runs off to the left; there's very little crowd support. So why run this race ?
Simple : You'll never find another one like it. The scenery, the challenge, nice people in the area, those that are running are primarily real unpretentious runners, a nice place to shower when you're done, a great meal, it's cool in June and it's a late Spring marathon in the East. And your companions can drive up the road, park and cheer you on as many times as they want to.... they can also carry and supply your necessities.
This was my first time here and I'll probably be back.
My Favorite Marathon (about: 2000) Course: 5
A Runner from Lebanon PA (4/2/01)
This race is not for the Team-in-Training crowd at the major urban marathons (although they are welcome). This is a 'post-graduate' marathon, which cannot be taken lightly. You're alone most of the way (very little crowd support, even at the start and finish), aid stations are bare-bones (usually just water and replacement drink), the only time you see other runners is on the short out-and-back in the middle of the race, and you'll probably have to tackle Denton Hill alone. So why run it? Spectacular scenery, the community support, a 'pure race' i.e. low entry fee, not a lot of corporate sponsors, running the way it used to be. And you'll probably see the same people there year after year, cause it seems the same 100 people keep coming back. If you want a popular experience, go to New York or Marine Corps. If you want a pure race for those who love running, come to God's Country marathon.
You're not a marathoner until you've finished this (General Comments) Course: 5
A Runner from Lancaster, PA (2/12/01)
If you want a social event, run Marine Corps. If you want a real marathon, run God's Country. When you step on the track and hear your name on the loudspeaker, you'll know that you've achieved something. Yes, it has a Continental Divide in the middle, but it's only the Eastern Continental Divide. The scenery is great, and the spectators are supportive. Plus, accommodations are much more reasonable than in Boston or New York. This is definitely the world's best marathon.
Wow, the hill... (about: 2000) Course: 3
A Runner from Wellsville, PA (1/1/01)
This was my first marathon and a rather tough choice. The huge hill was rather downplayed until race-day. Hardly any support and pretty lonely. I wouldn't recommend it as a first.
challenging and breathtaking course! (about: 1999) Course: 5
A Runner from New Kensington, PA (11/7/00)
Breathtaking view of the Allegheny mountains; this marathon if for those who like the challenge of the hills and the natural surroundings. It is also for those who hate crowded marathon/races. You are pretty much alone on the course.
Great Challenge (General Comments) Course: 5
A Runner from Philadelphia (7/28/00)
This race is slightly uphill for most of the first 14 miles and then it begins a 3 mile run up a fairly steep slope. Then down for two miles and clear sailing. The scenery is majestic in places. It is a small race. This year there were 118 starters and 114 finishers....but you need to do the hill training for this one. I've run this race 7 times. It's addictive.
One tough mother. (General Comments) Course: 5
A Runner from Central, Pennsylvania (3/27/00)
This is a great marathon if you like a tough course. It's scenic but can get rather lonely. I have run this 5 times and I keep coming back because of the course. There is an adequate number of aid stations but because the course follows the highway you can actually have a crew follow you in a car. This is highly recommended especially if the weather turns hot. This race is not for novice marathoners. I have seen runners laying along the road. However, if you like a challenging low key marathon I would highly recommend this one.