Looking for a good first marathon? The Virginia Creeper Trail Marathon, held in the corner of southwest Virginia, is a great race for first-time marathoners. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile long rail-to-trail that runs from Whitetop, Va., near the North Carolina state line to Abingdon, Va. The former railroad bed is relatively flat with a mild uphill gradient from Damascus, Va., to the Whitetop station.

Runners begin in Abingdon and run for a couple miles on Watauga Road before hitting up the VCT for the remainder of the marathon. Aid stations are spread out every 2.5 miles with homemade treats waiting for the competitors at the finish. The race is limited to the first 100 runners, filing the overflow on a waitlist.