10 great places for runners to hit the road

Philadelphia MarathonPhiladelphia "As a tourist, it would take a couple of days to see everything you see when running this race," Yasso says. The marathon, which includes a half-marathon option, starts and finishes at the Philadelphia Art Museum with its "Rocky steps." In between, runners see City Hall, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall before winding along the Schuylkill River and Boathouse Row. Next race: Nov. 22. 215-683-2122, philadelphiamarathon.com

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona MarathonPhoenixThis race, to be held Jan. 17, 2010, takes runners through Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. "You're surrounded by mountains, but you're on the valley floor," Yasso says. "You get to see the mountains, but you're not running them." Participants also pass beautiful hotels and spas like the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. "After the race, runners spoil themselves with spa treatments," Yasso says. "There's nothing better than a mud bath and a massage after a marathon." 800-311-1255,rnraz.com

Chicago MarathonChicago Runners get a real tour of the city during the Chicago Marathon, which starts and finishes at Grant Park and weaves through almost 30 neighborhoods and along Lake Michigan on Oct. 11. In each neighborhood, crowds come out. "It's a very spectator-friendly race," Yasso says. "All the people who live there come out in droves and cheer. You feel like you have an intimate look at the city because you really see the people that make up Chicago." 312-904-9800, chicagomarathon.com

Cooper River Bridge RunCharleston, S.C. This 10K race in Charleston, S.C., to be held next on March 27, 2010, starts outside the city and takes runners across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the longest cable-strung bridge in the USA. "You get amazing views of Charleston as you cross over the bridge," Yasso says. The race then takes you into the historic section of the city to Marion Square. "It's one of the prettiest towns, and the race gives you both a skyline view from the bridge and a more intimate look at the city." 843-856-1949, bridgerun.com

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