marathon toronto

The top 10 marathons in and around Toronto for 2016

The top marathons in and around Toronto for 2016 all offer black toe-inducing distances, from half marathons all the way up to ultras. The best combine beautiful scenery with well-organized races peppered with volunteers urging you on.

Here are my picks for the top marathons in and around Toronto this year.

Around the Bay (April 3)
The 30K Around the Bay race is dubbed North America's longest-running marathon and features a picturesque view of the Hamilton Harbour. It's guaranteed to sell out so snag your spot early for this fan fave race.

Mississauga Marathon (May 1)
Runners love the Mississauga half and full marathons. The route is a blend of city, country and lakefront, with an overall drop of 80 metres from start to finish.

Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon (May 1)
Beginning uptown at Mel Lastman Square, this run sees thousands of racers clog Yonge Street until just south of York Mills, where the killer hill splits the runners from the dreamers.

Seaton Trail Race (May 14)
Get down and dirty with the closest trail run to Toronto. Pickering is home to the "Seaton Soaker," aptly named for the full-on creek crossing at the finish. The route is a punishing 50K.

Buffalo Marathon (May 29)
If you prefer to see your mileage in miles and not kilometers, head to Buffalo for their flat and fast Boston pre-qualifier. This well-organized run is just a short drive from the 6.

Band on the Run (June 11)
Muskoka is home to the Band on the Run race, a fun-filled half marathon that'll see you dashing through town, a golf course and finally around a provincial park. Live music dots the race, with notable acts like The Sheepdogs having performed in the past.

Creemore Vertical Challenge (August 6)
This niche trail run allows for only 250 runners so if running uphill sounds like a good time (vertical climbs can go as long as mile in some spots), sign up for the 25, 50 or 75K routes that will see you navigate the rugged terrain around Creemore. Winners snag hand-crafted pottery and local maple syrup as prizes.

MEC Toronto Race SIX (September 11)
MEC runs a series of races of various lengths, but race six gives you ample time to get into prime 42.2 shape. This run meanders around the Leslie Street Spit and Tommy Thompson Park, a perfect backdrop for personal bests.

Oakville Half Marathon (September 25)
Lakefront views and pristine houses dot the route of the Oakville Half Marathon, a top choice for those looking for a half that's not quite as busy as the Toronto races.

Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon (Oct 16)
After a season of training, make it all count at this marquee race. International runners and locals cram the city's streets, as do the countless well-wishers who cheer them all on. Finish at Old City Hall for a 6 god feeling.

What marathons in and around Toronto do you run? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by PLTAM in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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