10 Lake Marathons with Stunning Waterside Tracks | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Lake marathons provide a unique running experience with both physical challenge and scenic beauty.
  • Exciting terrains and picturesque landscapes define these waterside races.
  • They offer the perfect blend of personal achievement and natural splendor.

Imagine the mist rising off a tranquil lake as you hit the gravel trail, the soft patter of feet echoing around.

You're not just clocking miles; you're absorbing breathtaking vistas where serene waters meet the wildness of nature.

Lake marathons offer this unique blend of challenge and tranquility, and what could be more invigorating than a race alongside some of the most scenic lakesides?

Marathons by the lake are not just races; they're experiences that combine the thrill of long-distance running with stunning waterside views.

Whether it’s the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line or the awe-inspiring natural beauty that accompanies every step, you're in for an unforgettable adventure.

Trust us, lacing up for a waterside marathon is your ticket to not just personal bests but also postcard-worthy panoramas.

With routes skirting the edges of shimmering lakes and offering both flat paths and challenging terrains, these events cater to newcomers and seasoned runners alike.

Plus, the post-race festivities often encapsulate the local charm, with homemade treats and lively community spirit.

Table of contents


Bayshore Marathon, Michigan

Imagine lacing up your sneakers for a marathon that takes your breath away—and not just because of the running.

That's what you get with the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan.

Ready to feel the fresh lake breeze and marvel at the sparkling blue waters of Lake Michigan right by your side?

Date: Last Saturday in May

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Events: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K

As you hit the pavement, you'll be treated to a flat, fast, and scenic course that's a favorite for veterans and new runners alike.

It's not just the shimmering lake, either; nearby are cherry orchards and vineyards that add a splash of color to your journey.

It's almost like Mother Nature is cheering you on!

Here's the scoop on what to expect:

  • Scenery: Lake Michigan, orchards, vineyards
  • Course: Super flat and fast
  • Qualifying: A top Boston Marathon qualifier
  • Weather: Average highs of 69°F, with cooler morning starts

Wondering about the specifics?

On Marathon day, the main event kicks off at 7:15 AM, followed by the Half Marathon and 10K at 7:30 AM.

You've got impressive infrastructure at your disposal, with live result notifications and a bag drop available.

Speaking of which, make sure you pick up your packet the Friday before—a smooth start to a spectacular race.

Pricing is as thoughtful as the course layout:

  • Until January 31st: $50 for the 10K
  • February: $60
  • March-April: $70
  • May, before the 25th: $80

Just keep in mind, registration closes before race day, so plan ahead!

Whether you're in it to beat your personal best or simply want to jog alongside nature's best views, the Bayshore Marathon is a race you won't want to miss.

Grab your running shoes, and let Traverse City's charm win you over!

Lake Tahoe Marathon, California/Nevada

Ever imagined running with the majestic deep blue of Lake Tahoe on one side and the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains on the other?

Well, mark your calendars!

The Lake Tahoe Marathon is a runner's paradise event you can't miss.

So, what makes this marathon special?

How does a scenic route along the lake's western shore sound for starters?

On a crisp October morning, you could be lining up for an 8 AM start, with the promise of 26.2 miles of nature's finest views ahead of you.

Now, get this – if you're up for an epic test of endurance, check out the Tahoe Triple Marathon.

Think you can handle three marathons over three consecutive days?

We're talking a total of 78.6 miles, including a 6 mile overlap for good measure.

For those who like to go the extra mile, or should we say miles, there's even the Tahoe 72 Mile Midnight Express Ultra Marathon.

Picture this: starting at 9 PM, you'll lap the entire lake under starry skies, joining the regular marathon crowd at the finish line.

But wait, if you're all about that 10K life, you're covered!

You can enjoy a mix of bike path and dirt trails with views of the lake or meadows all the way.

Oh, and if you're in costume, a one-minute head start is your bonus prize.

Here's the quick rundown:

  • Marathon Date: Sunday, October 20
  • Start Time: 8:00 AM (early start option available)
  • Location: Begins south of Homewood, CA
  • Scenery: Lake Tahoe views and mountain landscapes

Whether you're there for the full, the triple, the ultra, or just a fun 10K, one thing is certain – the Lake Tahoe Marathon offers an unforgettable race experience with every step.

Ready to tie those laces?

Grand Teton Half Marathon, Wyoming

Have you ever thought about combining your love for running with the awe-inspiring grandeur of nature?

Well, the Grand Teton Half Marathon is just the event for you!

Picture yourself racing through the breathtaking scenery of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

It's not every day you get to compete with the stunning backdrop of Jackson Lake and the towering Grand Teton peaks, right?

This half marathon is usually held on the first Saturday of June and what a way to kick off the month!

You'll start the race taking in deep breaths of the fresh mountain air, which might just give you that extra burst of energy.

Here's a little scoop on what to expect:

  • Date: First Saturday in June (precise date may vary)
  • Location: Jackson, Wyoming
  • Terrain: A mix of paved roads and hard-packed dirt tracks

No need to worry about getting bored on this course.

You'll have captivating views to keep your spirits high and your legs moving.

And let's talk about the photo ops – they're Instagram gold!

Bear in mind that while you're pushing through those 13.1 miles, you might not be alone.

Keep an eye out for wildlife who also call this stunning park home.

Running alongside bison or elk?

It could happen, so have your cameras at the ready (just don't get too close)!

Remember, this isn't just a race; it's an experience.

Whether you're a seasoned half-marathoner or looking to tick something epic off your bucket list, the Grand Teton Half Marathon has the scenery, the challenge, and the community vibe you've been searching for.

Ready to lace up your shoes?

Lake Placid Marathon, New York

Ever dreamt of running in the fresh mountain air with a gorgeous waterside view to top it all off?

The Lake Placid Marathon in New York could be just what you're looking for!

Picture yourself racing through the historic Olympic Village of Lake Placid, site of the famed 1932 and 1980 Winter Games.

When is it?

Good news, the 19th annual event is already on the calendar!

Mark your diary for an early-season race surrounded by the Adirondack's greenery and the pristine Mirror Lake.

Here's a quick snapshot:

  • Location: Lake Placid, New York, USA
  • Next Event: 19th Annual Lake Placid Marathon
  • Views: Adirondack Mountains, Mirror Lake
  • Terrain: A mix of flat, rolling hills, and climbs
  • Elevation Gain: Approximately 1,393 feet for the full marathon

Curious about the course layout?

For the full marathon, you're looking at a double out-and-back, which means double the lake views.

If you're into something a little less daunting, the half marathon is a single loop, but equally scenic.

Why run here?

Well, apart from the stunning vistas and well-organized event, the course is a delightful mix of open areas, shaded spots and yes, you'll even dash alongside a class III trout stream.

So, have you laced up your running shoes yet?

You'll be joining a diverse group of runners, from beginners to seasoned marathoners.

Remember, it's not just about the race, but the memories you'll create while taking in the enchanting environment of Lake Placid.

Get ready to hit the ground running!

Missoula Marathon, Montana

Have you heard about the Missoula Marathon?

It's a real crowd-pleaser and definitely one for your running bucket list.


Because where else can you get that thrilling sensation of racing alongside the serene Clark Fork River with picturesque lakes whooshing by?

Imagine this: The crisp Montana air filling your lungs, and each step you take surrounded by the imposing presence of majestic mountains and lush, tranquil forests.

You're not just running; you're part of Montana's natural grandeur.

Here's the scoop:

  • Distance: 26.2 miles of pure joy.
  • When: A June event, the perfect time for those long daylight hours.
  • Capacity: Limited to 1,500 lucky runners, giving it that exclusive vibe.
  • Fees: Racing week registration goes for $142 – makes sure to book in advance, no race-day registration!
  • Course: Flat and fast, boasting a USATF certification and a Boston Qualifier to boot.
  • The Catch? There’s a hill right at the halfway point, but what's an achievement without a little climb, right?

Remember those stunning waterside tracks I mentioned?

They're real!

You'll be tracing the banks of a river and, who knows, maybe spotting some wildlife on the way?

It's the kind of run where you have to remind yourself to keep your eyes on the trail, not just the scenery!

Who's set records here? - Women’s Open: Bonnie Keating with 2:46:36 in the year 2022.

  • Men's Open: Mark Messmer clocking in at 2:21:36 in 2022 followed by 2:22:26 in 2023.

Ready to lace up your shoes for a "race-cation" where friendly locals cheer you on?

The Missoula Marathon awaits—how about we see you at the start line next June?

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon, Washington

Have you ever imagined yourself running by a beautiful lakeside with the fresh Pacific Northwest air filling your lungs?

Well, the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon can turn that daydream into reality!

This race isn't just scenic; it's a runner's delight with its point-to-point, nearly flat course.

Starting at Marymoor Park in Redmond, you'll set off on an adventure along the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Along the way, the glistening waters of Lake Sammamish are your companion, accompanied by the verdant greenery that's simply quintessential of Washington.

Isn't that a refreshing change from city running?

And, hey, don't worry about getting parched on your run - aid stations are strategically placed every 2-3 miles and they're stocked with hydration and energy boosts.

Seattle Green Lake Running Group chips in, providing pacers for various finish times, like 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15, and 2:30.

Want to find your perfect race tempo?

You got it!

Here's a quick snapshot of what you can expect:

  • Start Point: Marymoor Park, Redmond
  • Finish Line: Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah
  • Course Type: Point-to-point, fully paved with some smooth gravel
  • Pacer Times: 1:30 to 2:30
  • Spectacular Views: Lake Sammamish and lush landscapes

Are you more of a walker?

No pressure, there's a half-marathon walk category with a generous 4-hour time limit.

Whether you're in it to set a personal best or simply want to soak up the atmosphere, this event caters to all.

So tighten those laces and let's hit that waterside track!

Lake Sammamish is calling—are you ready to answer?

Lake Guntersville Half Marathon, Alabama

Ever imagined running by a gorgeous lakeside that just stretches on, offering serenity with every stride?

Well, Lake Guntersville Half Marathon is where your dream meets reality.

Tucked away in Alabama, this race gives you a front-row seat to nature's charm—with captivating views of the lake—and you bet it's a treat for your running shoes.

So, have you got your calendar marked yet?

The race course sings a sweet melody of flat terrain, making your 13.1-mile adventure pleasurable rather than punishing.

Imagine this: a tranquility-filled morning, the sun peering over the horizon, and, of course, you—the centerpiece—absorbing the scenic splendor of Lake Guntersville and its surrounding hills.

Highlighting not just the natural beauty but also the convenience, this race has:

  • Easy terrains for a friendly challenge
  • Pre-bookable lodging with a special rate if you mention the Cathedral Caverns Trail Run–Group Code 9712
  • Proximity to the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, just a mere 35-40 minutes' drive

Whether you're setting a new personal record or simply soaking in the day, Lake Guntersville's marathon is your perfect pick.

It's more than just a race, it's where memories jog alongside you.

Ready to lace up those runners and hit the picture-perfect path?

Oh, and don't snooze on those reservations; this half marathon is part of a larger canvas that paints Lake Guntersville State Park as Alabama's "Crown Jewel." Remember to register early for those extra goodies—like the long-sleeve shirt guarantee by January 15th, 2024.

Can you already picture the finish line by the serene Lake Guntersville?

Because I sure can!

See you at the starting line!

Lake Powell Half Marathon, Utah/Arizona

Have you ever imagined running amidst a landscape that almost makes you forget you're sweating through a half marathon?

Let's lace up for the Lake Powell Half Marathon, where every mile is a visual treat.

On October 12, 2024, prepare to have your breath taken away—by the run and the views!

This isn't just any run; it's a journey starting from John C.

Page Park in Page, Arizona.

At precisely 6:30 am, you'll set off on an adventure through remarkable desert landscapes with the sparkling blue of Lake Powell beside you.

  1. Rundown of what you can expect:
  1. Start Point: John C. Page Park
  2. Finish Line: Either Stateline Boat Ramp or Wahweap Boat Rental
  3. Parking: Designated areas with shuttles to the start line
  4. Price: As of now, $149 but you can snag an early bird price of $129 if you sign up before July 7, 2024

Your course is a scenic 13.1 miles that incorporate both the ruggedness of the desert and the serenity of the lake—sounds invigorating, right?

And, if you're feeling extra charitable, there's an option to waive your entry fee with a $1,000 fundraising commitment.

Remember, this race is more than just about setting personal bests; it's about the experience.

Whether you're here for the competitive spirit or to enjoy a run with spectacular views, the Lake Powell Half Marathon checks all the boxes.

So, are you ready to hit the ground running and make some waves in this epic race?

Don't forget to mark your calendar and hit that sign-up button before the early bird offer runs out!

Lake Chabot Trail Run, California

Ever fancied a run around a picturesque lake?

The Lake Chabot Trail Run is just what you need!

Situated in Castro Valley, the event is scheduled for a crisp autumn day on Saturday, November 16, 2024, in the scenic Lake Chabot Regional Park.

With the lake as your backdrop, imagine the peaceful miles you'll cover!

Fancy a short sprint or a full marathon?

The choice is yours with distances accommodating all:

  • 8K: A swift journey amidst nature.
  • Half Marathon: Challenge yourself amidst the rolling hills.
  • 30K: For when a half marathon just isn't enough.
  • Marathon: The full 42.2K to test your limits.
  • 50K: For ultrarunners ready to conquer the extra mile.
  • Kid's Run: Encouraging the little ones with a 50yd dash—and it's free!

Running isn't just about pounding pavement; it's about the experience.

The Lake Chabot Trail offers lush forests and rolling hills that are sure to keep your spirits high and your legs moving.

What's better than mixing the thrill of the run with tranquil views of the lake?

Remember, it's not just a run; it's a chance to connect with fellow enthusiasts.

Discuss strategies, share stories, or simply enjoy the camaraderie of the running community.

Make sure you secure your spot and get the early bird advantage, both for preparation and those neat discounts!

Directions tip: Set your map to 17600 Lake Chabot Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94546, USA to arrive at the starting point without any hassle.

Be sure to check the start times for each event.

Oh, and parking?

It's free for all early birds who nestle their cars before the start.

So, lace-up, get set, and mark your calendars for an unforgettable run at the Lake Chabot Trail Run!

See you at the starting line, ready to make some waves?

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon, Minnesota

Ever imagined running a race surrounded by picturesque water views and charming towns?

Well, lace up your sneakers for the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon!

This race takes runners on a journey through some of Minnesota's most beautiful lakeside communities.

Starting in downtown Wayzata, you'll pace through a course that's rich in natural beauty.

Picture this: the sun just peeking over Lake Minnetonka, its rays glittering on the water, while every stride takes you past bays and inlets.

And guess what?

This isn't a new fad; runners have enjoyed this event since 1980, making it not only a breathtaking route but also a time-honored tradition.

  • Imagine the Views: Catch glimmers of water as you race around the serene Lake Minnetonka.
  • Historic Charm: Feel the vibe of the areas like Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Tonka Bay, and Shorewood.
  • Finish Line Bliss: Cross the finish line at Commons Park in Excelsior soaked in accomplishment and lakeside splendor.

The event isn't just for solo runners; bring a friend, and share the experience!

Sign up typically kicks off well in advance, and the event is known to draw thousands, so snagging your spot early is a wise move.

Here's what you can look forward to:

  • Start Line: Downtown Wayzata, MN
  • End Point: Commons Park, Excelsior, MN
  • Next Race Date: Look out for next year's date, time flies, and you won't want to miss out!

Keep your camera ready because the views are Instagram-worthy, and the sense of achievement?

Absolutely priceless.

Ready to run by the lake?

See you at the starting line!