For marathoners there's no better way to see a different country than on foot, packing more than 42km of scenery into the experience and having a finishing medal as proof.

Boston Marathon

Held on Patriots Day and recognised as the United States' oldest and most prestigious race, keen marathoners strive to compete at least once in the Boston Marathon. Entry must be earned on a fast qualifying time run. The 36,000 runners start outside Boston and pass through several New England towns to finish in the city centre.

New York Marathon

Another race marathoners strive and stride to compete in is New York's popular event, the world's largest marathon with more than 50,000 finishers each year. Entry is chosen largely by lottery.

Big Sur International Marathon

The world's largest rural marathon follows the coast from Big Sur to Carmel. Hills and headwinds make the run difficult, but the views of the Pacific Ocean, the coastline and redwood forests ease the pain.

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

Better known for its four-legged races, Kentucky also hosts 18,000 runners at its Derby Festival Marathon on a hilly course finishing in downtown Louisville.

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Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

From a course that started as a scribble on a napkin by some local runners, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon is now one of the nation's largest marathons, winding through Cincinnati and over the bridges of the Ohio River.

Newport Marathon

The Newport Marathon in Oregon's central coast is a must for oyster-lovers because they devour the delicacies at miles 11 and 19 (8km and 30.5km) of the flat, fast course which allows people to set their own personal best times.

Steamboat Marathon

Runner's World named this Colorado run as one of the "top 10 destination marathons in America", recognising the wonderful views of the Rockies as the course follows the Elk River.

Napa Valley Marathon

The Napa Valley run is popular with beginners as a good part of the course is downhill. The field is limited to 2300 entries and the route follows the east side of the valley, heading south from Calistoga to Napa.

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Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com.